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All About IOLs

October 6, 2017

If you find yourself considering cataract surgery, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with IOLs. IOL stands for intraocular lens, and it’s a medical device that replaces the lens of the eye after it’s removed during cataract surgery. There are many different types of IOLs approved by the FDA and the right one for you depends on a number of factors. Here are a few IOLs to consider.

Monofocal

A conventional monofocal IOL is set to focus at one fixed distance. The distance can be near, far, or mid-range but it can’t be adjusted after surgery. This is a more economical option for anyone on a budget. Astigmatism is not corrected with this option, so glasses may be needed for both near and far.

Aspheric

The eye’s natural lens isn’t spherical like a typical monofocal IOL. An aspheric IOL most closely matches the eye’s shape, reducing the chance of developing minor optical imperfections that may result from using a spherical lens. This means that an aspheric lens will allow for sharper vision, especially when lighting isn’t ideal.  Again, astigmatism is not corrected with this option, so glasses may be needed for both near and far.

Toric

A toric IOL corrects for astigmatism by allowing for different powers in different meridians of the lens. The cataract surgeon can mark the patient’s cornea indicating the most curved part of the cornea. Once the toric IOL is in place, the surgeon can align the markings on the cornea with the markings on the IOL to make sure the astigmatism is corrected.  With astigmatism corrected, the need for distance glasses is markedly reduced.

Accommodating

Accommodating IOLs are aspheric lenses with flexible supporting legs called haptics that hold the lens in place. These flexible legs allow the patient to focus more easily when engaging in tasks like reading or using the computer, thus reducing the need for contacts or glasses after surgery.

Crystalens® is the newest technology in accommodating IOLs and is used by Dr. Cary Silverman at OCLI. Crystalens® is the first and only IOL able to respond to the eye’s muscles in order to adjust for near, mid-range, and far vision like the eye’s own lens. The Truligh is a Toric Crystalens used to treat astigmatism.

Multifocal

Multifocal IOLs have been shown to provide both  near and distance vision, they are also prone to cause some glare and halos at night. Multifocal IOLs achieve better near vision with the addition of extra magnification in certain parts of the lens. As a result, multifocal IOLs markedly reduce your need to use glasses for activities like reading or using a computer.

Multifocal lenses are also available with a toric option to treat astigmatism.

As you can see, premium IOLs like aspheric, toric, accommodating, and multifocal offer a number of benefits over standard monofocal IOLs. It’s important to note that some lenses aren’t covered by Medicare. If this is a concern for you, be sure and do your research before choosing an IOL.

The team at OCLI can help you learn more about IOLs as well as their coverage under Medicare. For help choosing the right IOLs for you, contact OCLI today.

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