Following the removal of the eye’s clouded natural crystalline lens during cataract surgery, an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted in its place. An IOL is a meticulously crafted lens that permanently replaces the removed natural lens, restoring clear vision to the patient who receives it. Perfectly transparent, the IOL will never become clouded and they are so lightweight and pliable that once in place will be undetectable by the wearer or those around them.
Your Options for Intraocular Lenses
Following your cataract surgery, you have the option of choosing between a variety of premium intraocular lenses based on your specific vision goals. While you and your doctor will discuss the best option for you, below are the 3 main categories of IOLs.
The most traditionally used IOL, the monofocal IOL is designed to correct vision at a single distance, near, intermediate, or far. Patients often choose to use a monofocal IOL to improve far distance vision and utilize eyeglasses for near vision, such as reading.
Patients who are seeking to correct their vision at multiple distances are well suited for the multifocal IOL. Applying different focusing power in different areas of the lens, a patient’s range of vision can be expanded to see clearly at more than one distance. Often wearers of a multifocal IOL can considerably reduce or eliminate their need to wear glasses.
Toric IOLs are designed for cataract patients wishing to correct near and farsightedness that also suffers from corneal astigmatism due to an irregularly shaped cornea. The IOL can be precisely aligned to ensure the best possible visual outcome based on your specific level of refractive error. Toric IOLs can severely lessen the effects of astigmatism so you may not necessitate the use of glasses following your cataract surgery.
Things to Consider When Selecting an Intraocular Lens
Consider the following questions to help you determine your personal needs:
Does cost or insurance coverage factor in your decision?
Not every type of IOL is covered by insurance but most insurance companies will cover the cost of a monofocal lens. As the most traditional and popular option, monofocal lenses are able to provide the best possible vision correction at a single distance – near, middle, or far. It is quite common for patients who choose the monofocal IOL to correct their vision for distance and utilize reading glasses for near vision.
Do you regularly use a computer or smartphone?
If you spend a lot of time using digital devices, either for work or leisure, then you may best benefit from monofocal lenses to obtain what is known as “monovision”. To do so, one lens will be set for near vision and the other for far. In doing so, the brain reconciles the information provided by each eye to produce adequate vision at intermediate distances.
Is your goal to see both near and far – eliminating the need for eyeglasses?
Multifocal lenses can provide clearer vision at multiple distances, both near and far. Patients wishing to forgo wearing glasses or contact lenses find multifocal IOLs to be a great fit though there is usually some compromise to be made for far distance vision. Furthermore, multifocal lenses are more expensive than monofocal lenses and are not typically fully covered by insurance.
Do you often drive at night?
If you regularly drive at night, a multifocal IOL may not be the ideal choice for you. Side effects including halos and glare from lights as well as decreased visual sharpness at far distances can occur with multifocal lenses at night or in dimly light areas. Patients can often adapt to these visual side effects but those who spend a lot of time on the road after sunset may find the monofocal IOL to be a much better fit.
Do you have astigmatism?
In the past, patients with astigmatism were not ideal candidates for intraocular lenses due to the irregular shape of the cornea associated with astigmatism. Today, Toric IOLs are available to those with moderate to advanced astigmatism. Toric lenses have astigmatism correction built-in and provide clear vision at both near and far distances.
LaserVue Eye Center – Trusted Cataract Treatment for Over 20 Years
It is our belief that the key to great patient-doctor relationships is trust. Our skilled doctors and staff will make certain that you are informed and prepared to make the best possible decisions regarding your vision needs. To learn more about your options for Cataract Treatment and choosing an Intraocular Lens, please call or contact online the team at LaserVue Eye Center today to schedule your FREE consultation.
You’re going to love your new vision!