Monofocal and Multifocal IOL Implants

As a person ages, the natural lens becomes more rigid and functions more like a Monofocal Lens. Traditional Monofocal Lenses, including Lens Implants, focus light to only one point in space. A Multifocal Lens has more than one point of focus. A Bifocal, which is a type of Multifocal Lens, has two points of focus, one at distance and the other at near. The benefits of a Multifocal Lens Implant focuses light from distance and near simultaneously. This feature addresses both distant and near vision and makes the recipient less dependent on Eye Glasses or Contact Lenses.

Intraocular Lens Implants


IOLs are implanted synthetic lens that are implanted inside the eye to replace the eye’s natural lens when it is removed during cataract surgery. The type of IOL determines the quality of vision improvement.  At Charleston Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Dr. David O’Day counsels each patient about their best IOL option according to lifestyle, medical and eye health history, and after performing a comprehensive examination.

While insurance or Medicare will pay for qualified cataract surgery using the standard monofocal lens (vision for one distance only), there may be additional cataract surgery costs if you decide a premium lens is right for you. All of this will be explained to you during your cataract evaluation and consultation.

Monofocal Intraocular LensMonofocal

Monofocal Intraocular Lenses are the “standard” or conventional type of IOL and by definition provide good vision correction for one distance only. The power of the lens is pre-calculated for each individual, generally for far vision. Eye Glasses for reading will still be needed, and patients with Astigmatism may still require Eye Glasses to sharpen their distance vision.

Toric IOL

Patients who have significant amounts of Astigmatism may want to consider a specialty implant called a Toric Intraocular Lens. Astigmatism, which occurs due to a cornea that has a football rather than a basketball shape, can create blur and double images when viewing objects at any distance. Standard (Monofocal), Multifocal and Accommodating IOLs can improve nearsightedness (Myopia) and farsightedness (Hyperopia) but not Astigmatism. Toric IOLs are uniquely designed to reduce Astigmatism and may be an option for patients who are having Lens Exchange Surgery with or without Cataracts. To obtain the best vision without Eye Glasses following Lens Surgery, the Toric IOL is the best option for patients with significant Astigmatism. Ask Dr. David O’Day about Astigmatism and if you would benefit from the Toric IOL technology.

Toric IOL

Accommodating IOL

Unlike conventional “single vision” Intraocular Lenses (IOLs), Accommodating IOLs are lens implants that are designed to help patients see at varying distances using different points of focus. The goal of an Accommodating IOL is to provide functional vision at different distances to minimize the use of eye glasses.

Accommodating IOLs are premium intraocular lenses that expand the range of clear vision with both an aspheric design and flexible “haptics” — the supporting legs that hold the IOL in place inside the eye. These flexible legs allow the accommodating IOL to move forward slightly when you look at near objects, which increases the focusing power of the eye enough to provide better near vision than a conventional monofocal lens.

Some patients may still prefer to wear eye glasses for prolonged reading, but the vast majority of Accommodating IOL patients experience freedom from eye glasses for tasks such as driving, watching TV, using their cell phone and computer, looking at photos, reading magazines, price tags, product labels, receipts, and menus.

Multifocal Intraocular Lens

Multifocal Intraocular Lenses, or premium IOLs, are designed with several focusing zones precalculated on the lens and provide vision correction at all distances – close-up, intermediate and far. Multifocal IOLs can decrease your need for reading glasses or computer glasses after cataract surgery.

Like multifocal contact lenses, these premium IOLs contain added magnification in different parts of the lens to expand your range of vision so you can see objects clearly at all distances without glasses or contact lenses. Many times, patients who have worn contacts to correct near and far vision, are likely to be happy with multifocal lens implants.

Dr. David O’Day can help you decide if mutifocal IOL’s are the right choice for you. Multifocal IOLs are do come with additional charges over insurance or Medicare, but are frequently preferred over Monofocal IOLs (standard IOL), because they can reduce or completely eliminate the need for Eye Glasses.

Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI)

Limbal Relaxing IncisionsLimbal Relaxing Incisions are a refractive surgical procedure to correct minor Astigmatism in the eye. Incisions are made at the opposite edges of the cornea, following the curve of the iris, causing a slight flattening of the cornea. These incisions do not cause glare and other visual effects that result from other corneal surgeries like Radial Keratotomy. LRI have become the most common technique to correct Astigmatism as part of Cataract surgery. They are simpler and less expensive than Laser Surgery such as LASIK or PRK. Recovery is generally quick and painless, although the patient may experience slight discomfort.

If you are experiencing vision problems due to Cataracts or Presbyopia, you may need Lens Implants to improve your vision. Contact our expert eye care team at Charleston Cornea & Refractive Surgery at one of three locations. The centers are conveniently located in Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, and Myrtle Beach SC. Call us at (843) 856-5275 for more information.