When a cataract is removed, an intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted at the time of cataract surgery to improve visual function. A “basic” monofocal lens gives patients vision for one distance only. Patients who have a “basic lens” then need glasses to meet their demands for both distance vision and near vision. (ie. bifocal glasses)
Deluxe lens technology is also available for patients undergoing cataract surgery to increase the quality of vision and to reduce the need for glasses. For example, a technology Toric lens corrects a patient’s natural astigmatism and helps to sharpen vision in the distance. Patients may then be less dependent on glasses with driving and watching tv. Patients with Toric (Astigmatism correcting) lens still need glasses for reading.
A 3rd option is to select a lens which corrects for both distance and reading (Alcon PanOptix Trifocal, Tecnis Symfony & Multifocal, Alcon Restor, Crystalens among many platforms). These lenses commonly give vision at multiple distances (driving, computer, and reading). Patients may still need readers for very small print or in areas that have decreased lighting (such as restaurants).
Here are high-yield videos to learn more about cataract surgery: