During cataract surgery, the natural lens (the cataract) is removed and a new, synthetic lens (IOL) is implanted in its place. Thanks to advances in IOL technology, there are now more options available for you as you choose an IOL. The standard IOL used in cataract surgery is called a monofocal IOL and it provides excellent vision for either distance or near, but not both. Most patients choose to correct their distance vision and then wear reading glasses for near work. The newer, “premium IOLs” can decrease your dependence on glasses and in some cases, eliminate it. Our surgeons will first need to establish if you are a candidate for these IOLs. In addition, there is no guarantee that you will be completely free of glasses for all activities after surgery with a premium IOL. However, for those patients who value the opportunity to be less dependent of their glasses, premium IOLs are often a good choice. It is important to know that there is an extra charge for these premium implants which is not covered by Medicare or private insurance.
Multifocal IOLs have multiple rings of power on the optic of the lens (the portion that focuses light). These rings allow light to be focused at distance, intermediate and near simultaneously. After a period of adaption, your brain learns to choose the correct image. This adaption period begins once both eyes have been implanted with the multifocal IOL. These IOLs are best suited for healthy eyes, without evidence of glaucoma or macular degeneration. Additionally, patients with astigmatism are typically poor candidates for these lenses. As with everything in life, there are pros and cons with multifocal IOLs. Premium IOLs are the only implants that give you a full range of vision for distance, intermediate and near. They are made of the same synthetic material as standard IOLs and are equally safe for implantation in your eyes. Multifocal IOLs decrease your dependence on glasses but they may also mildly decrease the clarity of your vision. Patients with multifocal IOLs may also be more likely to experience glare and halos at night compared to patients with standard monofocal IOLs. Our surgeons are happy to help you decide which IOL is best for you at your consultation.
Astigmatism results from an irregular shape in your cornea. Instead of being shaped like a sphere, the cornea is shaped more like a football, with one axis that is steeper than the other. Standard IOLs do not correct for astigmatism, but the Acrosof® Toric IOLs are designed specifically for this purpose. These IOLs can help you achieve excellent distance vision without glasses are a great option for patients with stable astigmatism.