In a traditional cataract surgery, the opaque natural lens is removed and it is replaced with an artificial lens. The power of these intraocular lenses (IOL) is individualized and calculated before the surgery. The power of the lens is meant for vision for distance only. For all the near work, which includes reading, you need to wear glasses to see well.
The good news is that we now have multifocal and bifocal IOLs which help us see things well irrespective of the distance from the eyes.
What Is the Difference Between Unifocal and Multifocal Lenses?
Unifocal IOLs have the ability to focus on distance objects only (not near). The near vision is managed with postoperative glasses. With newer technology and designs of IOL, multifocal IOLs are increasingly being used. They help in focusing distance, near and intermediate objects without the help of glasses and contact lenses.
SBL-3 IOL by Lenstec is an example of bifocal/multifocal lens which can be implanted in the eye after removal of cataract or removal of clear lens in the cases of high refractive errors.
How Is Lenstec SBL-3 Different From Other Multifocal Lenses?
SBL-3 is a segmented multifocal lens with an upper segment for distance and lower segment with higher power. There is also a transition zone between the two segments to facilitate superior distance, near and mid-range vision.
Which Eye Conditions Would Benefit From SBL-3 Lenses?
Cases of cataract, presbyopia, myopia and hypermetropia are all good candidates for SBL-3 implantation. This means that the natural lens can still be removed even if it does not have cataract and is clear. In such a case, we would call it a lens surgery rather than a cataract surgery. The implanted SBL-3 lens will help the patient see well at all distances without any other visual aid.
To summarize, you do not necessarily need glasses or contact lenses after cataract surgery. Also, If you have high refractive error or presbyopia, you can get rid of glasses with clear lens surgery and implantation of multifocal intraocular lens.