When going through cataract surgery there are many decisions you will have to make. When will you schedule the surgery? If you have cataracts in both eyes, which eye will you fix first? How will you get home from the clinic? Perhaps the most important decision you will have to make, however, is which IOL to use.
What is an IOL?
IOL is short for “intraocular lens”. That directly translates into “a lens inside the eye”. The reason this is significant is that during cataract surgery your eye’s natural lens is completely removed. The lens is responsible for a significant portion of your eyes’ focusing power and is very important to have, so a synthetic IOL is put in its place.
There is more than one type of IOL. They are separated into categories that define their primary function. Each of them has distinct advantages and disadvantages and it’s really up to you and your eye doctor to decide what is the right fit for you. Here’s a list of the three primary types of IOLs:
Monofocal IOLs are the standard choice for many patients. They tend to be covered by insurance. As the name suggests, monofocal IOLs have one focusing distance. They can focus at a distance, at a medium-range, or close up, but not a combination of the three. This means that you will still need to use glasses when performing activities that require you to see at an unchosen range. Many people are fine with this, but if you would like to solve your glasses problem while you solve your cataract problem, you may consider other options.
Multifocal IOLs focus at two or more ranges. This is considered a premium IOL. They are a fantastic way to correct refractive errors, but they lack some nuance when it comes to the in-between spaces of the focus ranges. That’s where the final option comes in.
Accommodating IOLs also focus at multiple ranges, but they move inside your eye much in the same way your natural lens does. These IOLs are also considered premium. This gives an easier, smoother transition between ranges them that other IOLs can’t accomplish. However, some people may experience a noticeable drop in their ability to see up close.
Another option is to use monofocal IOLs in a method called monovision. With monovision, only one eye is corrected for distance or near vision, while the other eye is not. This allows the user to “switch” between eyes. Your eyes learn to work together to provide clear vision at multiple distances. It’s often recommended that you “practice” with normal contact lenses before deciding on this method.
New England Eye Center in Boston, Massachusetts offers a wide range of premium IOLs.
Tecnis Symfony Lens
- Provides amazing “social vision”
- Full range of vision
- High quality
- Clear vision
- Reduces dependency on glasses
- Modeled after the human eye
- Corrects astigmatism
- Great night vision
Interested in learning more about your IOL options at New England Eye Center? Contact our office to schedule your cataract surgery consultation today!