Multifocal intraocular lenses, or multifocal IOLs, are used to correct presbyopia in adults as well as cataracts. However, according to Dr. Magda Rau’s observations over 12 years of study show that there are significant gender differences in patients’ preferences and outcomes with multifocal IOLs.
Dr. Rau has found that women adjust more quickly and have fewer complaints after IOL surgery. She also found that women tend to prefer better near-vision correction, while men tend to prefer distance vision. However, Dr. Rau also says that younger women who work outside the home have shifted their preference to distance vision, while older female cataract patients with more traditional, stay-at-home gender roles stick to near vision.
While Dr. Rau speculates that these gender differences in IOL preference stem from women prioritizing reading and other near-vision activities, while men tend to desire a wide, distance view of the world. She has also noticed that women tend to hold reading materials closer than men, since women have shorter arms, on average, and tend to read with elbows bend whereas men tend to read with arms extended.