What is an IOL?
An intraocular lens (IOL) is the artificial lens surgeons implant to replace the eye's crystalline lens that must be removed once it becomes cloudy. The main job of the IOL is to focus light onto the back of the eye (or retina), just as a natural, healthy eye lens would. From here, the light rays are converted into electrical impulses that travel to the brain, where they are then converted into images. If the light isn't focused correctly on the retina, then the brain can't process the images accurately.
IOLs share the same basic construction as earlier versions—a round, corrective central portion of the lens with 2 arms, or haptics, to keep it in place in the eye—but other than these shared characteristics, modern IOLs can vary widely in ' design, being made of plastic, silicone, or acrylic. Most of today's IOLs are about a quarter of an inch or less in diameter and soft enough to be folded so they can be placed into the eye through a very small incision.