Do you need to have cataract surgery? The procedure involves removing your cataract by removing your natural lens from the eye.
Cataracts form on the natural lens, necessitating its removal. Removing the cataract from the lens is impossible without extracting both.
But to see clearly, you still need a lens in your eye. A critical component of cataract surgery is replacing the natural lens with an artificial one.
The artificial lens is called an intraocular lens or IOL. The IOL takes over the job that the once clear natural lens was able to accomplish before you developed cataracts.
With an IOL, you can see clearly after having cataract surgery. There are several kinds of IOLs.
Choosing the right intraocular lens before you have cataract surgery can feel like a daunting task. Luckily, this is not a decision that you have to make alone.
Your cataract surgeon at Sierra Nevada Eye Center can recommend the best one for you based on your visual goals and needs after cataract surgery. But how do you know if you’ve chosen the right IOL before you have your cataracts removed?
Keep reading to find out how to select an IOL with the best cataract surgeon in Reno and Carson!
Standard vs. Premium IOLs
Cataract surgery is a medically necessary procedure because it restores your vision while preventing or reversing blindness. For this reason, it’s usually covered by most health insurance plans.
But even though the procedure is covered, the same is not true of all intraocular lenses. Most plans only cover the most basic IOL available, called a monofocal lens.
Monofocal IOLs are standard IOLs that are uniform all over and can help you see either up close or far away. Because a monofocal lens only corrects for vision at one distance, patients need to use reading glasses to compensate for vision at other distances.
Monofocals can be used to see up close or far away but don’t transition between distances. If you only need to look at things up close occasionally, a monofocal IOL may suit your needs.
You may also want to try monovision, which uses monofocal lenses to help patients see up close and far away. Monovision works by putting one lens in the eye for seeing things up close, and the other lens has a lens for seeing far away.
Although it is more uncommon, monovision can allow patients to see well and reduce dependence on glasses. Monovision cannot provide a range of vision, meaning patients can only see functionally up close and far away.
There are premium IOLs for those that like the idea of reducing their dependence on glasses and contact lenses after cataract surgery. These IOLs are not covered by insurance plans and are instead paid out of pocket.
However, they provide patients with a better range of vision and often reduce or eliminate the need for glasses. You may choose a premium IOL over a monofocal lens if you want your best vision after cataract surgery.
Premium IOL Options
At Sierra Nevada Eye Center, we’re always offering our patients the most advanced and state-of-the-art technology available. You’ll find the following premium IOL options:
PanOptix Trifocal IOL
The PanOptix trifocal IOL is the first and only trifocal IOL. It’s a lens with separate sections designed to help you see at a different distance. One area allows you to see up close, one helps you see far away, and one helps you see at an intermediate distance.
Your eye automatically looks through the right part of the lens, depending on how far away something is. Patients with the PanOptix trifocal IOL can see very well up close and at a middle distance without impacting their ability to see far away.
They also rarely or never need to use reading glasses after cataract surgery. It’s especially well-suited to patients that spend a lot of time using the computer, whether for work or leisure, as it works well in all lighting situations, even dim ones.
The Vivity is the first and only non-diffractive Extended Depth of Focus intraocular lens. The Vivity IOL uses proprietary X-WAVE technology to smooth the transition between sections of the lens that use different refractive powers.
The lens sections are divided and transition seamlessly into one another, offering a range of clear vision between two different focal points. Patients with the Vivity IOL can see at a range of distances, with excellent intermediate vision and functional vision when looking at things up close.
The Vivity IOL also minimizes visual disturbances like glare and halos.
Tecnis Symfony IOL
The Tecnis Symfony IOL is another extended depth of focus IOL that offers a continuous range of vision. This lens provides good vision at all distances with a seamless transition between distances.
Patients may need reading glasses for fine focus tasks.
How to Choose an IOL
With so many options, you may feel it’s impossible to choose the right IOL. First, you have to consider a few things.
What can you afford? Premium IOLs can be expensive, so you need to make sure paying out of pocket for a premium lens is something that won’t break the bank.
Do you want to achieve your best possible vision after surgery? Opt for a premium lens. Do you drive a lot at night?
Make sure you find a premium IOL that won’t make it harder to see headlights or oncoming traffic. Do you want to drastically reduce the need for reading glasses?
Consider the PanOptix trifocal IOL to ensure you’ll see well at all distances and reduce your dependence on glasses and contact lenses after cataract surgery. You also need to consider your lifestyle and your visual goals. Do you need to be able to see things far away? These are all excellent questions to ask yourself.
The good news is that you don’t need to navigate all these questions and decisions alone. Your cataract surgeon is here to help!
Recommendations from the Best Cataract Surgeon in Reno and Carson
At Sierra Nevada Eye Center, we have three of the best cataract surgeons in Reno and Carson who are happy to help you choose the perfect IOL to suit you and your unique needs. If you want the best cataract surgeon and advice, schedule your cataract consultation at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Reno and Carson, NV, today!