is it better to be nearsighted or farsighted after cataract surgery

Is It Better To Be Nearsighted Or Farsighted After Cataract Surgery? Choosing Your Vision After Cataract Surgery

Thinking about ditching those cataracts and getting your vision sparkling clear again? That’s fantastic! But hold on, there’s a question some folks have after cataract surgery: Is it better to be nearsighted or farsighted after cataract surgery? The truth is, it depends on you!

There’s no magic answer, but this article will explain the difference between nearsightedness and farsightedness after cataract surgery and how to treat both!

Understanding Nearsightedness And Farsightedness: Seeing Up Close Or Far Away?

So, you’re wondering if you’ll be a bookworm’s best friend with super near vision or an eagle eye who can spot birds at a distance? Here’s the deal.

  • Nearsightedness (Myopia): is it better to be nearsighted or farsighted after cataract surgery issueRemember squinting to see the board in school? That’s nearsightedness. Basically, your eyeball is a tad too long, or your cornea is slightly too curved, so light focuses in front of your retina instead of smacking it. This makes distant objects blurry, but close-up stuff looks sharp.
  • Farsightedness (Hyperopia): Ever hold your phone at arm’s length to read? That might be farsightedness. Your eyeball is on the short side, or your cornea isn’t curved enough, causing light to focus behind your retina. Distant objects can usually be okay, but near work becomes a blurry mess.

Cataract Surgery And Your Vision: Can I Choose The Distance I Want?

During cataract surgery, your surgeon says goodbye to those cloudy cataracts and pops in a brand-new lens. This little marvel plays a big role in your post-surgery vision.

Here are the main artificial lens options we’ll be exploring:

Monofocal Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

These lenses are like the champions of one distance, near or long. If you choose distance vision, it’s perfect for driving, watching TV, or recognising your neighbour across the street.

You might need glasses for up-close tasks like reading, but hey, that’s a small price to pay for crystal-clear distance!

Multifocal Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

Imagine having distance, intermediate (think computer screen), and near vision all rolled into one. That’s the magic of multifocal IOLs!

These fancy lenses can ditch the glasses, letting you see clearly at all distances.

Accommodative Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

This special intraocular lens is like a tiny gymnast in your eye. Its flexible parts move and adjust as your eye muscles do, letting you focus on near and far objects, similar to how your natural lens used to shift between far, near, and intermediate vision.

Think of them as trying to recapture your eye’s youthful focusing skills. While not as common as the other options, they offer a more natural range of near and distant vision.



Why Nearsightedness Might Be Your Jam

So, you’re leaning towards being nearsighted? Here are some reasons why it might be the perfect fit for you:

Close-Up Freedom

Let’s be honest: ditching the reading glasses for everyday tasks like reading that morning paper, scrolling through social media, or whipping up a delicious recipe is pretty liberating.

Nearsightedness after surgery can mean conquering close-up tasks without needing glasses, making daily activities a breeze.

Presbyopia Power Play

Remember presbyopia, that age-related decline in near-focusing ability that challenges reading menus or seeing your phone screen?

By aiming for nearsightedness after cataract surgery, you can tackle both cataracts and presbyopia in one fell swoop! It’s like a two-for-one deal for clear vision at all distances you often use daily.

Lifestyle Matchmaker

If your day-to-day routine involves a lot of near work, such as reading, working at a computer, or spending time on hobbies that require close-up focus, then nearsightedness after surgery can be a game-changer.

You’ll be able to see clearly at the distances you use your eyes most, making everyday activities more enjoyable and efficient.

Why Farsightedness Might Be Your Perfect Match

Let’s say you crave that eagle-eye distance vision for all your outdoor adventures or simply prefer the idea of glasses for close-up tasks.

Here’s why farsightedness could be the ideal choice for you:

Distance Domination

Do you love scenic drives, hitting the golf course, or watching birds frolic in the backyard? Farsightedness after surgery can make these activities even more enjoyable.

You’ll be able to see clearly at far distances without needing glasses, letting you fully immerse yourself in the world around you.

Glasses For Specific Needs

is it better to be nearsighted or farsighted after cataract surgery presbyopiaWhile farsightedness after surgery means needing glasses for close-up tasks like reading or using a personal computer, it also offers some flexibility.

You can choose different glasses for specific situations. Want a stylish pair for everyday wear? Go for it! Need a magnifying pair for detailed close-up work? Easy!

Lifestyle Compatibility

If your daily lifestyle includes a lot of outdoor activities, such as driving or watching TV, then farsightedness after surgery might be a great fit.

You’ll have clear distance vision for the things you do most, and close-up tasks can be easily tackled with a well-chosen pair of reading glasses.

Potential For Unaided Vision

In some cases, depending on your circumstances and the success of the surgery, you might even be able to see clearly at a distance without having to wear glasses or contact lenses all the time.

This can be a bonus for those who prefer a glasses-free approach for distance vision.

Tweaking Your Vision After Cataract Surgery: Laser Vision Correction Options

Sometimes, you might want to fine-tune things even further. Here’s where laser surgery procedures like LASIK, PRK, SMILE, and ICL come in. Think of them as the polish after the paint job, helping you achieve that desired level of ditching the glasses!

  • LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis): Imagine using a laser-assisted surgery to gently reshape the clear dome at the front of your eye (the cornea). That’s LASIK in a nutshell. By tweaking the cornea’s curve, LASIK can potentially sharpen your focus and address any lingering nearsightedness or farsightedness after cataract surgery.
  • PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy): Similar to LASIK, PRK uses a laser to reshape the cornea. But instead of creating a tiny flap like LASIK, PRK goes a different route. Recovery might take longer with PRK, but it can be a good option for some folks after cataract surgery, especially those with thin corneas who might not be the best fit for LASIK.
  • SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction): This cool laser procedure uses a super-fast laser to create a tiny piece of corneal tissue within your eye. Then, a small cut is made, and that tiny piece is removed, reshaping the cornea and potentially correcting any leftover nearsightedness or farsightedness after cataract surgery. Compared to LASIK, SMILE might offer some perks, like less disruption to the cornea.
  • ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens): This procedure involves placing a special corrective lens behind the coloured part of your eye (the iris). Unlike LASIK or PRK, which reshape the cornea, ICL adds extra focusing power within the eye. ICLs can be a good option for people with significant nearsightedness or farsightedness after cataract surgery or for those who aren’t suitable candidates for corneal laser procedures like LASIK or PRK.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are multifocal lenses right for everyone?

Not everyone is a good fit for multifocal lenses. Discuss the upsides and downsides with your eye surgeon to see if they align with your expectations.

What are the risks of cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is a very safe procedure; however, as with any surgery, there are potential risks. Your eye surgeon will discuss these risks in detail during your consultation.

Can nearsightedness get worse over time?

Nearsightedness often develops in childhood and can progress until early adulthood. After that, it usually stabilises. However, some people experience a slight increase in nearsightedness as they age.

Isn’t farsightedness an age-related thing?

is it better to be nearsighted or farsighted after cataract surgery procedureWhile farsightedness can become more noticeable as we age, it’s actually a focusing issue that can be present from birth. The decline in near-focusing ability that many experience around 40 (presbyopia) differs from farsightedness, although they can sometimes overlap.

Unveiling The Perfect Vision For You

Cataract surgery is a life-changing procedure that can significantly improve your vision. Whether you aim for nearsightedness or farsightedness after surgery depends on your individual needs, lifestyle, and preferences.

Discussing these factors with your ophthalmologist is key to achieving the best possible outcome. Remember, there’s no single “better” option; the best choice is the one that allows you to enjoy a clear, functional vision and an improved quality of life.

Contact Armadale Eye Clinic, Armadale, 3143, VIC, at (03) 9070 5753 to regain your sharp vision instead of wearing glasses after cataract surgery.

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


Alio, Jorge L., et al. “Multifocal intraocular lenses: An overview.” Survey of Ophthalmology, vol. 62, no. 5, Sept. 2017, pp. 611–34.

Becker, Heidi I., MD. “Are Presbyopia and Farsightedness the Same Condition?” GoodRx, 10 Sept. 2021,

Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “What Is LASIK?” U.S. Food And Drug Administration, 15 Jan. 2021,

Clinic, Cleveland. “Non-Prescription ‘Cheaters’ Vs. Prescription Glasses.” Cleveland Clinic, 15 May 2024,

“Hyperopia (Farsightedness).” WebMD, 8 Nov. 2022,

Menapace, R., et al. “Accommodating Intraocular Lenses: A Critical Review of Present and Future Concepts.” Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, vol. 245, no. 4, Aug. 2006, pp. 473–89.

“Nearsightedness – Symptoms and Causes – Mayo Clinic.” Mayo Clinic, 19 Apr. 2024,

Sridhar, Uma, and Koushik Tripathy. “Monofocal Intraocular Lenses.” StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf, 25 Aug. 2023,

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