Up until recently, choosing the type of lens implant to be used after cataract surgery was a decision that was left to the cataract surgeon. Today, there are a number of types of Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL) that can be used to correct your vision after cataract surgery. Choosing which one is best depends on the lifestyle of the patient and whether being independent of eyeglasses, including reading glasses and bifocals, is an important personal goal after cataract surgery.
During your cataract examination, the eye surgeons and staff will spend time with you to help you learn about and select from several different types of lens implants including Monofocal Lens Implants, which are the most basic type of lens implant and only correct distance vision and not arms length or close reading vision, Aspheric Lens Implants, which offer a higher quality distance vision but still do not correct arms length or close reading vision, Toric Lens Implants for those patients with astigmatism and Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Multifocal Lens Implants such as the ReSTOR® Lens Implant and ReZoom™ Lens Implant which correct distance vision, as well as arms length vision and close reading vision for most patients.
Monofocal Lens Implants
A Monofocal Lens Implant is the most basic type of lens implant used to correct vision after cataract surgery. A Monofocal Lens Implant can provide very good vision after cataract surgery-but only at one set distance-usually for seeing things at a distance such as for driving or going to the movies. A Monofocal Lens Implant does not correct intermediate or arms length vision for doing things like playing cards and seeing the golf ball on the tee, or even seeing computer screens clearly. Nor do Monofocal Lens Implants correct near vision for doing things up close like seeing medicine bottles, reading or keeping your golf score, as these tasks require the correction of Presbyopia. Thus patients electing to have Monofocal Lens Implants will be dependent on glasses either some or most of the time in about 70% of cases.
Aspheric Lens Implants
An Aspheric Lens Implant is a type of lens implant that is specifically designed to reduce the visual disturbances caused by the optical aberrations found in ordinary lens implants. This reduces the tendency to see “glare” that you might experience with basic lens implants and thus can offer improved sharpness and contrast, helping patients in certain lighting conditions. Aspheric Lens Implants only correct distance or far vision, such as that required for driving. Aspheric Lens Implants do not usually correct intermediate or “arms length” vision, such as that required for viewing computer screens, and do not correct near vision as required for reading. Patients who wish to have the best quality of distance vision may wish to consider an Aspheric Lens Implant, but need to remember that it will still be necessary to wear reading glasses or bifocals to correct their intermediate and near vision. Aspheric Lens Implants usually cost slightly more than a basic lens implant and it is possible that your insurance will not completely cover the cost of the Aspheric Lens Implant. If you are particularly demanding and want the best possible distance vision after your cataract surgery, you will be able to discuss this option with Drs. Larkin and Miller and the staff during your Cataract Consultation. Drs. Larkin and Miller and the staff will be pleased to explain all of the possible benefits and the staff will be able to explain any additional costs and arrange payment if necessary.
Toric Lens Implants
Toric Lens Implants are a type of lens implant that can correct astigmatism. Astigmatism is an optical aberration that is caused by the cornea being shaped more like a football, than spherical like a basketball. For cataract patients who have astigmatism, and who do not wish to wear eyeglasses to see clearly at a distance, choosing a Toric Lens Implant can help them be independent of glasses for tasks such as driving, that require clear distance vision. Toric Lens Implants do not correct Presbyopia, and thus even with Toric Lens Implants to correct astigmatism after cataract surgery, most patients still require reading glasses or bifocals to be able to comfortably perform near vision tasks such as reading and intermediate vision tasks such as computer work.
Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Multifocal Lens Implants
Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Lens Implants provide excellent vision after cataract surgery at the full range of distances-far or distance vision, arms length or intermediate vision and up close near vision. Depending on your specific vision requirements, there are several types of presbyopia correcting multifocal lens implants that Drs. Larkin and Miller might suggest, including the AcrySof® ReSTOR® Multifocal Lens Implant or the Tecnis™ Multifocal Lens Implant. Each of these lens implants or Intraocular Lenses (IOL) works in a different way to help you achieve your vision correction goals of being able to see at a variety of distances after cataract surgery-without being dependent on eyeglasses or reading glasses.
Presbyopia correcting multifocal lens implants correct both your distance vision and your presbyopia after cataract surgery. For the vast majority of patients, having a multifocal lens implant means that you will be able to see at distance and up close without being dependent on eyeglasses.
Patients choosing to have a presbyopia correcting multifocal lens implant will most likely find that they can drive, watch television, play golf and keep score, read a menu, play cards or do crafts-without the need for glasses. Patients choosing multifocal lens implants typically experience a greater overall freedom from glasses allowing them to participate in most everyday activities without dependence on, or the hassle of glasses.
As with any surgical procedure, there are always risks as well as benefits. During your eye examination and cataract consultation, we will perform a cataract examination and then arrange your cataract surgery scheduling. In addition, we will the spend the time necessary to review the everyday activities that are most important to you-and whether being independent of glasses for those activities is something that you would like to achieve. As you prepare for your visit to The Eye Center for your examination it will be helpful if you begin thinking about what those activities are so that you can discuss them and explore them with the staff.
If you decide to have a presbyopia correcting multifocal lens implant, our staff will make sure to review your questions and fully explain any additional fees related to the multifocal lens implant that you might be responsible for. Medicare and most insurance covers the cost of the cataract surgery, the facility fee for cataract surgery, the surgical fee for cataract surgery-but not the cost of the presbyopia correcting multifocal lens and its implantation. In most cases, Medicare or the insurance provider asks The Eye Center to bill you for the additional cost of the necessary testing and lens implantation and the Colorado Outpatient Eye Surgery Center to bill you for the additional cost of the lens implant itself. We will be pleased to review any costs as well as arrange easy affordable monthly payments to fit your budget, should you decide that the multifocal lens is the best choice.
The Eye Center is conveniently located for patients wishing to learn about the various types of lens implants after cataract surgery from Denver, Aurora, Arvada, Highlands Ranch, Parker, Lone Tree, Centennial, Bailey, Pine, Evergreen, Conifer, Wheat Ridge, Westminster, Commerce City, Englewood, Littleton, Sheridan, Cherry Hills Village, Northglenn, Broomfield and Greenwood Village. If you, a family member or friend, would like to learn more about cataract surgery and lens implants or schedule an eye examination for cataract surgery, please call The Eye Center in Denver, Colorado at 303-777-5455