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Once you’ve decided to proceed with cataract surgery, there is the big decision of which intraocular lens (IOL) lens to use. IOL is an artificial lens that is implanted in the eye during cataract surgery to replace the eye’s natural clouded crystalline lens. There are a few basic types of IOLs, each designed to correct vision at a specific visual range. Your doctor will discuss with you to decide which IOL is best suited for your visual needs. It is an important part of the decision process as it determines the vision you will live with for the rest of your life.
CONS: The Monofocal IOL is an intraocular lens that provides patients with only one focal point - up close or distant vision but not both. Depending on the profession and lifestyle of the patient, they would need to decide at what distance they want the clear vision. Most patients who choose Monofocal IOL will be dependent on glasses 95% of the time. Due to excellent distance vision, most people who choose the Monofocal IOL will have them set for clear distance vision which results in the need to use reading glasses for reading even after the surgery.
PROS: Because cataracts is considered a disease/condition where there is a reversible loss of vision, the Monofocal IOLs are generally fully covered by your insurance or Medicare.
PROS: Multifocal IOL provides patients with multiple focal points and corrects vision at both close-up and distant vision. Although you cannot expect to have the full range of crisp vision at both near and distance that you had when you were young, for the most part, you will be able to see with the freedom from glasses. Most patients who choose Multifocal IOL will only be dependent on glasses 5-10% of the time. Most tasks can be performed without glasses. Only when it is very very fine print is when reading glasses maybe necessary.
CONS: Since some of the premium IOL lens are relatively new, not all ophthalmologists will be able to provide this option as they are not trained to implant them. Secondly, much like Lasik eye surgery, the choice of Multifocal IOL is considered a luxury and not a medical necessity; therefore most insurance plans will not cover for the extra costs incurred.
PROS: The Toric Lens is designed to correct patients with higher astigmatism.
CONS: Much like the Multifocal IOL, not all ophthalmologists are trained to implant them and most insurance plans will not cover for this luxury lens.
PROS: LenSx is one of the most advanced computer-controlled refractive cataract laser. It uses laser bladeless technology to improve the safety and efficacy of cataract surgeries as well as reduce astigmatism. The LenSx femtosecond laser works by making the required incisions to break apart the eye’s natural clouded lens which is to be replaced by one of the aforementioned IOL lens.
CONS: Not all ophthalmologists are trained to implement this procedure and most insurance plans will not cover for this state of the art procedure.