Away from the spectacles? The pros and cons of post-cataract surgery

Written by: Mr Sameer Trikha
Published: | Updated: 03/08/2022
Edited by: Karolyn Judge

Internationally-recognised consultant ophthalmic surgeon Mr Sameer Trikha, MBA FRCOphth, looks at the advantages and disadvantages of cataract surgery in this informative article.  


The evolution of cataract surgery has been tremendous over the past two decades, and is now one of the safest and effective surgical procedures worldwide. An array of options has now been made available for patients undergoing this procedure due to advances in intraocular lens (IOL) technology. However, there are pros and cons to each option.


Person on an operating table having cataract surgery, with equipment over opened eye.

What are the different options available for traditional cataract surgery?   

Cataract surgery traditionally involved the replacement of the eye’s natural lens with a clear, monofocal (fixed distance) intraocular lens. Patients usually prefer vision that is clear for the ‘distance’, which means they need help with seeing things that are close up by using reading glasses.


A ‘toric’ IOL can be offered in patients with astigmatism (where the eye is shaped like a rugby ball), and this IOL can correct the irregularity. Again, however, this requires the use of glasses for near work.


There is often the benefit of 100 per cent light transmission and excellent contrast sensitivity with these lenses, assuming there is no other eye condition present. Glasses are needed for near work nearly all the time, however, and of course this can be a nuisance. 



What are the options for spectacle-free vision post cataract surgery?

There are various IOLs available that can allow for very good near, intermediate and distance vision. This option may be particularly worthwhile for those patients with certain occupations, with a variety of visual needs, or for those who simply don’t enjoy having to wear reading glasses.


However, there is a trade-off with these so-called ‘premium’ IOLs in the sense that; whilst such technology is getting better and better, it doesn’t quite replicate the same quality of vision we had when, for example, we were 21.


In part, this is due to the creation of a lens that has different powers in different segments. This additional functionality in some lens platforms is therefore a trade off at the expense of a small reduction in light transmission and contrast sensitivity. Some patients (around 5-10%) may experience glare, haloes around lights or starbursts in certain light conditions. However, these are usually infrequent and with multifocal lenses, generally most patients feel delighted with the independence from spectacles.  


Extended depth-of-focus (EDOF) lenses have also become available in recent years, which allows patients to achieve excellent distance and intermediate vision, across a better range of distances. Generally, these lenses have slightly more light transmission in comparison to multifocal lenses, while near vision may require additional spectacle use for some activities.


It’s important to determine what the best options to suit your particular needs are, considering that there is an array of options available to patients. One option doesn’t meet every patient’s needs. 


Please don’t hesitate to contact me at to arrange a consultation. I’m always happy to discuss the lens options available following cataract surgery.



If you’d like to book a consultation with Mr Trikha, arrange a consultation with this leading London ophthalmologist today. 

By Mr Sameer Trikha

Mr Sameer Trikha is an internationally recognised consultant ophthalmic surgeon based in London who specialises in the medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma using the latest minimally invasive technologies such as Istent, Preserflo microshunt and SLT laser. In addition to eye diseases, Mr Trikha is also an expert in the management of general ophthalmic conditions such as dry eyes and styes and has extensive experience providing lens replacement (intraocular lenses). Alongside his NHS work at King’s College Hospital, Mr Trikha currently consults privately at the acclaimed London Clinic Eye Centre and at 10 Harley Street.

Mr Trikha qualified from the University of Southampton with distinction and completed his training in ophthalmology in the Wessex region. He became a fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in 2012 and then obtained an MBA in Healthcare Management from Imperial College, London in 2015, before going on to accomplish two prestigious fellowships in glaucoma: a research clinical fellowship at the renowned Singapore National Eye Centre and a clinical fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Further to his world class ophthalmology practice, Mr Trikha is actively involved in research and surgical education, and has authored more than 25 peer reviewed academic papers as well as one book and two book chapters. He regularly lectures about glaucoma at UK and international conferences and also holds editorial positions at several ophthalmology publications including the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

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