How Long Do Cataract Lenses Last?

How long does a cataract lens last

Cataract surgery is a widely performed procedure that involves the removal of a cloudy lens and the implantation of a clear artificial lens to restore clear vision. One of the common questions patients often ask is, “How long do cataract lenses last?” The good news is that lens implants should last you a lifetime.  Keep reading to learn more about your options when it comes to cataract lens implants and what you can expect from this transformative surgical solution.

Understanding Cataract Lenses

During cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). IOLs are made from biocompatible materials, such as silicone or acrylic, which are designed to be well-tolerated by the eye and remain stable over time. These artificial lenses are intended to be a permanent solution for cataracts.

Today, many patients choose a premium lens implants, which provide a fuller range of vision at distance and near and are also able to correct astigmatism, providing greater freedom from glasses. A thorough preoperative evaluation by your eye surgeon will determine your candidacy for these advanced technology IOLs.

Lifespan of Cataract Lenses

Cataract lenses are designed to last a lifetime for most patients. Unlike the natural lenses they replace, IOLs do not degrade or become cloudy over time. Once implanted, they typically remain in the patient’s eye for the rest of their life.

Some patients will experience a clouding of the membrane which holds the intraocular lens, called the capsule, after cataract surgery. This clouding will cause blurred vision and is easily fixed with a non-invasive laser.  This laser procedure creates an opening in the membrane which restores a clear path for light. This procedure is called a capsulotomy and typically can be done in your eye doctor’s office.

There are some situations in which the intraocular lens (IOL) may need to be removed or exchanged for a different IOL.  For example, if there is an infection inside the eyeball or if the IOL is causing a problem, it may need to be removed.  These are rare occurrences and your eye doctor will talk with you if this is necessary.

Regular Eye Exams

To ensure the continued health of your eyes and optimal performance of your intraocular lens, it’s essential to maintain annual eye exams with an eye care professional. These check-ups can help identify any emerging issues or vision changes that may require attention.

To learn more about cataract surgery and lens options, schedule a consultation with the Washington DC area’s top cataract doctors.