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Lens Implant Options

Choosing The Vision You’ll Enjoy for the Rest of Your Life

Cheerful mature woman carring shopping bags

Advancements in lens implant technology now give those who are ready for cataract surgery options for post-surgery vision.  You might prefer a traditional monofocal lens implant because distance vision is your primary concern.  Or you might choose a multifocal lens implant, so you can see better at a fuller range of near, intermediate and distance without glasses.  Or you might choose a toric lens, so your astigmatism is corrected precisely, in one step, during surgery.

The most important decision you’ll make during your Lens Evaluation, and the most important conversation you’ll have with Dr. Hayden, is what type of vision you want afterwards.  The cataract surgery itself is quite straightforward.  But lens implant choice is uniquely personal, as no two people use their vision identically.  We’ll help you consider how you use your vision while driving, reading, working on the computer, during the day and at night, so that we match you with the ideal lens implant for your lifestyle.  Lens choice is not one-size-fits-all.  Until ten years ago, distance lens implants were the only choice.  Today, there are many implant options, each of which Dr. Hayden will consider in consultation with you.  We will guide you so that you are able to comfortably and safely resume activities and hobbies you most enjoy after your cataract is removed.

Presbyopia-Correcting Lens Implants

Multifocal Lens Implants Restore the Broadest Range of Vision

Presbyopia-correcting implants are designed to provide the broadest range of vision without glasses. These implants provide vision most like you enjoyed in your mid-30s.  We can’t guarantee that you’ll never need glasses for any task if you choose these multifocal implants, but you should only need glasses for certain, limited activities.  Because these implants correct presbyopia, an age-related condition that afflicts us all in our mid-40s when we need longer arms and more light to see things clearly up close, there is an additional cost for these implants.

Medicare and most private insurances cover the costs of cataract surgery, and a monofocal (single-distance) lens implant.  Choosing an advanced-technology implant that provides a broader range of vision is considered elective.  You can find costs for these implants, and payment options, here.

Astigmatism Correcting Lens Implants

Toric lens implants provide one-step correction of astigmatism

Astigmatism is a condition where you eye is “out-of-round”, shaped more like a football than a basketball.  Astigmatism can be present in the cornea, or in the crystalline lens itself.  When we remove your cataract, this out-of-round condition needs corrected, too, because astigmatism blurs vision at all ranges.  An astigmatism-correcting lens implant corrects both the cataract and the astigmatism in one step.  Historically, those with astigmatism had their cataract removed, and their astigmatism was corrected by the surgeon making small relaxing incision with a tiny cut in the cornea.  These cuts were often not uniform, leaving the correction unpredictable.  By building the correction into the lens implant, precision astigmatism correction is now possible.

Pre-existing astigmatism is not a condition that is covered by Medicare or most private insurance as it is considered elective.  You can find our fees and payment options for astigmatism-correcting lenses here.

Monofocal Lens Implants

A single-focus solution when distance vision is the priority

Traditional cataract surgery with a monofocal lens implant is generally covered by Medicare and most private insurance.  This choice is the best choice for those who prioritize distance vision improvement, and don’t mind wearing glasses for all intermediate and near tasks.  These lens implants can provide good distance vision, and improve your night vision and overall vision clarity.

Lens Replacement Results

What Range of Vision Can You Expect After Cataract Surgery?

When choosing a lens implant, especially if it is an elective option not covered by insurance, you want to understand what vision improvements you can expect. Your lens replacement results will depend on the lens implant you choose. Patients who choose a multifocal  IOL, such as PanOptix, ReSTOR, Symfony or Tecnis MF generally enjoy a greater range of clear vision without the need for glasses, or a greatly reduced need for glasses, afterwards.  The graph below shows how often our patients who chose multifocal lenses, need glasses.  Think about each of these activities, and whether you’d like to avoid the on/off need for glasses, as you enjoy each activity.

Glasses-Free After Surgery?

Graph shows the percent of time our patients NEVER or RARELY wear glasses after cataract surgery with multifocal lens implants.

Driving During the Day 95%

Shaving / Putting on Makeup 95%

Watching TV 95%

Watching Live Entertainment 95%

Participating in Sports 94%

Driving at Night 80%

Hobby or Craft Work 80%

Read the Newspaper 80%

Viewing Menu in a Restaurant 80%

Reading a Book 73%

Work on Computer 72%