An intraocular lens (IOL) is a lens implanted in the eye used to treat cataracts or myopia. The most common type of IOL for cataract treatment are known as pseudophakic IOLs which work by replacing the crystalline lens which has been clouded over by cataracts. The second type of IOL, more commonly known as a phakic intraocular lens (PIOL), is a lens which is placed over the existing natural lens used in refractive surgery to change the eye’s optical power as a treatment for myopia or nearsightedness. IOLs usually consists of a small plastic lens with plastic side struts, called haptics, to hold the lens in place within the capsular bag inside the eye. IOLs were traditionally made of an inflexible material (PMMA), although this has largely been superseded by the use of flexible materials. Most IOLs fitted today are fixed monofocal lenses matched to distance vision. However, other types are available, such as multifocal IOLs which provide the patient with multiple-focused vision at far and reading distance, and adaptive IOLs which provide the patient with limited visual accommodation.
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