Intraocular lens implants, commonly called “IOLs,” may be one of the most important ophthalmic developments in the last 30 years. These tiny prescription lenses are permanently placed inside the eye to restore a focusing power when an eye’s natural lens has been removed as part of cataract surgery or lens replacement surgery. Before the development of IOLs, the only way to restore focusing power in an eye after cataract surgery was with thick coke-bottle glasses or contact lenses. Without those glasses or contact lenses, a patient could only see shapes and colors. Today, those thick glasses and contact lenses are eliminated with an IOL.
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