(Generic Options Monofocal, Toric, Multifocal)
Cataracts affect the lens inside your eye. The simplest way to describe a cataract is that it is a clump of proteins that have formed on your eye lens. This build-up typically starts small as a thin layer of proteins in a concentrated area. Over time, it can grow larger and denser. As you can imagine, if there is a dense clump obscuring your vision, you won’t be able to see clearly.
Allowing a cataract to continue expanding across your field of vision can ultimately lead to blindness. But the good news is that even though there is no way to remove the protein clumps from your lens, your cloudy lens can be removed from your eye entirely. That’s the first step in cataract surgery: to remove the lens.
After your lens is removed, it must be replaced so you can see. This is the fun part! There are a large variety of artificial lens replacements from which to choose. These are called intraocular lenses (IOLs).
Traditional Lens Option: Monofocal IOLs
In the past, cataract patients only had one option for a lens replacement: a monofocal IOL. As the name suggests, these lenses provided a singular focal point that could be set for either up-close vision, long-range vision or intermediate vision. Monofocal IOLs are still used today and they are very effective. Patients often choose them because they are covered by medical insurance. However, most patients have to wear glasses after cataract surgery if they choose monofocal IOLs in order to see clearly at all distances.
Lifestyle Lens Option: Multifocal IOLs
A more advanced lens replacement option is often called a Lifestyle Lens because these lenses can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses after cataract surgery. With multifocal IOLs, some patients don’t even need to wear reading glasses. This is because the lenses have multiple focusing zones built into the lens, allowing clear vision for up-close, long-range and intermediate distances. If you thought having youthful vision was a thing of the past, a multifocal IOL could be life-changing for you. These lenses do require some out-of-pocket expense because they are not considered medically necessary, but the extra cost is well worth the vision outcomes for many people.
Astigmatism-Correcting Lens Option: Toric IOLs
If you had pre-existing astigmatism before you got cataracts, toric IOLs are an amazing lens replacement option that can actually correct your astigmatism while also correcting your cataract. Some lens options have toric versions, allowing you to see more clearly after cataract surgery. Toric lenses also require some out-of-pocket expense because they are not considered medically necessary, so take that into consideration when talking to your doctor about this option.
Confused? We Get It.
When you first start learning about cataract options, it can seem a bit overwhelming! How can you possibly decide what type of lens is right for you? Is the extra cost really worth the outcome for Lifestyle Lenses?
At Azul Vision, we completely understand how confusing this can all be – especially when the whole idea of cataract surgery is a bit daunting. We will take all the time necessary to help you navigate these options, give you our recommendations and answer all of your questions. Ultimately, the decision is yours. Just know that you will receive honest information from our team every step of the way.
Find out if the time is right for cataract surgery.
Schedule a Cataract Evaluation today!