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How Do Intraocular Lenses Work?

Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago

cataract surgery chicago Intraocular lenses (IOLs), or intraocular implants, are lenses that an ophthalmologist near Chicago can implant in a person’s eyes. Patients with cataracts may be good candidates for IOLs. During cataract surgery , the ophthalmologist removes the cloudy lens of the affected eye and replaces it with the artificial lens to restore proper vision.

Function of IOLs

Cataracts are areas of the eye’s natural lens that become cloudy and obscure vision. They are quite common among older adults. Since a cataract is not a growth that can be removed, it is necessary to remove the entire lens of the eye. The artificial IOLs that are inserted in place of the natural lens work in the same way. Light enters the eye through the cornea. The lens focuses the light on the retina, which allows the optic nerve to carry the images to the brain. Unlike the eye’s natural lens; however, IOLs are customizable. Before the ophthalmologist performs the eye surgery, he or she determines the appropriate prescription of IOL for the individual patient.

Candidates for IOLs

Only an ophthalmologist can determine if someone is a good candidate for cataract surgery. Since cataracts can develop for many years without causing any symptoms, most people will not necessarily have to have the surgery right away. Generally, cataract surgery may be recommended for patients who are over the age of 40 and who are experiencing poor night vision, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, or other visual disturbances.

Procedure for IOL Placement

About a week before the surgery is scheduled, the ophthalmologist will perform a non-invasive test to measure the size and shape of the eye. He or she uses this information to select the right IOL for the patient. The patient may be asked to stop taking certain medications for a week prior to the procedure. Antibiotic eye drops may also be applied for a few days to reduce the chances of an infection. The surgery itself typically takes an hour or less to perform. The ophthalmologist will place eye drops to dilate the eyes and then apply a local anesthetic. Then, the ophthalmologist can remove the cloudy lens using an ultrasound probe to break it up. Finally, the eye doctor places the IOL into the lens capsule.