Can I Mix Different Multifocal Intraocular Lenses?
Our experienced cataract surgeon, Dr. Michael Manning, recently sat down to answer some frequently asked questions about cataracts and some of the options available to our patients here at Gulfcoast Eye Care. Take a look at what he has to say about multifocal intraocular lenses below, and please contact our practice with any further questions you may have, or to schedule an eye examination.
In which cases would mixing multifocal IOL types create a superior visual outcome from cataract surgery?
Mixing multifocal IOLs could create superior outcomes in situations where a patient might choose one lens that works best for distance and intermediate vision along with another lens that works best for distance and near vision, for example.
How do you determine if candidates are qualified?
The best way to determine whether a patient is a candidate for mixing of multifocal IOLs is to undergo a comprehensive examination. Candidacy depends upon both eyes being relatively healthy without any other conditions that could limit the vision of either eye.
How does each type of lens perform in different circumstances and how do the eyes adjust to the lens working together?
Different IOLs may perform differently under different lighting conditions or when trying to view objects at different distances or focal points. The eyes generally adjust well to the lenses working together. Some of this is a process of neuroadaptation, whereby the brain learns to utilize the vision of each eye when appropriate without a person having to think about it.
Why would you recommend/not recommend mixing multifocal IOLs?
Generally, when a patient is doing well with one type of IOL, we will often use the same model for the other eye in the majority of cases. The strength of each model may vary depending upon the calculated strength needed for each eye, just as each eye may have a different prescription within one’s eyeglasses. As no single IOL is perfect or gives the ability to have superhuman powers, we may recommend a different multifocal IOL in the other eye when a patient perceives that she/he wishes to strengthen her/his vision at a certain distance. For example, a patient wishing to have better computer vision may elect for a lens that performs better at intermediate distance – approximately arms-length distance.
What expectations should the patient be aware of when considering mixing multifocal IOLs?
The patient should be aware that the two lenses won’t perform identically and it can take some time to adjust to the differences between the lenses.
Are there any potential complications or visual side effects that may occur as a result?
The main visual side effects to consider with mixing IOLs is that different IOLs may produce differing amounts of ring or halo effects.
During the initial consultation, all aspects of treatment will be explained in detail – including potential risks and benefits – and our doctor will address any concerns you may have.