The old stigma of being diagnosed with cataracts has been transformed through technology into some pretty exciting choices! Lens implants are placed in the eye after the eye’s natural crystalline lens is removed because of a cataract. At The Eye Center of Northern Colorado, we offer several lens options to meet your overall vision goals and lifestyle after cataract surgery:
- Monofocal Lens
- Multifocal Lens
- Toric Lens
The Monofocal Lens provides a single focal point designed to promote clear distance vision. This means you will be able to see objects far away and will most likely need glasses for reading and any type of close detailed work.
MULTIFOCAL (PRESBYOPIA-CORRECTING) LENS
Most people over age 50 lose their ability to read without glasses due to presbyopia. The Multifocal Lens now makes it possible to regain the close-up vision you may have had when you were younger.
Multifocal Lenses have multiple focal points, designed to replace the natural lens affected by the cataract and correct presbyopia (the ability to focus up close) in order to provide a full range of vision; near, far and in-between. The Multifocal Lens design also offers enhanced image quality.
If you are diagnosed with cataracts and are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for the Multifocal Lens:
- Difficulty reading
- Challenges seeing close objects
- Difficulty seeing to drive, especially at night
- Changing glasses prescriptions
- Needing bifocals
TYPES OF MULTIFOCAL LENSES
The AcrySof ReStor® lens is an advanced technology lens which may allow patients to see at all distances without glasses. ReStor® Intraocular Lenses give you the freedom to reduce and even eliminate the need for glasses to read a menu, work on the computer, watch television and see far distances.
The Crystalens is the first and only FDA-approved accommodating Intraocular Lens. Crystalens was modeled after the human eye. Like the eye’s natural lens, it uses the eye muscle to flex and accommodate back and forth as you constantly change focus on images at all distances around you.
Tecnis lens is a great fit for cataract surgery patients that have difficulty reading or seeing objects up close and who wear bifocals. The Tecnis lens accommodates all distances and at all light levels, reducing the occurrence of poor night vision. Tecnis also reduces the appearance of halos or glares, side effects that are common with other post-cataract surgery multifocal lens implants.
TORIC (ASTIGMATISM-CORRECTING) LENS
Toric lenses can correct astigmatism which is a condition where the cornea is warped so light rays entering the eye cannot focus on one spot of the retina. This results in distorted, blurry or even double vision. Toric lenses have a single focal point to provide distance vision and enhanced image quality.
Correcting astigmatism is considered an elective procedure by Medicare/private insurance because there is no disease or emergency condition that requires it to be corrected. When correction is elected, astigmatism reduction represents a goal rather than a guarantee; there is always a slight risk of over/under correction.
There are other ways to correct astigmatism in conjunction with cataract removal/lens implantation (all require some out-of-pocket expense to the patient):
LIMBAL RELAXING INCISION (LRI)
This is a procedure where the surgeon makes a small incision in the cornea at the time of the cataract surgery to help the cornea become more spherical in shape. Traditionally this was done by hand; with the Eye Center of Northern Colorado’s advanced LenSx technology we use customized measurements and a laser to make the incision. Using this technology, you can expect more consistent and precise results. The LRI works well with mild to moderate amounts of astigmatism. The risks of this procedure are the same as those associated with cataract surgery, and no additional medications or postoperative care is needed beyond what is normally required with cataract surgery.
Corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses can be worn following cataract surgery to correct excess astigmatism to allow for best-corrected vision.
Medicare or private insurance commonly cover the cost of cataract surgery and a standard Monofocal Lens. Out-of-pocket fees apply to all upgraded lens designs and secondary surgical procedures: Multifocal, Toric, LRI.
While there is an out of pocket fee (above and beyond Medicare/private insurance coverage) for Premium Lenses, Toric Lenses and surgical alternatives (LRI/LASIK) for correcting pre-existing astigmatism, they offer significant visual benefits over the Monofocal Lens.
To Learn More About Cataract Surgery Payment Options and Financing, Click the Link Below:
To learn more about the IOL options we offer for cataract surgery, contact us today at (970) 221-2222 to schedule a Cataract Consultation.