Can multifocal IOLs function like a natural eye lens?

It depends on how strictly you would define "natural (human) lens function."

Remember, though, that the multifocal IOL is only one of several different kinds of presbyopia-correcting IOLs. Many people mistakenly assume "presbyopia-correcting = multifocal!"

If you asking whether the MF IOL can provide both near and distance vision in the one eye (unlike the standard monofocal IOL that will provide one or the other), then the answer is "Yes."

But normal human vision is more subtle and complex than just that. A MF IOL works in an entirely different way than the human lens: rather than changing shape (called accommodation) to move your focus from far to near, a MF IOL has several zones in it, each one set to a different focal distance. It does not move or change shape.

While this arrangement actually works quite well in providing near vision for reading, it also unfortunately decreases contrast sensitivity and tends to create concentric rings around a distant light source at night.

There is simply no Man-made intraocular lens yet that works as well as the one we were born with!

J. Trevor Woodhams, M.D. - Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic