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Intraocular Lens Placement


  • Intraocular lens (IOL) placement is surgery to put in a new lens in your eye. Your lens is a clear disc located on the front part of your eye. It directs light onto the back of your eyeball. You may need IOL placement if you have problems with your eyesight, such as myopia, hyperopia, or presbyopia. You have myopia if you are nearsighted, which means you have trouble seeing faraway. You have hyperopia if you are farsighted, which means you have trouble seeing up close. Presbyopia is an eye condition where you have a hard time seeing up close as you grow older. You may also need this surgery if your eye has no lens (this is called aphakia).
    Picture of a normal eye
  • If you have a cataract, then your caregiver may replace your own lens with a new one. A cataract is an eye disease that makes your lens cloudy, which blurs your vision. With IOL placement, your caregiver cuts through your cornea. Your cornea is a clear, round window covering the front part of your eye. Through these cuts, your caregiver will remove your lens and put in the new one. Your lens may also be left in place depending on what is wrong with your eyesight. Having IOL placement may improve your eyesight. Seeing better may make it easier to drive, take care of yourself, and interact with others.


Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by a germ called bacteria. Your caregiver may give you antibiotics as pills or an eye ointment. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your caregiver. Keep using this medicine until it is completely gone, even if you feel better. Stopping antibiotics without your caregiver's OK may make the medicine unable to kill all of the germs. Never "save" antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Steroids: Steroid medicine may be given to decrease inflammation, which is redness, pain, and swelling. You may be given steroids in eye drops.
  • NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine may decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

  • You may be asked to make a follow-up. During your visit, your caregiver may ask if you have any new symptoms. These may include eye pain, redness, or swelling. He will also ask if your vision has improved. Your caregiver will measure the pressure in your eyes and check your vision. He may do a special test called slit-lamp biomicroscopy to look into your eyes.


Your caregiver may give you any of the following instructions to help you care for your eyes:

  • Avoid bright sunlight. Wear sunglasses that are to protect your eyes from certain sun rays called ultraviolet B (UVB). Wear a hat with a brim when you go outside in the sun.
  • Do not remove your eye patch or shield until your caregiver says it is OK.
  • Avoid coughing and vomiting (throwing up). Coughing and vomiting may cause the pressure in your eye to go up. Ask your caregiver for medicine if you have a cough or feel like you may vomit.
  • Do not push down hard (strain) when having a bowel movement. Pushing down hard or straining usually happens when you have constipation (dry, hard stools). Ask your caregiver for information on how to prevent constipation.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking may increase your risk of getting cataracts, which will make your lens more cloudy. Ask your caregiver for more information about how to stop smoking if you are having trouble quitting.
  • If you are diabetic, always follow your caregiver's instructions on how to keep your blood sugar normal.


  • You scratch or bump your eye.
  • You have trouble having a bowel movement.
  • You start vomiting.
  • You have a cough.
  • You have a fever (high body temperature).
  • You have chills.
  • You feel weak and achy.


  • Your vision suddenly gets worse.
  • You cannot see at all.
  • You feel a sharp pain in your eye that does not go away.
  • You have redness or swelling in or around your eyes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Intraocular Lens Placement (Aftercare Instructions)

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