Accommodating intraocular lenses: a review of design concepts, usage and assessment methods

Clin Exp Optom. 2010 Nov;93(6):441-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2010.00532.x.


The correction of presbyopia and restoration of true accommodative function to the ageing eye is the focus of much ongoing research and clinical work. A range of accommodating intraocular lenses (AIOLs) implanted during cataract surgery has been developed and they are designed to change either their position or shape in response to ciliary muscle contraction to generate an increase in dioptric power. Two main design concepts exist. First, axial shift concepts rely on anterior axial movement of one or two optics creating accommodative ability. Second, curvature change designs are designed to provide significant amplitudes of accommodation with little physical displacement. Single-optic devices have been used most widely, although the true accommodative ability provided by forward shift of the optic appears limited and recent findings indicate that alternative factors such as flexing of the optic to alter ocular aberrations may be responsible for the enhanced near vision reported in published studies. Techniques for analysing the performance of AIOLs have not been standardised and clinical studies have reported findings using a wide range of both subjective and objective methods, making it difficult to gauge the success of these implants. There is a need for longitudinal studies using objective methods to assess long-term performance of AIOLs and to determine if true accommodation is restored by the designs available. While dual-optic and curvature change IOLs are designed to provide greater amplitudes of accommodation than is possible with single-optic devices, several of these implants are in the early stages of development and require significant further work before human use is possible. A number of challenges remain and must be addressed before the ultimate goal of restoring youthful levels of accommodation to the presbyopic eye can be achieved.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular*
  • Cataract Extraction
  • Ciliary Body / physiopathology
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Lenses, Intraocular* / standards
  • Motion
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiopathology
  • Presbyopia / physiopathology*
  • Presbyopia / surgery*
  • Pseudophakia / diagnosis
  • Pseudophakia / physiopathology