Choosing the best cataract lens type for you

11 July 2022

Ophthalmologist inspecting a patient's cataracts to help choose the best type of cataracts lensWith around 330,000 cataract surgeries1 performed each year in the UK, the procedure is perhaps more common than you might think.

This means, if you or someone you know is affected by cataracts, it’s vital to choose the right cataract lens type for the operation. Read on as we take a look at all the different options on offer.

How an artificial lens in cataract surgery works

Artificial lenses work in the same way as the natural lens in your eye. As light enters the eye, the lens implant bends it (just as the natural lens would), enabling you to see accurately.

Cataract surgery lens options

If you think you might need cataract surgery, it’s important to decide which option is the best for you. Here are the different types of surgery available to choose from:

Standard intraocular distance lens (IOLS): The standard NHS lens is a clear intraocular lens that improves distance vision. It is a very popular monofocal IOL lens, but does not correct astigmatism, intermediate or near vision. Because of this, most patients will need post-operative glasses to have good vision.

Toric IOL distance lens for astigmatism: This lens provides good distance vision for patients with astigmatism. These can be used for mono-vision or with multifocal lenses to improve both near and distance vision. These lenses may be available at some treatment centres.

Extended depth of focus lens: For distance and intermediate vision. These lenses give good distance vision and improve intermediate vision (e.g. computer screen). They are only suitable for eyes with low astigmatism. These lenses are available at our treatment centres.

Multifocal cataract lens: Provide near, intermediate and distance vision. These multifocal IOL lenses have been widely used to improve near vision following cataract surgery. However, for some patients, they create glare post-surgery. Some of these lenses are trifocal.

Cataract surgery bi-focal lens: These give good vision for distance, intermediate and near. They generally reduce the need for wearing glasses, especially in good light. These lenses are only suitable for patients with low astigmatism. In less than 5% of cases, they may produce some glare causing difficulties with night driving.

Top-up multifocal lens: For both distance and near vision. Following cataract surgery, top-up multifocal lenses can be used to improve near vision without glasses. There are, however, some issues that may arise with inflammation and glaucoma. These lenses are offered at our treatment centres.

Tinted lenses: Some surgeons suggest that lenses with a yellow tint can protect the retina from future degeneration. They may be of benefit for patients with early retinal disease.

What is the best lens for cataract surgery?

The best lens will differ from patient-to-patient. Factors such as existing vision issues, cost. and general medical advice will all play a part.

Cataract surgery: which lens to choose?

We’ve looked at the different lens options available, now it’s time to consider your needs. Answering the following questions may help you to decide which type of lens will be most suited to you:

  • What are your everyday vision requirements?
  • Do you rely on near vision?
  • Do you often drive in the dark?
  • Do you have any other eye conditions?
  • Which lens can you afford?
  • Do you want to avoid wearing reading glasses or glasses for distance?
  • Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
  • How long will the recovery period take?

Caring for your cataract lens after surgery

Good news! You should be able to go home the same day as your surgery. It may take a few days for your vision to return, and it’s normal to experience some blurred vision or initial discomfort.

In the first few days and weeks after your surgery, you’ll be given eye drops and an eye shield. These must be used as recommended by your surgeon. Take painkillers if needed, but otherwise use your eyes as normal. You may need to wear sunglasses outside and avoid strenuous exercise and rubbing your eyes for the first few weeks after surgery.

Cataract lens choices at Practice Plus Group

If you suspect you need cataract surgery, it’s crucial not to ignore the signs. At Practice Plus Group, we offer all types of cataract lens surgery options.

Premium lens for cataract surgery

Our new cataract lens option includes an enhanced monofocal lens. This premium IOL provides patients with improved depth of intermediate and distance vision. We also offer a lens that gives patients improved near, intermediate and distance vision.

We understand that everyone is different, once we know what type of lens would suit you and your preferences, we will order the lens especially for you, so it’s waiting for you when you come in for treatment.

Cataract lens price list

If you choose private hospital treatment with Practice Plus Group, you’ll need to consider the following costs:

Procedure Price
Initial consultation (2-4 weeks before surgery) £95
Cataract surgery (per eye) £1,995
Premium lenses cataract surgery (per eye) £2,445
YAG laser capsulotomy £580
YAG laser capsulotomy – bilateral £730
Oculoplastics £3,010

Cataract lens options FAQ

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Our FAQs might be able to help.

What is the lens made of for cataract surgery?

The majority of lenses are made from either silicone or acrylic.

How long do cataract lenses last?

A long time. Cataract lenses are designed to last and once removed, cataracts will not grow back. Complications post-surgery are generally nothing to do with your artificial lens.

Can you replace a cataract lens?

Cataract lenses can be replaced, but the procedure is rare. Artificial lenses are meant to be permanent, and changing them carries risks of complication to your eyesight. The reason for changing a cataract lens is normally due to the lens providing inadequate vision. Cataract lens replacement options are typically the same as for the initial surgery.

Is lens replacement the same as cataract surgery?

Cataract lens replacement surgery and cataract surgery are exactly the same operation. The procedure is typically performed to correct the need for glasses. It is called Lens Replacement Surgery (RLE).

Can you feel the lens after cataract surgery?

No, you won’t be able to feel the lens. The majority of cataract patients are given Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) which become a part of the eye.

Can a cataract lens be cleaned?

No. The lens becomes a part of your eye and acts just as a natural lens would.

Monofocal versus multifocal lens for cataract?

The main advantage of monofocal lenses is to help patients fix astigmatism. This is achieved by using a toric lens. The main disadvantage of monofocal lenses are their range limitations. They are only capable of focusing on one distance: near, intermediate or far.

One of the main advantages of multifocal lenses is their range. They can offer near, intermediate and distance vision. This means around 95%2 of patients no longer need glasses after surgery. However, a small proportion of patients with multifocal lenses suffer from a glare from lights at nighttime. Others have reported struggling with contrast, particularly when in surroundings with dim lighting.

What is the newest lens for cataract surgery?

As of 2021, the Vivity lens was among the latest lenses available. It offers extended depth of focus and provides high quality vision. It is seen as the ideal cataract lens implant for patients looking to ditch their reading glasses.

Are premium cataract lenses worth it?

The value placed on eyesight differs with each individual, but it’s typically not something most take lightly. Premium cataract lenses resolve cataract issues and also address existing vision impairment. This alone is normally enough to help people decide to have surgery.


Need more information? Whether you think you might need cataract surgery, or simply want to learn more about the eye surgery and treatments we offer, at Practice Plus Group, we strive to provide excellence for all.

Enquire now about private cataract surgery


1 LESH UK Cataract Statistics
2 Monofocal vs Multifocal Lenses: Pros and Cons