Should I Think About Budget Before Choosing an IOL?

Is your vision blurry? Do you feel like you’re looking at the world through a foggy or dirty window? 

These are often common signs of having a cataract. The only way to treat cataracts is by having cataract surgery. When you have cataract surgery, you first need to choose what kind of intraocular lens (IOL) you want. 

Cataract surgery removes your cataracts by removing your eye’s natural lens, where the cataract has formed. The intraocular lens replaces your natural lens, ensuring you can see clearly. 

Depending on the IOL you choose, you may be able to see better than you could before having cataracts. There are different kinds of IOLs. 

Premium IOLs allow patients to see better but also have out-of-pocket costs. Budget is certainly something to consider when picking out an IOL, but there are other things to consider. 

Keep reading to learn more about IOLs and if you should consider your budget before choosing an IOL!

Cataract Surgery and IOLs

Cataract surgery is considered medically necessary because it improves vision and eradicates any vision loss caused by cataracts. The procedure itself is typically covered by insurance. 

However, insurance does not always cover the intraocular lens that replaces the natural lens. The only IOL that insurance will cover is a monofocal IOL. These are the most basic and standard IOL available to patients. 

Monofocal IOLs

Monofocal IOLs function in a way that’s similar to traditional prescription single-vision glasses. These IOLs can correct your vision to help you see well at a distance or up close. 

As most patients with cataracts also have presbyopia, making it harder to see up close, patients who choose monofocals will still need reading glasses. Using reading glasses will help with seeing up close and seeing things at an intermediate distance. 

Some patients with monofocal IOLs choose monovision, which involves putting one monofocal IOL in one eye to see up close and another to see at a distance. Patients who decide to have monovision achieve good enough distance when looking at things up close and further away. 

However, this doesn’t always provide the clearest possible vision at all distances. Monovision also takes some time to get used to, and many patients find it doesn’t work for them. 

But monofocal IOLs aren’t the only option for IOLs. Premium IOLs provide patients with a broader range of vision. 

Premium IOLs

If you want the best vision, premium IOLs come with an out-of-pocket cost, as insurance won’t cover them. However, they provide patients with clearer vision and can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses and other visual aids. We offer several varieties of premium lenses at New England Eye Center, including:

Multifocal Lenses

Multifocal lenses are made up of alternating rings. Half are made to help you see at a distance, and half are made to help you see up close. 

When wearing the lenses, your eye is trained to look through the part of the lens that best helps you see what you’re focusing on. We offer both the Tecnis and the Alcon ReStor multifocal lenses.

PanOptix Trifocal

Trifocal lenses are like multifocal IOLs, but instead of having two different refractive powers to alternate between, they have three. The first helps with seeing up close, the second helps with seeing far away, and the third helps with seeing at a middle distance. 

This design allows patients to see exceptionally well up close and at a middle distance without sacrificing vision at a distance. It also significantly reduces the need for reading glasses and prescription glasses.

Tecnis Symfony 

The Tecnis Symfony IOL offers an extended depth of vision. This means the different refractive powers are blended instead of being starkly divided into various sections like a multifocal. 

This allows patients to see very well within a continual range of vision. The smooth design also minimizes visual aberrations that can occur with some IOLs.


The Crystalens is an accommodative IOL. This means it changes shape to help you focus on what you’re looking at, mimicking how a natural lens works. 

This design helps patients see well in a way that feels natural to the eye.

Toric Lenses

Toric lenses are intraocular lenses that correct astigmatism. We offer both the TRULIGN and the AcrySof IQ toric lenses. 

Depending on your visual goals, toric lenses come in many options, including monofocal and premium lens models. Before choosing an IOL, consider your budget and visual needs.

Know Your Budget and Your Needs

You’ll need to pay out of pocket for premium IOLs, so it is important to consider your budget before choosing one. But it’s also crucial to know your needs and goals for cataract surgery. 

A premium IOL is a great choice if you can afford it and want the best possible vision. It’s also worth considering if you can handle monovision. 

Your ophthalmologist at New England Eye Center can help simulate monovision by giving you monofocal contact lenses with the same effect. Monovision can take time to get used to, so most eye doctors recommend you try it for a week or two before deciding if it’s working. 

If monovision works well for you and you have a more limited budget, you may want to choose monofocal IOLs when you have cataract surgery. You should also talk to your eye doctor about how much each IOL costs and learn more about each option. 

They can advise you and help you choose an IOL you’ll be happy with! Are you ready to improve your vision? Request an appointment today to learn more about the IOLs available at New England Eye Center in Boston, MA.

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