Intraocular Lens Implant Options Offered by Our San Francisco Eye Doctors

Eyecare Associates of San Francisco is pleased to offer the latest multifocal, astigmatic toric, and accommodating lens implants for our patients who wish to restore natural youthful vision after lens surgery. Your surgeon will choose the lens which is best for you. All operations have risks and multifocal implant surgery is no exception. For a complete discussion of the benefits and risks of these lenses, please contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our surgeons. 

Monofocal Lenses

This common IOL type has been used for several decades.

  • Monofocals are set to provide best corrected vision at near, intermediate or far distances.

  • Most people who choose monofocals have their IOLs set for distance vision and use reading glasses for near activities. On the other hand, a person whose IOLs were set to correct near vision would need glasses to see distant objects clearly.

  • Some who choose monofocals decide to have the IOL for one eye set for distance vision, and the other set for near vision, a strategy called "monovision." The brain adapts and synthesizes the information from both eyes to provide vision at intermediate distances. Often this reduces the need for reading glasses. People who regularly use computers, PDAs or other digital devices may find this especially useful. Individuals considering monovision may be able to try this technique with contact lenses first to see how well they can adapt to monovision. Those who require crisp, detailed vision may decide monovision is not for them. People with appropriate vision prescriptions may find that monovision allows them see well at most distances with little or no need for eyeglasses.

  • Presbyopia is a condition that affects everyone at some point after age 40, when the eye's lens becomes less flexible and makes near vision more difficult, especially in low light. Since presbyopia makes it difficult to see near objects clearly, even people without cataracts need reading glasses or an equivalent form of vision correction.

Multifocal & Accommodating Lenses

Multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) are the most striking advance in cataract and presbyopia corrective surgery in 25 years. Traditionally, artificial intraocular lens implants were monovision, meaning that they could only focus distance, near or intermediate between the two. However, in most cases, reading glasses or bifocals were still needed to permit fine visual tasks such as small print. Now multifocal intraocular lenses, also known as bifocal IOLs, can eliminate the need for glasses in most patients. Studies have shown that these lenses can help you regain natural youthful vision, allowing you to drive, read, enjoy sports, and work on the computer with little or no need for glasses. At EyeCare Associates of San Francisco we offer our patients the choice between two industry leaders in multifocal IOLs, the Alcon ReSTOR® lens and the AMO Tecnis® Multifocal lens. 

Various types of presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses.

Various types of presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses.

Multifocal IOL Implants for Presbyopia Correction
As our eyes age, the ability of the natural lens to “accommodate” (focus at various distances) diminishes, generally noticeable around age forty. This is called presbyopia and reading glasses or bifocals are often needed. Multifocal intraocular lens implants allow presbyopia patients to become glasses-free once again by replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens capable of focusing far and near distances. For this reason multifocal intraocular lenses are often called presbyopia-correcting IOLs.

Multifocal IOL Implants for Cataract Surgery
Aging can also cause the eye’s natural lens to become more opaque, creating a cataract which results in cloudy vision. Cataracts can only be fixed by surgery to replace the natural lens with an artificial lens inside the eye. Now patients undergoing cataract surgery can opt for a high-tech multifocal intraocular lens, which has the ability to correct vision for distance and near thus minimizing the need for glasses. 

Alcon ReSTOR® Intraocular Lens Implant
The ReSTOR® intraocular lens is unique in that it works by combining the strengths of diffractive and refractive technologies. It is the only IOL to utilize apodization, the gradual bending and reduction of the diffractive step heights, to create a smooth transition between distance, intermediate and near focuses. In clinical studies, four out of five patients reported never needing to wear glasses again, compared with one in ten patients who received monovision lens implants. 

AMO Tecnis® Mutifocal Intraocular Lens Implant
The AMO Tecnis Multifocal Intraocular Lens Implant offers another option for the correction of presbyopia. This lens uses diffractive optics, which are independent of pupil size. It also significantly reduces optical abnormalities known as spherical aberration and chromatic aberration. The design of this lens results in sharp vision for distance and near independent of lighting conditions. Approximately 90% of patients with this lens implant function comfortably without glasses for all distances: near, intermediate and far. 

Bausch and Lomb Crystalens® 
The Crystalens is an artificial lens implant that, unlike a standard IOL, can treat cataract and presbyopia through a different mechanism. It does so by recreating accommodation similar to your eye's natural lens. Crystalens was modeled after the human eye. Like the natural lens, it is a lens implant that uses the eye muscle to flex and accommodate in order to focus on objects in the environment at all distances. Crystalens dynamically adjusts to your visual needs. The Crystalens is designed to allow you to enjoy a fuller, more natural range of vision for most activities, including: reading a book, working on the computer, and driving a car.

Toric IOL for Astigmatism

This is a monofocal IOL with astigmatism correction built into the lens.

  • Astigmatism: This eye condition distorts or blurs the ability to see both near and distant objects. With astigmatism the cornea (the clear front window of the eye) is not round and smooth (like a basketball), but instead is curved like a football. People with significant degrees of astigmatism are usually most satisfied with toric IOLs.

  • People who want to reduce (or possibly eliminate) the need for eyeglasses may opt for an additional treatment called limbal relaxing incisions, which may be done at the same time as cataract surgery or separately. These small incisions allow the cornea's shape to be rounder or more symmetrical.