EP: IOL Materials: What We Know Today


Professor Gerd Auffarth (Germany) explores IOL materials with Dr Ben LaHood (Australia). Together, they dive into the widespread debate surrounding hydrophobic and hydrophilic lenses and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, including material opacification and glistenings.


Prof Gerd Auffarth (host)
Professor Gerd Auffarth is one of the world’s leading intraocular lens experts. He is a Chairman of The Department of Ophthalmology, Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, and the Head of the David J. Apple Center for Vision Research. He also serves as the Director of the IVCRC.  In 2018, Gerd ranked second in the The Ophthalmologist’s Powerlist of the World’s Top 100 most influential people in the world of ophthalmology.

Dr Ben LaHood (guest)
Dr Ben LaHood is a world-renowned expert in refractive cataract and laser vision correction surgery. His research focusing on astigmatism management and biometry is frequently published and presented worldwide. Ben also hosts two popular ophthalmic podcasts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dr LaHood has been using hydrophilic IOLs for a decade and has not reported significant issues relating to opacification.
  • Prof Auffarth believes it’s ‘completely unfair’ to brand a category of IOLs negatively, especially hydrophilic IOLs in association with opacification when cases are so rare.
  • Dr LaHood highlights the importance of patient selection, and explains how surgeons can minimise the risk of opacification by discussing the elimination process of patients considered high risk.
  • Dr LaHood believes the key advantages of hydrophilic IOLs overcome the small risk of opacification. The key benefits of hydrophilic IOLs include their foldability, biocompatibility, variety of optical designs, and lack of glistenings.


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