Selecting Your IOL
For patients undergoing cataract surgery, understanding the changes that are part of the natural aging process is important when reviewing surgical options. An age-related condition called Presbyopia affects the eye’s ability to shift between distance to near vision. Presbyopia is the reason that many people require bifocals or a separate pair of glasses for reading as they get older. People with cataracts either already have this condition, or will likely develop it eventually. For this reason, selecting the appropriate intraocular lens implant (IOL) prior to cataract surgery is very important. One of our cataract surgeons will discuss the many IOL options with you during your exam, and help you to choose the IOL that best fits your needs and lifestyle.
Monofocal IOL and Glasses
If you choose to supplement your IOL with glasses to assist with your eyesight at either close or far range, a monofocal IOL may be the best option. An appropriate lens will be implanted, and you will require glasses for either reading or distance, depending on your choice of monofocal IOL. This is the standard IOL that is covered by most insurance companies such as Medicare.
A multifocal lens is a unique IOL designed to improve your ability to see at a distance, as well as restore some or all of the eye’s ability to focus at near and intermediate distances. The multifocal lens is intended to make you less dependent on glasses even for reading and intermediate vision. Usually insurance plans do not cover this upgrade.
Patients with Astigmatism
Patients who have astigmatism have an irregularly shaped cornea (more like a football, rather than a basketball). There are a few treatment options available to cataract surgery patients who have astigmatism:
- Have a monofocal lens implanted for near or distance vision, supplemented by contacts or glasses to treat astigmatism
- Choose to have a specialized IOL, known as a Toric IOL, implanted (usually insurance plans do not cover this upgrade and you will be charged separately)
If you are in need of cataract surgery, please contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our vision care specialists at Cascadia Eye.