primary eye care

How Do I Choose An IOL?

Elderly couple smiling

A lot goes into preparing for cataract surgery. You need to attend several eye doctor appointments to watch the growth of your cataract.

You also need to follow preoperative instructions, and you need to know what you are going to do after the surgery. One of the most important parts of getting ready for the procedure is selecting an IOL.

An IOL is short for an intraocular lens. The IOL is what will give you clear vision after your cataract afflicted lens has been removed. There are several types of IOLs available.

Knowing how each kind of IOL functions is essential to picking the right IOL for your lifestyle. Keep reading to learn how to choose an IOL!

The Different Kinds of IOLs

There are two groups of IOLs: premium IOLs and the standard IOL. The standard IOL option is a monofocal IOL.

Monofocal IOLs

Monofocal IOLs provide clear sight at one predetermined distance, either near or far. With this IOL, you need to wear glasses after cataract surgery. This is to make up for the uncorrected distance.

The only real advantage of monofocal IOLs is that they are the cheapest option. You will continue being dependent on glasses with a monofocal IOL.

Premium IOLs

Premium IOLs are different because they allow for vision at several distances. They can even potentially correct previous refractive errors.

This means that you could end up with better vision than you’ve ever had before. What premium IOLs do not guarantee is full independence from glasses. At the very least, you will need glasses much less with these IOLs.

The first premium IOL option is multifocal IOLs. Multifocal IOLs function like other multi-focus lenses. They use the structure of the lens itself to correct incoming light.

The second premium IOL option is accommodating IOLs. Accommodating IOls are able to change focus by physically moving.

In this way, they act more like your natural lens. This IOL offers a smoother transition when changing focus.

The third premium IOL option is toric IOLs. Toric IOLs are the only IOL specifically designed for patients with astigmatism.

They are custom-fitted for patients with astigmatism.

If you want to reduce visual disturbances that can occur with other IOLs, you may want aspheric IOLs. Aspheric IOLs have a shape much closer to a natural lens. This allows for more natural vision.

What If I Don’t Like My IOL?

If you’re not happy with the IOL you chose, you can exchange your IOL for a different option. The procedure is as safe as it was the first time, although all kinds of surgery carry certain risks.

It is rare and unusual for a patient to be unhappy with the IOL they choose. It does happen on occasion. To prevent it from happening, we recommend having a conversation with your doctor.

They can recommend which IOL they think will be best for you. This is why it’s important to take your lifestyle and needs into consideration.

Choosing an IOL is an important decision that you should not make lightly.

Tired of living with cataracts that inhibit your vision? Schedule a cataract screening at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME today!

woman looking off into the distance

One of the most well-known symptoms of cataracts is that they cause vision loss. They are, after all, the leading cause of blindness in the world.

In fact, in the U.S. alone, over half of all Americans will have cataracts by the time they are 80. But vision loss isn’t the only problem cataracts present.

Keep reading to learn about some less common signs that you may have cataracts!


Not all cataracts develop in the same way. The most common way a cataract develops is in the center of the lens of the eye. In other cases, a cataract may develop from the rim of the lens inwards.

This is called a cortical cataract. With a cortical cataract, triangular wedges or clefts grow in towards the center of the lens. This pattern of the cataract causes light to scatter inside the eye, which makes it bounce around. This glare is both painful and distracting.

Second Sight

Although cataracts make your vision worse, in some cases, you may notice your vision gets better. If this happens, it’s a phase of cataract development known as second sight.

This occurs when the cataract causes the lens to swell from the inside. The slight swelling changes the angle that light passes through.

This will temporarily make your near vision clearer. It may even clear up your vision enough that you no longer need glasses.

However, the keyword here is “temporarily”, as cataracts do not get better on their own. Eventually, as the lens clouds over, the second sight will wear off. Once it wears off, your vision will continue degrading.

Double Vision

Double vision, also known as diplopia, is another uncommon trait of cataract development. If you suffer from this symptom, you will see a second “ghost image” of what you’re focusing on.

This can be very disorienting to experience. Double vision can also be a symptom of another condition, so let your eye doctor know if you start seeing double.


One particularly interesting symptom of cataracts is visual aberrations called “halos”. Sometimes patients report seeing rings of light around street lamps or headlights.

This is most common at night. This, combined with poorer night vision from cataracts, makes driving at night very dangerous.

You should never drive when it feels unsafe. This is even more important to heed if you know that you are developing cataracts.

Cataract Surgery

Setting up a cataract screening at Vision Care of Maine is the first step to controlling your cataracts. Cataract surgery is simple, safe, and fast.

The procedure is also pain-free, and most patients’ recoveries are uncomplicated.

During cataract surgery, the lenses of your eyes are replaced with artificial lenses. These are called IOLs.

A big part of getting prepared for cataract surgery is selecting the IOL that best suits your needs. Some kinds of IOLs can even remove your need for glasses!

Come into our office to learn more about IOLs, cataracts, and cataract surgery. Schedule a cataract screening at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME today!

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