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Is there any difference in outcomes for Multifocal vs Monofocal cataract lenses?

Eye & LASIK
Hi, I am 55 years old this year. I had my cataract surgery (monofocal) 4 months ago. I am still experiencing some side effects. My 62 year old friend who did multifocal surgery recovered fast with no side effects. I would like to find out if there are any differences in outcomes for Multifocal vs Monofocal cataract lenses. Please advise. Thanks.
 
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)
Hi Chenxin

There will definitely be a difference in visual outcome between patients who have multifocal lens implants versus monofocal ones. This is to be expected because the different lenses focus light a bit differently.

A monofocal lens will focus most light passing through it to a single focal distance, while a multifocal lens 'splits' the light passing through it to 2 or 3 focal distances.

This means that without glasses, a person with a monofocal lens sees clearest at one distance (either far or near, but not both), while without glasses, a person with a multifocal lens can see at both far and near.

Of course, a person with a monofocal lens can still see at other distances, as long as they use glasses-eg reading glasses for near if their monofocal gives them good distance vision.

Another way a person can use a monofocal lens to see at different distances is to use monofocal lenses to achieve 'monovision' ie to make one eye see well in the distance and make the other see well for near without glasses.

Even though a multifocal lens sounds better in theory, not everyone likes or may like a multifocal lens because there will be halos/rings around lights at night, and a somewhat reduced contrast compared to monofocal lenses. Therefore, multifocal lenses are not recommended for people who drive a lot at night, or who have other eye diseases affecting vision such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. Even people with normal eyes should consider the side effects of night time halos before deciding on whether to choose multifocal lenses or not.

Besides the above optical/visual differences, there are no other differences in outcomes eg of the risk of infection, floaters, etc.

638 views 19 Oct 2018

Multifocal and monofocal lens implant offers different visual outcomes with their own sets of pros and cons.

Multifocal lens can help patients to see both far and near. Whereas, monofocal lens can only help patients to see best at only one focal distance (either far or near), which greatly depends on the doctor's advice.

Though multifocal lens offers the benefit of seeing near and distant object clearly, they are generally more costly. They are also suitable for a smaller percentage of patients compared to monofocal lens, as they tend to be more suitable for a healthy, young patients because visual adaptation is needed. Also, the number patients' complaints of glares/ halos for multifocal lens are generally more compared to that with monofocal lens.

I will strongly advise you to be patient during this 'recovery phase', and to adhere closely to your eye doctor's advice.

Wishing you all the best in your recovery!

603 views 22 Oct 2018

It would be best to know what exactly are the side effects you are experiencing following cataract surgery.

The comparison between multifocal lens and monofocal lens is down to whether the patient wishes to be spectacles independent after cataract surgery. If so, then the multifocal lens would be the lens of choice.

Nevertheless, the monofocal lens is still an excellent choice to help patient restore sight. It’s just that they will still have to rely on the use of spectacles following cataract surgery.

577 views 26 Oct 2018
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