Cataract Lens Implants
The Best Lens Implant for Cataract Surgery: An Individual Decision
During cataract surgery, a surgeon removes the cataract, which is the eye’s natural lens that has become cloudy and yellow. Your surgeon will then place an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) implant to focus light clearly on the retina again. We have many options on lens type and lens power to obtain the goal each individual wants after surgery.
When deciding on what lens is best for an individual, we use a variety of information and eye measurements to help the patient decide. Near-sighted and far-sighted people have quite different visual experiences their entire life so this starting point can influence the decision making. For instance, many near-sighted patients have always been able to read without their glasses and may prefer to keep their near vision intact.
The next factor to consider is how the patient feels about wearing glasses, either all the time, just for reading, or both. The financial aspect is also important since insurance covers a standard IOL, but insurance companies do not cover advance technology IOL’s that help reduce dependence on glasses. Insurance companies view the premium IOL’s as something “cosmetic”. The cost of premium IOL’s varies considerably, but generally add between $2,000 and $3,000 per eye.
If you want to avoid added cost or are happy to wear glasses it is perfectly fine to use a standard IOL covered by insurance. A standard IOL is still a high-quality lens using the newest lens technology available. This IOL can correct distance vision or near vision based on the patient’s preference. We expect your vision to greatly improve with this standard lens, you will just need glasses for some or all tasks.
Astigmatism is another topic that determines IOL options and decisions. Astigmatism means the cornea, or front surface of the eye, is not perfectly round. If a patient has more than a minor amount of astigmatism, glasses will still be needed for all tasks unless we correct the astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery. We can correct astigmatism with laser cataract surgery or an advanced technology lens implant called a Toric IOL.
For patients interested in decreasing their dependency on glasses at all distances we would recommend a multi-focal implant. This type of lens provides more than one focal distance so we can restore distance and near vision while greatly reducing the dependence on glasses. The PanOptix trifocal lens is currently the best multifocal lens available. Although this is the best multifocal lens available, it is not perfect and some patients will see rings around lights or still require low power reading glasses occasionally, especially in low light situations. We also use the Vivity IOL which provides enhanced near vision compared to a standard lens and does not cause rings or halos around lights. Generally the PanOptix will provide the best near vision and since most patients use near vision and only rarely drive at night the PanOptix IOL is the lens we most often recommend. Your surgeon can help you decide after a complete exam.
The Panoptix Cataract Lens Implant
The First ‘Tri-Focal’ Cataract Lens of Its Kind
Designed for Near, Intermediate & Distance
The AcrySof IQ Panoptix Trifocal Lens (IOL) is the first trifocal cataract lens approved by the Food & Drug Administration for U.S. patients undergoing cataract surgery. It delivers an exceptional combination of near, intermediate and distance vision to patients while significantly reducing the need for prescription glasses after surgery.
Designed For Active Lifestyles
The Panoptix IOL is designed for today’s active lifestyles, from viewing mobile devices and computer screens to high-quality distance vision in a wide range of lighting conditions. This lens uses ENLIGHTEN Optical Technology, a proprietary design that optimizes intermediate vision without compromising near and distance vision.
Our multi-focal Panoptix lens implants are specially designed with features to improve both your range of vision & your quality of vision. It is a landmark advance not only in cataract lens implant technology, but also in the quality of visual outcome for our patients, especially those with presbyopia.
The Vivity Cataract Lens Implant
Providing Patients A Continuous Range of High Quality Vision.
For An Extended Depth of Focus
The Vivity is the first ‘Extended-Depth-of-Focus’ IOL with non-diffractive X-WAVE™
technology. This remarkable technology offers patients a more seamless range of vision
without splitting light into different sectors of the lens. This allows the Vivity lens to
deliver the same high quality of vision and contrast of a monofocal – or single focus –
IOL, but with the added benefit of excellent intermediate (at arm’s length) and functional
near vision (up close).
Vivity Also Treats Astigmatism
The Vivity IOL is also available in ‘Toric’ designs for patients with Astigmatism. The
family of Vivity lenses are ideal for patients who are interested in restoring their visual
performance at all times – in all conditions – and improving their lifestyle. Most patients
report a low incidence of severe or very bothersome glare and halos at night.
Multi-Focal Cataract Lenses Give Patients A Broader Range of Vision
Multifocal Lens vs Monofocal Lens
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside your eye. This lens, located behind the iris, works just like the lens of a camera – focusing light images on the retina, which sends images to the brain. The lens can become so clouded that it keeps light and images from reaching the retina.
A cataract can be the reason sharp images become blurred, bright colors become dull, or seeing at night is more difficult. It may also be the reason glasses no longer seem to help. Vision with cataracts has been described as seeing through old, cloudy film. But a cataract is not a “film” over the eyes, but simply the aging of the body’s natural lens. Eye injury, certain diseases, or even some medications can also cause a cataract. A cataract is treated by removing the old cloudy lens and replacing it with a new artificial lens to restore your vision. This lens is called an Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL).
Once it is determined that you have cataracts and that they must be removed, there are several options for the type of lens implant that is used to restore your vision. Until recently, cataract patients received monofocal lens implants that only had a single power. With a monovision implant, you have a choice of correction for either near or far vision, but not both. The FDA has now approved multifocal lens implants for use by certified ophthalmologists. The multifocal lens can increase your chances for a life free of dependence on glasses or contacts after cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is an opportunity to minimize or eliminate the hassle of glasses and contacts from your life. The implantation process is the same for either type of lens. The main point of differentiation between the lens implants is the type of vision they provide.
- Corrects vision for far, near, and intermediate.
- Minimizes or eliminates glasses.
- Partial coverage by Medicare or other insurance.
- Provides good vision at one distance (typically far vision).
- Requires reading glasses after surgery.
- Covered by Medicare or private insurance.
Toric Intraocular Lens
Another exciting lens implant option is the new Toric Intraocular Lens from Alcon. Eye Physicians and Surgeons was the first in Augusta, and still one of the only, practices to offer this new technology. Astigmatism is a condition where the cornea has an irregular shape. Until recently, patients with astigmatism still required glasses after cataract surgery while patients without astigmatism enjoyed significantly less dependence on glasses. Astigmatism can be treated with glasses, contacts, and laser surgery. Since cataract surgery involves the lens inside the eye, any existing astigmatism from the cornea is still present after surgery. Fortunately, there is now a lens implant that can not only correct the cataract, but also greatly decrease astigmatism caused by an irregular cornea. Once the astigmatism is also corrected, your dependence on distance glasses will be greatly decreased or eliminated.