Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cataract Surgery & Aspheric Lens Implants-Intermediate Vision?

Question: I am getting an aspheric standard IOL lens implant and I have slight astigmatism that will likely be corrected at the time of surgery via incisions. If I choose to correct for distance vision, will the vision be sharp and crisp enough that I would NOT require glasses for distance vision.

Additionally, I know I will need reading glasses if I opt for distance vision correction, will they take care of both near and intermediate vision? I am confused about where intermediate vision falls on the spectrum.

Answer: The reason you are confused is because this indeed is a little confusing. If as part of your Cataract Surgery, your aspheric lens implants (IOL) and Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI) with the targeted correction set for seeing clearly at distance-you are highly likely to NOT need eyeglasses to see at distance. So your thinking here is correct. However, "focusing" your eyes optically for distance with the Lens Implants means that pretty much for certain, you will need at least some help reading and probably some help for seeing objects clearly that are closer than perhaps 36", depending on the size and detail of the object. This is where it gets confusing-depending of the type of aspheric IOL used, your pupil size, the size of the objects to be read at near and intermediate distances, the amount and type of aberration in your cornea-often patients are pleasantly surprised when they have an aspheric IOL with a little bit of "over plus." Cataract Surgeons are reluctant to overstate or over promise the near and intermediate vision with aspheric IOLs as it really can vary widely from patient to patient. However, the worst case scenario is that you essentially got NO improved range of vision from the aspheric IOL and only had clear distance vision. In this instance, if there were a total near point and intermediate void, you would probably be best served by progressive addition spectacle lenses, which work well for the full intermediate and near range of vision-worn on an as needed basis.

Important Note: The information presented on the About Cataract Surgery Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask Cataract Surgeons section on is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to Cataracts, Cataract Surgery of Lens Implants. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask Cataract Surgeons section of is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and Cataract Surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.

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