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Types of Eye Lenses

Author : Dr Deepak Garg
Types of eye lenses

Lenses are an essential component of optical systems that focus or manipulate light. There are various types of lenses, each with unique properties and applications. Understanding the different types of lenses is crucial to selecting the right lens for a specific application.

There are three primary types of lenses commonly utilized in vision correction:

  1. Intraocular Lenses – IOLs are used during cataract surgeries
  2. Contact Lenses
  3. Spectacle Lenses

Let’s understand each of its importance and the various options available with their pros and cons.

Intraocular Lenses – IOLs

These lenses are implanted in the eyes to improve your vision which has decreased or has become blurred due to cataracts.

A cataract is the whitening of the natural lens (crystalline lens) of the eye. This lens is responsible for seeing far and near when we are young. In cataract surgery, cataract surgeons remove this natural lens from the eye and replace it with an artificial lens. There are many artificial lens options that your cataract surgeons can use for you. Here is an article on the best lens for cataract surgery.

Various types of Intraocular Lenses are:

Monofocal IOL

This Lens offers a sharp glass-free distant vision. For close vision tasks like reading a book or using a phone, reading glasses are a need. Without glasses, intermediate and near vision are not much affected by the more popular monofocal lenses, like Eyhance by Johnson and Johnson.

Toric IOL

Toric IOLs are the best option for astigmatism and should be implanted in the eyes who have astigmatism.

Multifocal IOL

An IOL with several focus points can correct presbyopia. When reading, using a phone, or viewing a menu at a restaurant, all these activities become comfortable about 90% of the time with a Multifocal IOL. We should keep in mind for prolonged reading, you may still end up having a small reading power which is absolutely fine.

EDOF IOL

These lenses are similar to multifocal lenses, but they don’t produce as many halo effects, and they focus more on far and intermediate vision. Intermediate is the working distance for a computer. These lenses give you a better depth of field.

Trifocal IOL

Trifocal IOL corrects vision for all distances i.e. far vision, intermediate vision and near vision.

ICL or Implantable Collamer Lenses

In high levels of refractive error or situations where corneal refractive surgery is not recommended, pICL is implanted to make the patient glass free.

Types of Contact Lenses

Daily Disposable Soft Contact Lenses

The most widely utilized and efficient type of contact lenses used worldwide is daily disposables. These lenses are single-use, as their name implies. They have to be disposed of at the end of the day after a single daily usage. The following day, fresh contact lenses are used

Bi-Weekly Disposable Soft Contact Lenses

As the name implies, these lenses are bi-weekly or 14 days disposable lenses, where we can use the same set of lenses for 14 days, or almost half a month. These must be taken off at the end of the day after being worn for the whole day. The lenses must be cleaned and stored in the contact lens case after being taken out.

Monthly Disposable Soft Contact Lenses

As they are monthly disposable, you should wear them every day for a month before throwing them away. These must be taken off at the end of the day after being worn for the day. The lenses must be cleaned and stored in the contact lens case after being taken out.

Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses

Contact lenses with multiple focus points are designed to provide you with sharp vision both up close and far away. These bifocal contact lenses are quite similar to ordinary soft contact lenses, with a special design that offers crisp vision at all distances.

Toric Lenses

People who have cylinder/astigmatism power in their glasses ( more than -0.75 or more) will need a Toric Soft Contact Lens which can also correct this power to maintain quality of vision and give the patient the most comfortable vision.

Coloured Soft Contact Lenses

Coloured contact lenses are frequently worn to improve aesthetics. Coloured contact lenses with power are also available, despite the fact that these are for cosmetic appeal only. These coloured contact lenses with power offer you the appearance you choose while still preserving your vision.

Types of Speciality Contact Lenses

RGP Lenses

RGP lenses, commonly known as rigid gas-permeable lenses or GP lenses, are rigid contact lenses comprised of oxygen-permeable polymers. Unlike soft lenses, which land on the surface of the eye's white, RGP lenses are smaller and fit within the cornea. RGP lenses are good for your eyes because they enable tears to flow freely under the lens and because the lens material is oxygen permeable.

Scleral Lenses

These are large-diameter rigid material contact lenses that have a big diameter and are constructed of a substance that is gas permeable. They have a unique shape that allows them to rest on the sclera, the white portion of the eye, and cover the whole cornea. These lenses manage corneal irregularities like Keratoconus as well as abnormalities of the ocular surface.

RoseK Lenses

The Rose-K Contact Lens is a rigid gas-permeable small-diameter contact lens that can help people with keratoconus see better. These lenses, which differ from conventional contact lenses, were created especially for people with keratoconus to aid increase visual acuity or eyesight.

Ortho K Lenses

Gas permeable contact lenses with a custom fit are fitted known as orthokeratology or ortho-K lenses. The cornea, the front surface of your eye, is delicately reshaped by these lenses while you are sleeping, enabling you to see clearly the next day after taking them out. There is no need to wear glasses or daytime contact lenses thanks to the ground-breaking Ortho-Ks non-surgical process, which has been FDA-approved.

Overall, the type of lens used depends on the specific application and understanding of the different types of lenses and their properties are crucial for achieving optimal results.

Types of Spectacle Lenses

There are various options of eyeglass lenses available. If plus lenses are convex lenses and if minus lenses then these are concave lenses. Depending on the refractive indices of these lenses you may get a very thin lens or a thicker lens.

Single Vision Lenses

This lens type is the simplest lens that one can make and have one eye power in them

Bifocal Lenses

These lenses have two distinct lenses in them one for far and one for near.

Progressive lenses

These look like single-vision lenses but function as bifocal lenses. These can be narrow-angle or a wide-angle lenses.

Polycarbonate lenses

This is one of the materials of spectacle lenses. This material is very hard and not easy to break. So useful in contact sports. They however scratch easily.

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