Oculase Articles

Multifocal Lens Implant: All your questions answered!

Mr Tariq Ayoub - 22 Dec 2023

Multifocal lens implants reduce the need for glasses. But what are they? This article answers all the questions you have about these lens implants.

Multifocal lens implant

What are Multifocal Lens Implants?

Multifocal lens implants are advanced technology lens implants used during cataract surgery and lens replacement surgery including refractive lens exchange surgery. Multifocal lens implants have more than one focal point (unlike monofocal lens implants). This allows you to see clearly without glasses and/or contact lenses in the distance, intermediate and near. Multifocal lenses are ideal if you wish to achieve spectacle independence.

How do Multifocal Lens Implants work?

Multifocal lens implants allow you to see clearly without glasses at multiple distances including distance, intermediate and near. These lens implants have sophisticated optics designed with rings or enhancements at the front and/or back surface of the lens. This allow you see at different distances simultaneously thus reducing the need for glasses. The number of rings and the distance between the rings determines the clarity at various distances. More rings may allow you to see clearly at multiple distances but may also result in increased haloes and glare.

What are the different types of Multifocal Lens Implants?

Multifocal lens implants are advanced technology premium lens implants. There are many types of multifocal lens implants that are used to achieve glasses independence. The popular types include bifocal lens implants, trifocal lens implants and EDOF lens implant to name a few. The type of lens implant best suited for you in based on the health of your eyes, scans of your eyes and your visual needs.

At Oculase we run an in-depth assessment of your eyes and advise you on the lens implant best suited for your eyes. Book a consultation today

What is the difference between Monofocal and Multifocal Lens Implant?

Monofocal lens implants give good vision at one distance, generally at far distance. You will need glasses for all other distance. Multifocal lens implants are premium advanced technology lens implants that give you good vision at multiple distances including distance, intermediate and near. You will not need to wear glasses for most activities if you have a multifocal lens implant. You can learn more about lens implants used in cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange surgery here.

What are the side-effects of using Multifocal Lens Implants?

Multifocal lens implants give excellent vision simultaneously at multiple distance without glasses. However, they can cause visual phenomena such as haloes, glare and starburst. These visual changes diminish with time in most people through a process called neuroadaptation. Some people may also notice a change in their perception of colour and contrast with multifocal lens implants. However, this is not bothersome to most people.

What are Trifocal Lens Implants?

Trifocal lens implants are one type of multifocal lens implant. Trifocal lens implants have 3 distinct focal points – distance, intermediate and near. These lens implants allow:

  • you to see road signs clearly while driving (distance vision) without glasses;
  • work on your computer or watch TV (intermediate vision) without glasses;
  • read a menu or text messages on your phone (near vision) without glasses.

Trifocal (multifocal) lens implants are ideal if you are seeking glasses independence for most activities. They are, however, associated with slightly higher rate of visual phenomenon such as haloes and glare compared to other types of lenses. In most people this visual phenomenon reduces with time.

Suitability for Trifocal lens implant is based on a thorough assessment of your eyes. Book a consultation with our surgeon to discuss this further.

What are EDOF Lens Implants?

EDOF (Extended Depth of Focus) lens implants do not have fixed focal points like traditional multifocal lens implants. Instead, they give a continuous range of vision from distance to intermediate, giving you glasses freedom for most activities. However, you will need glasses for close-up work such as small print reading. EDOF lens implants give less haloes and glare unlike trifocal lens implants. Therefore, these lens implants are an excellent option in people with active lifestyles or those who would not cope with visual disturbances.

At Oculase, we offer EDOF lens implants to those who are suitable for the lens. Book a consultation today.

Can multifocal lens implants correct astigmatism?

Multifocal lens implants are designed to correct myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia. Toric multifocal lens implants are specially designed, astigmatism correcting, multifocal lens implants. The toric component of these multifocal lens implant corrects astigmatism. This will reduce any blurred vision and distortion experienced due to astigmatism. You will be able to see clearly in the distance, intermediate and near with toric multifocal lens implant.

Are toric lens implants the same as multifocal lens implants?

Toric lens implants are premium lens implants designed to correct astigmatism. Toric lens implants can be monfocal or multifocal.

Multifocal lens implants are premium lens implants designed to correct myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia.

Toric multifocal lens implants are premium lens implants designed to correct myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism.

What are the advantages of multifocal lens implants?

The advantage of multifocal lens implants are their ability to correct your vision and make you glasses free after cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange surgery. These premium lens implants allow you to see clearly at multiple distances simultaneously without the need for glasses. You will find you are able to perform daily activities such as driving, reading labels while shopping, watching tv or reading the menu at a restaurant without the need for glasses or contact lenses. The enhanced visual function you will achieve will result in a better quality of life.

Book a consultation with the surgeon to assess your suitability for multifocal lens implants.

What are the disadvantages of multifocal lens implants?

The disadvantages of multifocal lens implants includes seeing haloes and glare after surgery. This visual phenomenon diminishes in most people within 3-6 months through a process called neuroadaptation. In less than 2% of people, it never fully resolves. If you continue to find them bothersome you can have lens implant exchange surgery.

Some people also notice a change in colour and contrast perception after the surgery. However, this is usually not bothersome.

Are multifocal lens implants permanent?

Yes, multifocal lens implant are permanent. They replace your natural lens and give you clear vision without the need for glasses after cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange surgery. However, the lens implant can be exchanged in the rare instances such as when the implant opacifies or needs to be replaced due to bothersome haloes and glare.

Will I need to wear glasses after having multifocal lens implants?

You will not have to wear glasses for most activities if you have a multifocal lens implant. Multifocal lens implants such as Trifocal lenses have 3 focal points: distance, intermediate and near. These lenses allow you to see different distances simultaneously without glasses. You will be able to read road signs in the distance, watch TV and read without glasses. However, you may need glasses for certain fine tasks which require precision vision.

Book a consultation with the surgeon to assess your suitability for multifocal lens implants.

What is the best multifocal lens implant?

There are many different types of multifocal lens implants available with different characteristics. Some will give you shaper distance vision, others sharper near vision. Some multifocal lens implants give you better near vision compared to other multifocal lens implants. However, they all reduce your dependence on glasses unlike monofocal lens implants.

The best multifocal lens implant is one which is tailored for your eyes and your visual needs. A thorough assessment which includes a full eye examination, scans and measurements of your eyes, your medical history, your hobbies and your visual needs is necessary to determine the lens implant best suited for your eyes.

At Oculase, we perform a thorough assessment of your eyes before advising you on the lens implant best suited for your eyes. Book a consultation today.

Which lens implant is better: monofocal or multifocal?

Whether a monofocal or multifocal lens implant is better is dependent on multiple factors. If you prefer to be glasses free, then multifocal lens are the better option for you. If you prefer to have no haloes and glare, and you are happy to wear glasses, then monofocal lens implants maybe a better option.

Other factors that determines suitabilty of a lens implant include the health of your eyes, results of scans and measurements of your eyes, your general health, your personal hobbies and your visual needs.

Are multifocal lens implants worth it?

Multifocal lenses are worth considering if you want be spectacle independent. These premium lens implants will reduce your need for glasses for over 90% of your activities. You may experience haloes and glare with these lens implant unlike EDOF (Extended Depth of Focus) lens implants. EDOF lens implants are an excellent choice in patients who do not want any side-effects such as haloes and glare.

How long does it take to get used to a multifocal lens implant?

Getting used to multifocal lens implants varies from person to person. In some people, it can take a few days while it can take several weeks in others. Rarely it can take 3-6 months for someone to get used to multifocal lens implants. This is primarily due to a process called neuroadaptation.

During neuroadaptation, one can adapt to visual phenomenon such as haloes, glare and starburst seen with multifocal lens implants. In some people, this adaptation is very quick while others can take a long time.

Less than 2% of people never fully adapt to the lens implants. In these people, a lens implant exchange surgery may be needed.

Why are multifocal lens implants so expensive?

Multifocal lens implants are more expensive due to the advanced technology incorporated in them to make you glasses independent. These premium lens implants are designed with additional technology including special rings or enhancements at the front and/or back surface of the lens. These allow the image you see to be focused at a number of different distances reducing the need for glasses.

Multifocal lens implants are used a replacement for your natural lens in cataract and refractive lens exchange surgery. These lens implants correct myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia. Toric multifocal lens implants also correct an astigmatism you have. All these features make multifocal lens implants more expensive compared to monofocal lens implants.

How much do multifocal lens implants cost?

Multifocal lens implants can cost 10 – 30 times more than monofocal lens implant. The wide range in price is related to the type and strength of multifocal lens implant and whether you require a toric multifocal lens implant or a special order multifocal lens implant.

Multifocal lens implants are engineered to correct vision at multiple distances. The sophisticated optics found in these lens implants combined with the increased functionality and convenience they offer also contribute to their higher cost compared to monofocal lens implants.

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About the author

Mr Tariq Ayoub
Mr Tariq Ayoub, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Mr Ayoub has been rated as one of the top eye surgeons in the UK. He is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in London, based at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, where he is also the Lead for the Emergency Department at Western Eye Hospital.

0330 128 1616

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