How does an ophthalmologist help you determine which lens will be best for cataract surgery?

Excellent question! You should definitely discuss this with your eye doctor well in advance of any surgery. Past vision history and understanding your vision priorities are important in getting you the best results with cataract/lens implant surgery.

There simply is no one "best IOL" (IntraOcular Lens). Furthermore, noIOL can reproduce the quality of vision you probably had with your own young, natural human lens. We all want perfect vision! But this goal may be limited by factors outside anyone's control. You have to go to the trouble of investigating and understanding the trade-offs involved during a surgical consultation. Do not make the mistake of thinking you are having a lens "installed" and can change it later if you are not happy or a better IOL comes on the market in a few years.

Have you been myopic (nearsighted) all your life? Do have much astigmatism? Have you had previous eye surgery such as LASIK? Are you at risk for macular degeneration, diabetes, or glaucoma? These are prime factors in your doctor's evaluation of which IOL to use. Furthermore, there are now presbyopia-correcting IOLs which can often bring your vision much closer to what you are hoping for. But not everybody is a good candidate for these. What may perform well in one person may not work as well in another, otherwise similar patient.

But ultimately, let your doctor decide which IOL is best for you and your particular situation!

J. Trevor Woodhams, MD - Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic