What is an Intraocular Lens?
An intraocular lens or IOL is usually implanted during cataract surgery to replace the clouded natural lens that is being removed. A comprehensive eye examination prior to surgery and discussion with your doctor will determine what type, size and power of IOL is needed. These lens implants are made from a flexible material and folded for insertion into the micro incision used to remove the cataract. Over the past several years there have been many advances in IOLs which have increased the number of lens choices available to patients. Your vision is achieved through a process of consultation with your eye surgeon to select the best lens to achieve your goals.
For more than 30 years, doctors have treated cataracts by replacing them with a conventional IOL, which allows you to focus clearly at one distance only. Typically, patients would choose to have the doctor aim for the best distance vision with the understanding that glasses would still be needed for close work, such as reading.
In recent years, however, IOLs have undergone tremendous advances. While your choice was previously limited to selecting a Standard IOL for one focal point, and using eye glasses for everything else; premium lenses can now provide good distance, intermediate and near vision. Our goal when using one of these premium IOL lenses is to provide you with a full range of vision, thus minimizing your dependence on glasses, including reading glasses or bifocals.
PREMIUM LENSES FALL INTO TWO CATEGORIES-MULTI-FOCAL OR ACCOMODATING
Multi-focal lenses work by using various optical zones seen as rings on the surface of the lens. These optical zones have different powers which determine the focal point based on what you are looking at.
Accommodating lenses work by shifting the focal point on hinges to mimic the natural change of focusing power you enjoyed up until about age 40-50. As you get older you develop presbyopic vision which simply means that your eyes have lost the ability to shift a focus point. Reading glasses are commonly required so that you can see things up close. The accommodating lens is designed to allow you to change the focal point of the lens.
These lenses are not for everyone and some additional testing will need to be completed to determine if you are a good candidate for these premium lenses. The majority of patients who have chosen premium IOLs are absolutely amazed with the results and would recommend the procedure to their friends and family who have cataracts.
For patients with astigmatism who are having cataract surgery, you now have an additional option; an IOL that makes it possible to treat the cataract and correct your astigmatism at the same time. These IOLs are called Toric IOLs. Your doctor will recommend the option that is best for you.
If you want to learn more about the life changing procedures involved in modern cataract surgery, we will be happy to answer all your questions. Although most insurance companies cover the cost for removal of your cataract, no insurance company will pay the additional amount charged for Toric, Multi-focal or Accommodative Lenses. If you are interested in any of these products or services, please understand that you will pay an additional fee per eye.