Advanced Technology IOLs
Modern cataract surgery not only involves removing the cataract (cloudy natural lens) but also includes implantation of a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL). As with every other aspect of cataract surgery, IOLs have undergone tremendous advances, especially over the last 5-10 years. While all modern day IOLs are designed with newer materials that maximize safety and long term tolerability inside the eye, they are each unique in their design and optical profiles which allows them to be selected based on each individual patient’s needs. All insurances will pay for a monofocal IOL at the time of cataract surgery. These lenses are designed to provide excellent vision at one predetermined point (either distance OR up close). For example, patients who selected monofocal lens implants for distance in both eyes often can function quite well without glasses for distance vision, but will need to wear glasses for computer and reading vision. Conversely, patients who selected monofocal IOLs for near vision in both eyes often can read without glasses but will need glasses for driving and possibly even the computer. Furthermore, these IOLs do not correct for any pre-existing corneal based astigmatism. If astigmatism is present but not addressed at the time of cataract surgery, there is a greater likelihood that the patient will need astigmatism correction either with glasses or contacts for their best vision after cataract surgery. Now advanced technology IOLs are available to provide even more options for motivated patients.
Toric IOLs are designed to treat astigmatism. These lenses are precisely aligned at the time of cataract surgery to correct any pre-existing corneal based astigmatism. This allows for improved quality of vision and decreases the need for glasses for the distance OR up close.
Presbyopia Correcting IOLs (multifocal and accommodating IOLs)
These IOLs have different designs that allow them to either split light rays or flex inside the eye to improve computer or near vision without glasses, while at the same time allowing for good distance vision. While these IOLs each have unique characteristics and potential side-effects, studies have shown that in the right patients excellent outcomes can be expected and satisfaction is high.
These IOLs are designed to both correct astigmatism (Toric IOL) and improve intermediate vision (Presbyopia Correcting IOL). Often time glasses are still needed for small print up close.
It is important to note that while advances in cataract surgery and advanced technology IOLs have been revolutionary, no surgery is completely without risk and individual results may vary. These IOLs are not for everyone and your surgeon will discuss which options are best for you. Currently insurance will not cover the additional cost of these advanced technology IOLs but patients who choose to use them can pay the difference out of pocket without affecting the insurance coverage of the surgery itself. Call or contact us online to find out more about this amazing technology.