Posted on: 03/26/24

Cataract Lenses, Cataract Surgery

When planning for cataract surgery, you’ll want to discuss the type of Intraocular Lens (IOL) that will be used with your eye surgeon. The IOL replaces the clouded natural lens of your eye, and there are a wide range available.

All the IOLs available are crystal clear and will restore the unclouded vision you experienced before cataracts. They can also address other vision issues, such as astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness. 

Keep reading for 5 tips when choosing an IOL for cataract surgery

Type of IOLs

IOLs can correct common vision issues the same way glasses or contacts do. The type of IOL you need depends on your vision goals. 

  • Monofocal: Monofocal lenses correct vision at one distance, such as distance vision, middle vision, or close-up vision. 
  • Multifocal: Multifocal lenses offer correction at more than one distance, much like bifocal or trifocal glasses. 
  • Toric: Toric IOLs are specially shaped to correct astigmatism-related vision issues. 
  • Light Adjustable: These IOLs are shaped to your eye using UV light. This customizable approach means the IOL can be fine-tuned to correct your exact refractive error. 

What Are Your Vision Goals? 

Before you decide what type of IOL you want, consider the results you’re aiming for from cataract surgery. The procedure removes the clouded natural lens, solving vision issues related to cataracts. 

In addition, the IOL can correct refraction errors and improve your vision. Some IOLs, such as multifocal IOLs, can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. 

Ask your eye doctor what outcomes you can expect from different IOLs and align them with your goals. 

Does Your Lifestyle Rely on Near Vision or Distance Vision?

Monofocal IOLs are tuned to one distance range. If you choose IOLs that allow you to see distance clearly, you may need glasses for reading or computer work. 

Alternatively, you could pick a near-vision focal point, allowing you to see a book or computer screen clearly. With this approach, you would need glasses for tasks like driving or outdoor activities. 

Consider how you spend your time and when you prefer to wear glasses. If you don’t want to wear glasses, consider a multifocal IOL that corrects at all distances.  

Do You Frequently Drive at Night?

Some IOLs make nighttime vision less reliable. Multifocal or EDOF lenses often have the side effect of glare or the appearance of halos around lights. If you frequently drive at night, there may be better choices than these IOLs. 

Do You Have Astigmatism?

If you have astigmatism and have worn contacts, you may be familiar with toric contact lenses. Toric contacts are specially shaped to correct the vision issues associated with astigmatism. 

There are also toric IOLs that can correct astigmatism. Toric IOLs can improve distance vision and reduce the need for glasses and contacts, though you may still need reading glasses if you have age-related farsightedness. 

What IOLs Will Your Insurance Cover?

Not all insurance plans cover the cost of premium IOLs. Before you make a final decision, check with your insurance plan to see what types of IOLs are covered. 

Your eye doctor’s office can help you determine your out-of-pocket costs for different IOLs. They can also help you find financing options to pay whatever costs insurance won’t cover.  

Are you interested in learning about cataract surgery and IOLs? Schedule a consultation at Cutarelli Vision in Colorado Springs, CO, today!