Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Multifocal Lens Implants & Halos

Question: I have read that having a multifocal lens implant installed would lead to "halos" around lights when driving at night. First, how bad are the halos-do they impair your vision enough to make driving at night difficult? Second, if I get a lens that corrects my astigmatism and to see distance and near vision (computers, etc.) but I need glasses for reading, would that be considered multifocal enough to produce halos at night? If it does not produce halos-what type of lens implant would you suggest I use to accomplish-far vision, near vision and correct astigmatism and use glasses for reading? I am 76 years old.

Answer: First, multifocal lens implants are a very specific type of lens implant in terms of design. There are a few different designs produced by different manufacturers-each of which has somewhat different optical characteristics and thus differing tendencies to produce halos. Further, depending on your pupil size in bright vs. dim illumination, your results could be better or worse than what you have read-and could differ with each type of multifocal lens design. In addition, the shape of your cornea and its aberrations could also cause halos. 

So, there is no simple answer. In order to choose the best multifocal lens implant for your vision requirements and the distances you wish to see clearly at requires a VERY thorough eye exam and consultation and measurements and cannot be accomplished by discussing pros and cons of the designs. So-your best bet is to schedule a consultation and examination with the best cataract surgeon who is also a refractive surgeon and FULLY explain that you do NOT want halos. Then be prepared to provide the measured distances that you wish to see clearly for…i.e. the actual distance of where your computer sits and where you hold reading material. From this information a refractive cataract surgeon should be able to offer you options that might be the most desirable for you.

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 or 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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