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Intra-Ocular Lens

Intra-ocular lens (IOL) is an artificial lens made of special non-reactive plastic that is placed inside the eye during the ECCE or phako-emulsification cataract operation. Intra-ocular lens implantation is now a standard procedure and millions of lenses have been implanted world-wide in the last 20 years. In the west more than 99 patients cataract patients get an IOL implanted in their eyes. An IOL offers significant advantages to the patient. In the modern method the IOL is inserted in the 'posterior chamber' of the eye, that is, it is placed at the very spot in the eye from where the cataractous lens of the patient is removed. This is vastly superior to the old technique of putting the lens in the 'anterior chamber' as is still being practiced by some. The anterior chamber lenses do not do well in the long-term and the patient can completely lose his sight after a few years.

After a simple cataract operation in which the cloudy lens has been removed, the patient's eye does not have any lens in it so his vision after the operation remains very blurred as the rays of light are not being focused at all. The obstruction which was present in the form of cataract has been removed, but no alternative has been provided in order to focus the rays of light. He is able to see only after he has been prescribed his 'cataract glasses' 6-8 weeks after the operation. These cataract glasses are very thick due to their high plus power and the patient takes 5-6 months to get adjusted to them. Moreover he becomes totally dependent on his glasses because his vision without them is so poor that he cannot walk even a few steps and he cannot recognize people even at very close distances. Reading or doing any fine work without these thick glasses is absolutely out of the question. Even newspaper headlines cannot be seen clearly.

Advantages of IOL Between 60-80 per cent of the person's normal eyesight is restored even without glasses. He can easily read headlines without glasses. All routine house-hold works can be done without glasses. Only low power glasses needed for reading and precise vision.

Difficulty in judging distances (false orientation) that occurs after conventional operation due to thick glasses does not occur. Wide field of vision is maintained after IOL implantation.

Patient can use both, the operated eye and the un-operated eyes together without any double vision as occurs after conventional operation: 'binocular vision' is maintained.

The IOL cannot get displaced by rubbing or washing the eye. It lasts for the patient's life-time. It never needs replacement. It cannot break inside the eye no matter what the patient does.

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