Until recently, choosing the type of lens implant used after cataract surgery was a decision left to the surgeon. Today, there are a number of Intraocular Lens Implants that are used to correct your vision after cataract surgery. Choosing which is best depends on the patient’s lifestyle, and whether being independent of glasses and/or contacts is an important goal after surgery.
During your cataract examination, the eye surgeon will help you learn about several different types of lens implants. These include Monofocal Lens Implants, Aspheric Lens Implants, Toric Lens Implants, and Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Multifocal Lens Implants.
Monofocal Lens Implants
A Monofocal Lens Implant is the most basic type of lens implant. It is used to correct vision after cataract surgery. This implant can provide very good vision after cataract surgery, but only at one set distance. A Monofocal Lens Implant does not correct arms length vision for things like playing cards or seeing a golf ball on a tee. Monofocal Lens Implants also does not correct your up close vision. Thus, patients electing to have Monofocal Lens Implants will be dependent on glasses in about 70% of situations.
Aspheric Lens Implants
An Aspheric Lens Implant reduces the visual disturbances caused by optical irregularities found in ordinary lens implants. This reduces the glare you might experience with basic lens implants, and can offer improved sharpness and contrast. However, Aspheric Lens Implants only correct distance vision. Aspheric Lens Implants do not usually correct intermediate or arms length vision. Patients wanting the best quality of distance vision may consider an Aspheric Lens Implant. However, these patients need to remember that it will still be necessary to wear reading glasses to correct their intermediate and near vision.
Aspheric Lens Implants usually cost slightly more than a basic lens implant. It is also possible that your insurance will not completely cover the cost. If you want the best possible distance vision after your cataract surgery, you will be able to discuss this option during your Cataract Consultation. Dr. Miller and staff are happy to explain all benefits, 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 abnormality caused by the cornea being shaped more like a football, rather than spherical like a basketball. For cataract patients who have astigmatism, choosing a Toric Lens Implant can help them be independent of glasses. Toric Lens Implants do not correct Presbyopia. Even with Toric Lens Implants, most patients still require reading glasses to comfortably perform near vision tasks.
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. Depending on your specific vision requirements, there are several types of presbyopia correcting lens implants that Dr. Miller might suggest. These include the AcrySof® ReSTOR® Multifocal Lens Implant or the Tecnis™ Multifocal Lens Implant. Both of these lens implants, as well as the Intraocular Lens, works in a different way to help you achieve your vision correction goals.
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 you will be able to see at distance and up close without being dependent on eyeglasses.
Patients choosing presbyopia correcting multifocal lens implants will find they can drive, watch television, play sports, read a menu, or do crafts all without glasses. Patients choosing multifocal lens implants typically experience a greater freedom from glasses, allowing them to participate in everyday activities without glasses dependence.
Risks of Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Multifocal Lens Implants
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 review your everyday activities, and whether being independent of glasses for those activities is something you would like to achieve. As you prepare for your examination, it will be helpful if you think about what those activities are so you can discuss them with staff.
If you decide to have a presbyopia correcting multifocal lens implant, our staff will review your questions and explain any additional fees. Medicare and most insurance covers the cost of the cataract surgery, the facility fee for cataract surgery, and the surgical fee for cataract surgery. However, it doesn’t typically cover 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. The Colorado Outpatient Eye Surgery Center will bill you for the additional cost of the lens implant itself. We will review any costs, as well as arrange easy and affordable monthly payments to fit your budget.
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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 at 303-777-5455.