UV Lens Implants (IOL) for Ultraviolet Protection & Vision Correction After Cataract Surgery

Reviewed by:

Rajesh Rajpal, M.D. and Jason Jacobs, MD

It is well known that the normal Crystalline Lens of the eye provides three major functions:

  • Contributes a significant amount of the total optical power of the eye.
  • Creates the focusing mechanism by which we can achieve clear vision through a wide range of distances-far, arm's length and near. It is the Crystalline Lens that allows us to change this focus at will.
  • Serves as a barrier to Ultraviolet (UV) light to help protect Retina.

During Cataract Surgery the Crystalline Lens is removed. In removing the Crystalline Lens your eye loses its ability to sufficiently filter UV light to protect the Retina. In addition there has been concern that after Cataract Surgery the eye has also lost its ability to filter high energy "blue-light". A lack of protection from UV light as well as blue light is thought by some to increase the risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD).

Fortunately, almost all available Lens Implants (IOL)s that are used during Cataract Surgery filter UV light effectively and thus provide the barrier to help protect the Retina. There is some controversy regarding whether it is necessary to actually have a "blue blocking" Lens Implant (IOL). This is because filtering of the blue light by the IOL has been related to patients complaining of decreased vision in dim illumination and in some instances actually causing problems with color perception.

For certain, UV protecting IOLs are a good idea after Cataract Surgery-and fortunately most current IOLs offer this protection. The necessity of and the decision to use a Lens Implant that is simply UV filtering or one that is both "blue blocking" and UV filtering is entirely up to your Cataract Surgeon based on your individual situation and needs.

None of the information provided within www.aboutcataractsurgery.com is meant to be a substitute or replacement for your physician’s consultation nor does it replace the need for you to consult with your Cataract Surgeon about the specific details of Cataract Surgery and Lens Implantation.

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