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Cataract Treatment: Implanting a New Lens (IOL)

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A cataract is clouding of your eye's lens. Cataracts can be treated with surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a plastic lens called an IOL (intraocular lens). The IOL can be placed either in front of or behind the iris. Your doctor will choose the location based on the condition of the capsule and the type of IOL you will receive.

Posterior Chamber Lens

In most cases, an IOL is implanted in the posterior chamber. Flexible loops hold the IOL in place. The posterior capsule also provides support for the IOL.

Anterior Chamber Lens

If the capsule behind the lens is weak or damaged, your eye doctor will place a special lens in the anterior chamber. Small loops hold the IOL in place.

About IOLs

An IOL doesn't change the appearance of your eye. But it can improve how well you see. Your eye doctor will select a new lens to fit your eye and vision needs. IOLs are made in slightly different shapes. In most cases, the IOL will last a lifetime.

  • Special materials. IOLs are made of materials that won't irritate your eye. These include silicone, acrylic, and PMMA.

  • Foldable lenses. Many IOLs are foldable. This allows them to be inserted through small incisions in the cornea or sclera.

  • Multifocal lenses. These lenses have small magnification rings that can improve how well you see. For best results, multifocal lenses are implanted in both eyes. Ask your eye doctor whether multifocal lenses are right for you.

Publication Source: National Eye Institute

Online Source: National Eye Institute

Date Last Reviewed: 2005-08-05T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2010-01-11T00:00:00-07:00

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Dr. Feiten was born and raised in Wisconsin, attending the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for her undergraduate studies. She graduated from Pacific University with her Doctor of Optometry degree in 1987. She practiced in Kentucky for seven years, receiving the Young OD of the Year Award in 1994.

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