In the past, getting cataract surgery meant having the natural lens removed without any replacement for it. Cataract surgery patients would have to wear thick glasses to see normally.
But when you get cataract surgery now, the natural lens is instead replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens. Not only can IOLs help you see clearly, but they can also improve your vision and reduce the need for glasses.
Premium IOLs can be more expensive, but for some people, the cost is worth the visual improvement. It depends on you and your individual needs. Keep reading to learn if premium lens implants are worth it!
Standard IOLs are the most basic kind of IOL available and are usually covered by insurance. These are monofocal IOLs.
These IOLs are uniform lenses set to one refractive power, much like standard glasses. Most of the time, patients who opt for monofocals are given one in one eye set to see at a distance and the other for close focus.
This creates monovision, and it allows most patients to see at a middle distance without the need for contacts or glasses. But they may still need reading glasses to see well up close.
There are several kinds of premium IOLs, with more being developed and added to the market every few years. Each kind of IOL works a little differently.
They all have the same goal of providing patients with crisp vision and eliminating the need for glasses after cataract surgery.
Multifocal IOLs are lenses that have rings of alternating refractive powers coming out of the center of the lens. The design trains the eye to look out of the right part of the lens depending on what is being focused on.
This allows for fine focus when viewing objects up close.
Accommodative IOLs are lenses that actually change shape depending on what you are viewing. When focusing on something up close, the lens thickens to see objects clearly.
When the eye is relaxed, the lens is thin and allows comfortable distance vision.
The PanOptix trifocal IOL is like a multifocal IOL, but instead of rings that alternate between two refractive powers, it alternates between three refractive powers. One for close vision, one for distance, and one for middle distance.
This allows the patient to see more clearly at a middle distance as well as up close. The PanOptix trifocal IOL works very well for patients that want to be able to complete tasks that are at an intermediate distance, like an arm’s length away.
Toric IOLs are designed specifically to correct astigmatism. For patients with astigmatism, toric IOLs may reduce the need for glasses or contacts used to correct their vision normally.
What Are Your Needs?
For some people, monofocal IOLs are adequate and they don’t need anything else. For others, the visual freedom that premium IOLs offer is well worth the price.
To determine who you are, think about what you want to get out of cataract surgery. Are you okay with reading glasses?
If you don’t mind wearing reading glasses after cataract surgery, then a standard monofocal IOL may be a good fit. Do you want to be able to see better up close?
Most premium IOLs can provide that ability very well. Want to correct your astigmatism? A toric IOL is the way to go.
If you spend a lot of time on the computer, doctors previously recommended that you stick to monofocals, as they provide good middle-distance vision. With the PanOptix trifocal lens now available, this is a good premium alternative for frequent electronics users as it allows for strong middle-distance vision.
The final decision is up to you, but don’t be afraid to consult with your doctor to figure out the best lens for you.
Still not sure what kind of IOL to choose? Schedule a cataract screening at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Reno, NV to discuss your options with our expert ophthalmologists!