Can I reduce my need for glasses after cataract surgery?

You have more options than ever before for seeing well after cataract surgery. Would you like to reduce your need for glasses after cataract surgery? While many patients are suitable candidates for “Premium” IOL’s, many are not. Read this explanation, and watch the movie to gain an understanding of this subject. At our Marin Ophthalmic Surgery Center, we provide Standard, Aspheric, Toric and Multifocal IOL options depending on the needs of the patient. Doctors Shin and Kim will help guide you in your selection from these various lens implants.

Multifocal and Accommodating IOL’s typically result in the least need for glasses

Selected patients elect to have multifocal IOL’s in hopes of reducing as much as possible their need for glasses. These exciting lenses (“as well as accommodating” lenses) are used to provide near, far and some intermediate vision as well without glasses. The near vision correction for these lenses does take days, weeks or sometimes months to reach its best. We currently much prefer the multifocal IOLs over “accommodating” lenses (more on Crystalens). The cataract surgery itself (phacoemulsification) is the same as for other implants, but there are additional particular steps in the planning and postoperative management. We have been delighted with our patient’s response to these new lenses.


Toric IOL’s generally provide less dependency on glasses than Standard IOL’s

If you have astigmatism, give these lenses strong consideration: Astigmatism-correcting (Toric) IOL’s are sometimes good for either balanced vision or monovision, at a modest additional expense. The result with monovision is both near and far vision with reduced need for glasses. These lenses have excellent optics, and our patients are generally well pleased with them.

Aspheric IOLs provide excellent vision for those who don’t mind wearing glasses

Most of our patients receive an “aspheric” Monofocal IOL. For those who do not mind wearing glasses, monofocal implants are an excellent option. Most patients elect for this option. The goal is “Balanced Vision” for most of our patients. It is economical and effective. It provides diminished optical aberration, improving vision for driving at night or in poor light compared with the “standard” IOL. These are also great lenses for patients electing to have monovision.


Some patients want monovision. The ideal candidate has tried it before and likes it. The cataract surgery itself (phacoemulsification) is the same as for other implants, but there are additional particular steps in the planning, preparation, implantation and postoperative management. We have been delighted with our patient’s response to these new lenses.

Some of our patients experience reduction in their need for glasses by having Standard, Aspheric or Toric IOL’s of different powers in the two eyes (Monovision). This works best for people who have experienced monovision with contact lenses or laser vision correction before their cataract developed. This option as well is economical and effective.

Standard IOL’s

There are excellent standard (Spherical) Monofocal IOL’s available, but we no longer carry them in the inventory at MarinEyes because there are even better lenses available. We use them occasionally for certain circumstances. The goal is “Balanced Vision” in most cases, with the expectation of needing glasses after surgery.

If you prefer to have balanced vision (because you don’t like or have never tried monovision), you have two good options. Standard Aspheric Monofocal is a good choice for distance vision for both eyes, or Toric IOL if you have astigmatism. Additional fees will apply for Toric IOL.

We try to help you select the best option for your needs and desires. Any of these selections can be excellent for appropriate patients, but for every choice there will be some trade-off. We are happy to try to reduce the need for glasses when requested, but cannot promise either spectacle freedom or perfect vision. All of the potential risks of cataract surgery apply, plus some other considerations: the lenses do not always provide exact correction, and some patients may wish to have an additional laser vision correction to enhance results. Glare and haloes are more often annoying to the multifocal patient than the standard IOL or Toric IOL recipient. Glasses use is highest among standard IOL patients, and lowest for multifocal patients.