By Dr. Shibu Varkey MS, DO, DNB, FRCS(UK)
Choosing the right lens (IOL) for your cataract surgery is an important decision that should be made collaboratively between you and your surgeon. As a surgeon with years of experience in cataract surgery, I believe that while the surgeon can provide guidance and information, the ultimate decision should rest with you, the patient.
When considering which lens to choose, it’s essential to assess the different aspects of your vision. Your complete vision comprises both the quantity and quality of vision. The quantity of vision includes distance vision (such as driving and reading signboards), intermediate vision (working on computers, reading at arm’s length, eating at a table), and near vision (reading at a close distance). On the other hand, the quality of vision encompasses factors like color vision, contrast sensitivity, and vision in dim light conditions.
Different lenses (IOLs) offer varying combinations of these vision aspects. For instance:
1. Hydrophobic aspheric Monofocals provide a combination of distance, color, contrast, and vision in dim light. However, you may still require glasses for intermediate and near vision.
2. Hydrophobic multifocals offer a combination of distance and near vision, but glasses may be needed for intermediate vision. They may have limitations in terms of color vision and contrast sensitivity, or you may require better illumination.
3. Hydrophobic trifocals/EDOF lenses offer a combination of distance, intermediate, and near vision, along with color vision. However, there may be some compromise in vision under dim light conditions, or you may need better illumination.
To make an informed decision, consider the following factors:
· Assess your visual requirements and prioritize which aspects of vision are most important to you.
· Determine if you prefer to be dependent on spectacles or if you desire independence from glasses.
· Consider your budget and how much you are willing to invest in your preferred vision outcome.
Once you have answered these questions, you can discuss various lens models and brands with your surgeon. Whether they are manufactured in India or imported, your surgeon can provide you with options that align with your specific needs and preferences.
Throughout my practice, I have used this decision-making process with numerous patients, and it has resulted in their satisfaction. By being well-informed about their choices based on their individual needs, patients have been able to make decisions that best suit their vision requirements. It is important to note that these lenses work best when they are implanted using the Topical clear corneal micro incision phacoemulsification procedure, which is a minimally invasive technique.
As a patient undergoing cataract surgery, you have the right to make an informed decision about the type of lens that will be implanted. By considering your visual requirements, desire for spectacle independence, and budget, along with the guidance of your surgeon, you can choose a lens that will provide the best possible vision outcomes for your unique needs.
Dr. Shibu Varkey is Regional Medical Director, Maxivision Superspeciality Eye Hospital, Tiruchirapalli