An intraocular lens (or IOL) is a tiny, artificial lens for the eye. It replaces the eye’s natural lens that is removed during cataract surgery.

The lens bends (refracts) light rays that enter the eye, helping you to see. Your lens should be clear. But if you have a cataract, your lens has become cloudy. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract. Cataract surgery removes this cloudy lens and replaces it with a clear IOL to improve your vision.

IOLs come in different focusing powers, just like prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Your ophthalmologist will measure the length of your eye and the curve of your cornea. These measurements are used to set your IOLs focusing power.