Have you been having difficulty seeing? You may be suffering from cataracts. Cataracts are a common age-related condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, causing your vision to slowly deteriorate. Living with cataracts can be a big adjustment and most patients eventually decide to have cataract surgery. When you have cataract surgery, your eye doctor removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a clear artificial lens. These lenses are called intraocular lenses, or IOLs. Let’s look at the different types of IOLs and how you can choose the right one for you.
A Guide to IOLs
There are three main types of IOLs to choose from. Each of these is a little bit different depending on what type of vision correction you need.
- Monofocal IOLs: Monofocal IOLs are the most common type of IOL covered by insurance and Medicare. They correct distance vision but you may still need to use glasses with this type of IOL. A monofocal IOL means that light can only be bent in order to focus on one point at a time. When the light is bent, a monofocal IOL is mean to explicitly focus on the retina.
- Multifocal IOLs: Multifocal lenses will correct your vision at every distance. This type of IOL can help you reduce your need for glasses. Multifocal IOLs are considered a premium lens option. At Washington Eye, our premium lens options available include Restor, Crystalens, Tecnis, and Toric. Talk to your eye doctor about which multifocal IOL is right for you.
- Astigmatism-correcting IOLs: This type of IOL helps correct astigmatism and improves distance vision. If you’re interested in a multifocal IOL or premium lens but you have astigmatism, a Toric IOL can actually correct both astigmatism and remove cataracts at the same time! For patients suffering from astigmatism, a Toric IOL is the most logical IOL to choose.
If you are considering cataract surgery, how do you know which IOL is the best choice? This depends on a couple things. First of all, are you okay with occasionally needing to wear glasses? If the answer is no, then multifocal IOLs will probably be your best bet.
On the other hand, if you need insurance to pay for your IOLs then you will want to consider monofocal IOLs. Your doctor can help you work through these details and decide on the IOLs that are best for you. To make the most of your appointment, write down any comments, questions, or concerns that you may have about IOLS or cataract surgery. We recommend that you share these questions with your doctor in order to start a dialogue about what to expect from cataract surgery and IOLs.
Before undergoing cataract surgery, it is important to know what IOLS are and what their unique advantages are. If you still have more questions about IOLs or just general inquiries about cataract surgery, we would love to talk to you more. Just contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors at Washington Eye!