Once you have made the decision to undergo cataract surgery with your Long Island eye doctor, you will have a series of decisions to make related to the type of artificial lens implant you will have. Until recently everyone who had cataract surgery received a monofocal lens implant; this lens enabled vision at only one distance, typically distances far away. With new innovations, better lens types are now available. These lenses are referred to as premium lenses and come in various formats or types:
- Monofocal (traditional lens implants)
Intraocular lenses (IOLs) are devices used to replace the eye’s natural crystalline lens when it is removed during cataract surgery. There are many different types of IOLs on the market, each with different benefits. At OCLI, we are proud to offer only the best in IOL technology.
Before your cataract surgery, you and one of our doctors here at OCLI will discuss your needs and lifestyle to determine which IOL is best for you. Some IOLs can even correct refractive errors like astigmatism and myopia.
Traditional intraocular lens surgery (monofocal)
Cataract surgery requires the removal of the clouded lens. In order for patients to see after removal, an IOL must be placed within the eye. An IOL mimics the natural lens, enabling your eye to focus light correctly. The standard IOL is inserted through an incision in the cornea. Once in place, the standard IOL begins to work as well, if not better, than your natural lens before cataracts.
Premium lens implants
Some lenses may even provide the opportunity to live the remainder of life glasses-free! You and your eye doctor will work together to determine the right lens for your eyes. If a premium lens implant is suitable and the chances of success are good, you can explore this path. Premium lenses typically come at an extra cost that Medicare does not cover, but many patients opt to go this route, finding that the extra expense is worth more independence from glasses.
Multifocal intraocular lens surgery
While standard IOLs do a satisfactory job when restoring vision, some patients may opt for more advanced IOL options. At OCLI, we carry a variety of options for our wide array of patients. These advanced, FDA-approved lenses are designed to correct specific refractive errors and provide a high level of clarity at all distances. Multifocal IOL lens implants enable patients to see at near far and intermediate distances after surgery.
With a multifocal IOL the central portion of the lens has a series of steps that are carved in a very precise arrangement with varying step heights and distances between them. Each different step of this diffractive optic bends the incoming light differently; creating a near focus that is quite separated from the distance focus formed by the remaining refractive portion of the lens. This large separation between the two images allows for less distortion of both far away or nearby objects, providing good quality of vision at a distance and near.
Accommodating lens implants have garnered a significant amount of positive review and testimonials from thousands of early patient adopters. These special lenses are designed to accommodate, just like the eyes natural lens would do. The hinge design of the lens enables it to move inside the eye just like the original natural lens. The end result is that patients can see better at multiple distances.
Toric Lens Implants are a unique type of lens implant that are used to correct astigmatism. A toric lens implant is NOT the only method of astigmatism correction so consult a doctor about the current possibilities. Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism.
To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses. If a cataract patient has astigmatism and has aspirations to be glasses free after surgery the Toric lens implant is a good option. Toric lens implants are NOT a correction option for presbyopia.
Premium lens implants can be very exciting for patients that want to have a new level of spectacle freedom after cataract surgery or with clear lens extraction. Due to the complex nature of each person’s visual system, it is difficult for a patient to make an assessment about the right lens, without consulting a medical ophthalmologist. Therefore, we highly suggest a consultation with the OCLI medical surgeons before making any decision on a lens implant. For second opinions on lens implants please feel free to consult with our staff and doctors.