About Intraocular Lens (IOL) - Lens Implants.

An intraocular lens (IOL) is an implanted lens in the eye, usually replacing the existing crystalline lens because it has been clouded over by a cataract, or as a form of refractive surgery to change the eye's optical power. It usually consists of a small plastic lens with plastic side struts, called haptics, to hold the lens in place within the capsular bag inside the eye.

What is the Purpose of an IOL?

Each year, 2.4 million people undergo cataract surgery to remove aging, cloudy eye lenses. The natural crystalline lens inside the eye is removed during cataract surgery. The power of the natural lens must be replaced or the patient will not see clearly. There are three basic ways to replace the power of the natural lens:

Contact Lens: Contact lenses were used for years between the 1950’s to the late 1970’s. The development of implantable artificial lenses made the toil of contact lenses (cleaning, inserting difficulties, high cost of replacement, risk of infections) obsolete. Today, contact lenses are rarely prescribed to replace cataracts.

Eyeglasses: Because the natural lens is so powerful, using spectacles as a replacement requires heavy and thick lenses. Aside from being uncomfortable, cataract glasses cause issues with distortion and magnification, along with a form of tunnel vision, all of which makes them difficult to tolerate.

IOL (Intraocular Lens): Sir Harold Ridley was the first to successfully implant an intraocular lens on November 29, 1949, at St Thomas' Hospital at London. After seeing RAF (Royal air Force) pilots of World War II with pieces of shattered canopies in their eyes, Harold Ridley noticed that plastic materials were inert and he started developing the idea. The intraocular lens did not find widespread acceptance in cataract surgery until the 1970s.

A whole generation of surgeons and engineers have dedicated themselves to refining the modern lens implants. Today's IOLs bear little resemblance to the first lenses used. They are lighter, stronger, foldable, safer, and truly miraculous. Modern lens implants have undergone extensive engineering and development in the material, design, manufacturing, processes to allow extremely high precision and predictability of result when placed during cataract surgery. Currently, more than a million IOLs are implanted annually in the United States.

How Are Lens Implants Prescribed?

Many factors are involved in the prediction of accurate IOL power, including the length of the eye and the curvature of the cornea. The goal is not only improving a patient’s vision after cataract surgery, but ideally minimizing the need for glasses.

In our office, only the latest diagnostic equipment is used to obtain the most precise measurements possible used in choosing which lens implant is correct for you. In addition to the Zeiss IOLMaster generation II and the Marco Wavefront analyzer, we use A-scan ultrasound and manual keratometry to double check our results for these critical tests.

Which Lens Implant is Right for You?

Eye surgeons have a variety of reasons for choosing a particular lens, for each patient, from dozens of options. These include material and optical design, plus his or her surgical experience.

Single-Focus Lens Implants:

Traditional cataract surgery replaces the cloudy lens with a single-focus intraocular lens, which only improves your vision at one distance: near, far or intermediate. This means, following traditional cataract surgery, you might still need to wear reading glasses or bifocals. A decision must be made at which distance you would like the lens implant to correct. We are prepared to help you make this decision and work with you to choose the distance best suited for your lifestyle, while taking into consideration type of work, hobbies, crafts, need to drive, reading and computer usage, and so forth.

Premium Lens Implants:

CLICK HERE: About Premium Lens Implants.

Modern engineering designs of lens implants have the power to correct more than one distance of vision: from near (reading, crafts) to intermediate (computer, conversations) to distance (driving, movies). These lens implants are commonly referred to as "premium" because they offer added value when compared to standard monofocal lenses.

Premium lens implants have been tested and approved by the FDA to address all three distances. They work by either flexing to change shape and power or by having different distance power "areas" within the lens itself. Because each of the premium lens implants has a different design and focusing characteristics, one may be more appropriate for you than another. We are experienced in each of these lenses and prepared to assist you in choosing the premium lens implant that offers the best outcome for you.

Our experience with premium lens implants dates back to 1994, when our office was one of the original 13 clinical study sites to participate in nationwide, three-year testing of the first approved multipower IOL, called the ARRAY lens. This lens has since been discontinued and replaced by the more advanced premium lenses we offer today.

Does Astigmatism Affect the Choice of Lens Implant?

Astigmatism is an optical defect in which vision is blurred due to an irregular curvature of the eye. There are two common types of astigmatism:

Irregular astigmatism is often caused by a corneal scar or scattering in the crystalline lens and cannot be corrected by standard spectacle lenses, but can be corrected by contact lenses.

Regular astigmatism arising from either the cornea or crystalline lens can be corrected by a toric lens. A toric surface resembles a section of the surface of an American football or a doughnut where there are two regular radii, one smaller than another. This optical shape gives rise to regular astigmatism in the eye.

Astigmatism is a natural variation of the human body, like the shape of an ear or toe, and doesn't normally change as we age. The astigmatic shape of an eye causes blurred vision "in general" rather than affecting the distance at which we see. To make vision sharp, light passing through the irregular shape must be re-focused, usually through the use of contact lenses or eyeglasses.

When a person has cataract surgery, astigmatism can be modified as part of the operation, making it possible for the patient to see clearly after surgery without glasses or contact lenses. There are two general ways of doing this:

  • Tiny incisions, called limbal relaxing incisions (LRI) or "astigmatic keratotomy", are made on the cornea to flatten out the higher areas, evening the surface to be more like a baseball than a football. This procedure is may be included as part of cataract surgery.
  • A "Toric" lens implant may be used during cataract surgery to correct the irregular focusing of light that passes through the astigmatic cornea.

Toric lens implants are currently available only in monofocal powers (single distance). A person with a toric IOL will need separate correction for other distances. Toric IOL’s, like the near focusing lenses described above are typically not covered by medical insurance and must be paid for by the patient.

Special measurement are made before surgery to measure the amount and particular orientation (axis) of astigmatism. From these measurements, we can determine whether a Toric IOL will be a good choice for you.

Please note:

  • Most insurance will not cover the cost of premium lens implants.
  • You may still need glasses for some or all of your activities: results cannot be guaranteed.
  • You may use a credit card or other credit options to cover the cost of premium lens implants prior to surgery.

CLICK HERE: About Premium Lens Implants.


  Cataract Surgery New Jersey

(856) 667-3937

Kindermann Eye Associates
3001 Chapel Avenue, Suite 200
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08002

Learn about Premium IOL's:

      Bausch & Lomb Crystalens

      Alcon Acrysof ReStor

      AMO Tecnis

Eye Doctor South Jersey

Kindermann Eye Associates - 3001 Chapel Avenue, Suite 200, Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08002

Excellence in eye care for patients seeking a quality caring eye doctor in South Jersey. Dr. W Reed Kinderman is a premier ophthalmologist, New Jersey eye surgeon, specializing in cataract surgery, refractive surgery, laser guided cataract surgery, Tecnis multifocal lens implant, ReStor intraocular lens, Crystalens, Toric intraocular lens, glaucoma, strabismic eye muscle disorders, ophthalmology, and the full spectrum of eye care in New Jersey, Delaware Valley, Philadelphia, Mullica Hill, Ashland, Echelon, Thorofare, Riverton and surrounding areas.

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