Intraocular Lenses (IOLs): Choosing the Right Lens for Cataract Surgery

An intraocular lens is implanted after the eye’s natural lens turns opaque because of cataract removal. Intraocular lenses, or IOLs, have significantly evolved in recent years. These lenses were fully approved in the USA by the Food and Drug Administration. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that these lenses have transformed the cataract treatment. The lens not only treats cataracts but also other vision problems, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, or presbyopia.

Vision for Life is at the forefront of intraocular lens (IOL) technology. Dr. Jeffrey D. Horn is an award-winning cataract surgeon and expert in IOL surgery. He consults with every patient to determine the intraocular lens implant that adequately fits their needs.

Different Types of IOLs Lenses for Cataract Surgery?

There are different types of IOLs. These include the following:

  • Monofocal lenses provide the best possible vision at a single distance. Most people who get these lenses use reading glasses for near-vision tasks.
  • Multifocal IOLs have in-built corrective zones built into the lens. So, the individual can see both near and distant objects. Some IOLs also correct intermediate vision.
  • Extended depth-of-focus (EDOF) IOLs have a single corrective zone, which is stretched to allow far and near vision.
  • Accommodative lenses correct vision at near and far distances. The lens uses the eye muscle’s natural movements to alter focus.
  • Toric lenses come with built-in correction for astigmatism. These can be found as mono-focal and some presbyopia-correcting IOLs.
  • Light-adjustable lens (LAL). This IOL can be customized post-surgery. The surgeon can adjust the lens for any leftover refractive error after the eye recovers. Thus, you don’t require glasses for distance vision. The surgeon makes the adjustments through various office-based light treatment methods.

How to Choose the Best Intraocular Lens for Yourself?

Here are some questions to consider when choosing an IOL for yourself.

  1. Find the Type of IOL That You Afford.

Only specific types of IOLs are covered by insurance. So, if your IOL does not fall within insurance, you may have to talk with your surgeon about other options. However, the good news is that major insurance plans, such as Medicare, do cover a majority of the cost of the most common IOL, the monofocal lens. Many people have been using these lenses, and they are a very popular choice among people.

It is worth bearing in mind that intraocular lenses like multifocal, EDOF, toric, light-adjustable lenses, and accommodative IOLs are premium lenses. They fall in this category because they can reduce your need for glasses or contact lenses. These glasses are a bit more pricey than Monofocals. You need to pay out of pocket for them.

  1. Assess Your Lifestyle

Do you spend much time in front of your computer or any other digital devices? In such a case, a suitable option for you will be monofocal IOL for close vision. You can use glasses for distance vision activities.

If you find glasses bothersome, you can opt for mono-focal lenses. However, set one lens for distance and the other for near vision. This is a method called “monovision.” But it may not be suitable for everyone.

  1. Do You Drive During the Night?

If you regularly drive at night, it is best not to opt for multifocal or EDOF lenses. You have a much higher likelihood of experiencing glare, halos around lights, or contrast loss. These side effects can also occur in dimly lit places. Of course, you could adapt to them. But it is still more convenient to use mono-focal IOLs if you drive at night.

  1. Do You Have Mild or High Astigmatism?

People with astigmatism have an uncurved cornea. Their cornea resembles a football, wherein one curve is longer than the other. This deforms both near and distant objects. For individuals with moderate to high astigmatism, toric IOLs might be the perfect choice.

Besides the IOL, the surgeon may also perform limbal relaxing incisions. This process reduces the astigmatism condition. You can get limbal relaxing incisions at the time of cataract surgery or at any other time.

  1. Presence of Other Eye Conditions

Do you have other medical eye conditions? People with eye conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration should not opt for certain types of IOLs. These include Multifocal and EDOF lenses. The main reason behind this is that these types of IOLs allow less light into your eye. Thus, they have an opposite negative effect. The lenses can actually aggravate things for people with vision loss. For these people, a suitable option will be monovision.

You must know about the different options you have when it comes to IOL lenses. It will help you converse better with your surgeon. At Vision for Life, it’s our top priority to educate our patients on the best possible solution to their individual visual needs. If you’re searching for the top ophthalmologist in Nashville, we invite you to visit Vision for Life and schedule an appointment today.