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Best Lens for Cataract Surgery in 2023

best lens for cataract surgery

Cataract surgery can be a life-changing procedure, offering a new lease on life with improved vision. But with so many lens options available, how do you know which is the best lens for your cataract surgery?

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of cataract surgery lens options, their benefits, and who they’re best suited for.

best lens for cataract surgery in 2023

Important Definitions

Monofocal – single focal point (distance, or intermediate, or near)

Multifocal – multiple focus points (distance, intermediate, and near)

Extended depth of focus (EDOF) – stretch the focus (distance, intermediate, some near)

Light Adjustable lens (LAL) – lens implant that can be fine tuned after the surgery

Astigmatism – irregular shape of cornea causing distorted vision

Toric lens – lens implant designed to correct astigmatism, can be monofocal, multifocal, or EDOF

Presbyopia – Loss of ability to focus on near objects as we age

Comparing Different Implant Types

Lens TypeMonofocalMultifocalEDOFToricLight Adjustable
Good for VisionDistanceDistance, Intermediate, NearDistance, some intermediate and nearDistance (for people with astigmatism)Distance
Focus PointsSingleMultipleSingle, but moves to adjustSingleSingle
Need for GlassesYes, for near and intermediate tasksPossibly not neededPossibly not neededYes, for near and intermediate tasksYes, for near and intermediate tasks
StrengthHigh-quality distance vision, covered by most insurance plansCan see at multiple distances, may not need glassesNatural focusing ability, less night glare/halosCorrects astigmatism, high-quality distance visionFine tune vision after surgery, Post-LASIK and Post-PRK patients
WeaknessLimited to one distance, glasses often needed for near and intermediate visionPossible night glare/halos, less contrast sensitivityLess effective for near vision than multifocal, may need glassesLimited to one distance, glasses often needed for near and intermediate visionLimited to one distance, glasses often needed for near and intermediate vision
Night Glare/HalosMinimalMore likelyLess likelyMinimalMinimal
Please consult with an ophthalmologist for the most accurate information and advice.

Best Lens for Night Vision and Night Driving

Lens type: Monofocal and Monofocal Toric intraocular lenses (IOLs)

Who is this lens for?

If you often drive at night or work in low-light conditions, a lens that provides excellent night vision is crucial. Monofocal IOLs are often recommended for these individuals as they minimize halos and glare, common issues with night vision. Patients with astigmatism should also have this corrected for best night vision by selecting a toric IOL.

Pros and Cons of Monofocal Lenses


  • Excellent for distance vision
  • Minimizes halos and glare
  • Can be combined with astigmatism correction
  • Standard monofocal covered by insurance


Best Lens for Astigmatism Correction

Lens type: Toric lenses (can be Monofocal, Multifocal, EDOF, or Light adjustable lenses)

Who is this lens for?

If you have astigmatism, a condition where the cornea is not perfectly spherical causing blurred and distorted vision, a Toric IOL could be the best option. These lenses are designed to correct astigmatism and reduce distortion in vision.

Pros and Cons of Toric Lenses


  • Corrects astigmatism
  • Excellent for distance vision sharpness
  • Improves night vision*
  • *patients with EDOF and Multifocal Toric lenses should still expect some degree of glare and halos at night


  • Rotation of the toric lens early in recovery can require a return to operating room
  • Some models still require use of reading glasses
  • Not covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare

Best Lens for Presbyopia Treatment

Lens type: Multifocal lenses (distance, intermediate, near corrective zone)

Who is this lens for?

If you have presbyopia, a condition that affects your ability to focus on near objects as you age, a multifocal IOL could be the best option. Expect glare and halos at night with these lenses. If good night vision is a priority then an EDOF will give patients some range of vision (distance, intermediate, some near)

Pros and Cons of Multifocal Lenses


  • Correct presbyopia, providing clear vision at all distances
  • Freedom from prescription glasses and sunglasses
  • Can be combined with astigmatism correction
  • Reduce fall risk in elderly


  • Glare and halos at night
  • Reduced low light reading ability
  • Some neuroadaptation may be required
  • Not covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare

Best Lens for Monovision

Lens type: Monofocal, EDOF, and LAL lenses

Who is this procedure for?

Monovision is where one eye sees clearly at distance and the other sees clearly up close. Many patients have past experience with this with contact lens use or with their LASIK surgery. This can be a good option for them with cataract surgery as well. Monovision is not recommended for patients that don’t already have experience with setting their vision in this manner.

Pros and Cons of Monovision with Cataract Surgery


  • Clear vision at multiple distances
  • Freedom from glasses and contact lenses
  • Restore monovision from prior LASIK surgery


  • Lack of “3D” vision and poor depth perception
  • May need glasses for night driving
  • May require some neuroadaptation

Best Lens for Post-LASIK Patients

Lens Type: Light Adjustable Lenses

Who is this lens for?

Light adjustable lenses work well for patients who have had LASIK surgery and have residual astigmatism. Post-LASIK patients have an increased risk of over or under correction with cataract surgery. Over or under correction means that the there is some residual prescription after surgery that causes the vision to remain blurry. Light adjustable lens can fine tuned in the days and weeks after the surgical procedure to eliminate this residual prescription and sharpen the vision.

Pros and Cons of Light Adjustable Lens


  • Adjustable after surgery
  • Corrects astigmatism
  • High patient satisfaction
  • Reduce need for second surgery


  • Multiple visits post surgery
  • Not covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare

Most Common Intraocular Lens Implant Brands

Tecnis IOL portfolio from Johnson & Johnson:

  • Monofocal lens – TECNIS Monofocal and TECNIS Eyhance IOL
  • Toric – TECNIS Toric II IOL and TECNIS Eyhance Toric II IOL
  • Extended Depth of Focus (EDOF) – TECNIS Symfony OptiBlue IOL
  • Multifocal – TECNIS Synergy IOL

Clareon IOL portfolio from Alcon:

  • Monofocal lens – Clareon Monofocal IOL
  • Toric – Clareon Toric IOL
  • Extended Depth of Focus (EDOF) – Clareon Vivity IOL
  • Multifocal – Clareon PanOptix IOL

Enhance Your Chances for the Best Cataract Surgery Lens

Choosing the optimal lens for your cataract surgery is a crucial step towards achieving your vision goals. Here are some strategies to ensure you get the most suitable lens for your needs:

  1. Undergo a Comprehensive Eye Examination: A thorough eye exam by an experienced ophthalmologist is the first step. This exam will assess your eye health and determine the extent of your cataracts, as well as identify any other eye conditions that could impact your surgery or lens choice.
  2. Choose an Experienced Surgeon Specializing in Personalized Eye Care: Not all surgeons have the same level of expertise or offer the same range of lens options. Select a surgeon who specializes in personalized eye care and has extensive experience with a variety of lens types. They will be better equipped to tailor the surgery to your specific needs and preferences.
  3. Communicate Your Vision Goals Clearly: It’s essential to have a detailed discussion with your surgeon about your lifestyle, your vision goals, and your expectations from the surgery. Whether you want to be able to drive, read, or work on a computer without glasses will influence the choice of lens.
  4. Discuss Your Tolerance for Wearing Glasses: Some people don’t mind wearing glasses after surgery, while others would prefer to be as glasses-free as possible. Your willingness to wear glasses for certain activities can also guide the lens selection process.

Remember, the key to getting the best lens for your cataract surgery lies in open communication with your surgeon and a clear understanding of your vision goals.

FAQs About Best Lens for Cataract Surgery

  • What lens do most people choose for cataract surgery?

    The choice of lens for cataract surgery is highly individual and depends on the patient’s lifestyle, vision goals, and the specific characteristics of their eyes. Insurance covers most standard monofocal lenses. Patients with a desire to be glasses free will choose a multifocal lens.

  • How do they know what lens to put in after cataract surgery?

    The type of lens used after cataract surgery is determined based on a comprehensive eye examination and discussion about the patient’s lifestyle and vision goals. The ophthalmologist will consider factors such as the patient’s overall eye health, the presence of any other eye conditions, and the patient’s activities and hobbies.

  • Which lens is best for cataract surgery monofocal or multifocal?

    Both monofocal and multifocal lenses have their advantages.

    Monofocal lenses provide clear vision at one distance and are less likely to cause glare or halos around lights at night. They can safely used in patients with pre-existing eye conditions.

    Multifocal lenses, on the other hand, can provide clear vision at multiple distances, reducing the need for glasses. The multifocal lens is sensitive to any imperfections with the eye and not recommended for patients with pre-existing eye conditions.

    The best lens depends on the patient’s individual needs and lifestyle. The cataract surgeon should make a recommendation on which lenses you are a candidate for and which lens will achieve your vision goals.

  • Is it possible to put wrong lens in for cataract surgery?

    While it’s technically possible, it’s extremely rare for the wrong lens to be implanted during cataract surgery. Prior to surgery, the ophthalmologist conducts a thorough examination and uses precise measurements to determine the correct lens power. The lens information is double and triple-checked on the day of surgery to ensure accuracy. A surgical time-out is performed that involves the entire surgical team to confirm that it is the correct patient, the correct procedure, in the correct eye, and with the correct lens.