Standard cataract surgery removes your eye's natural lens when it becomes old, cloudy, and brittle. It is replaced with a mono-focal lens.
However, you can take advantage of the fact that you're undergoing a lens replacement process, and choose to correct your refractive vision problems as well, such as presbyopia (difficulty seeing close up clearly because of age), by upgrading to a presbyopia-correcting lens.
No single cataract lens is best for everyone. There are multiple presbyopia-correcting IOL technologies, and they have significant differences. To choose the right option for your cataract removal surgery, you need to consider these important factors:
The desired range of vision
Presence of preexisting ocular disease
Presence of astigmatism
When selecting which cataract lens to choose, we first discuss what matters most in your lifestyle and activities. We'll discuss possibilities for eliminating glasses at one or all ranges – far distance, mid-range, and/or close up. Together, we'll choose the best lens for your vision goals.
Monofocal (single-focus) lens implants, or IOLs, come standard with cataract surgery. Several companies make these lenses, all are of equal quality. They will correct for one out of three possible vision ranges (distance, intermediate, or near). Their cost is covered by insurance.
Presbyopia-correcting IOLs are high-performance upgrades.
They correct your vision at multiple (two or even all three) visual ranges - distance, intermediate, and near, meaning you will not need glasses at those distances. Insurance companies won’t cover the cost of these specialty cataract lenses.
If you have astigmatism and you want it corrected, you’ll require a special toric lens. Some mono-focal lenses and all the following presbyopia-correcting premium IOLs are available in a toric version. Insurance companies don't cover the cost of toric lenses.
Some lenses may be contraindicated if you have certain eye conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration. This is something we’ll discuss thoroughly before your surgery during your cataract consultation, and account for in your plan.
Monofocal (single-focus) lens options come standard with cataract surgery and are covered by insurance. Toric, multifocal and accommodative lenses, on the other hand, are high-performance upgrades. Most insurance companies won’t cover the cost of a specialty cataract lens. However, it’s worth considering that a pair of prescription glasses can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000. A multifocal implant costs more upfront but may be more price-effective over time. They are designed to last for the rest of your life.