Cataract surgery is surprisingly customizable. Since it is such a simple procedure, you would think there is one way to do it, and everyone has the same outcome. But that’s not true.
Keep reading to learn about the different options available for cataract surgery.
What Is Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery replaces your cataract-afflicted natural lens with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).
First, your surgeon will numb your eye with a topical anesthetic. Then they will make an incision in your cornea, the transparent tissue at the front of your eye.
They create a flap with your cornea by leaving a bit of it connected. Creating the cornea flap allows the surgeon to close the incision at the end of the procedure.
Once the flap is open, the surgeon will use a laser and ultrasound probe to break your natural lens into tiny pieces.
When the lens is in tiny pieces, the surgeon can extract it using gentle suction. By removing the natural lens, there is a space to insert the new artificial IOL.
What Are Intraocular Lenses?
IOLs are what make cataract surgery so customizable. No one IOL is right for everyone. It comes down to what you want from your vision after cataract surgery.
The simplest type of IOL is the standard IOL or monofocal IOL. These lenses provide basic, functional eyesight and come at a lower price point. Most insurance plans and Medicare will cover cataract surgery using monofocal IOLs.
However, monofocal IOLs do have drawbacks compared to premium IOLs. If you choose a monofocal for your cataract surgery, be aware they only correct vision at one distance.
Most people opt for a distance correcting monofocal. Corrected distance vision means you still need glasses for near and medium vision activities like reading or spending time on the computer.
Premium IOLs Can Provide Freedom From Glasses
If you value life without glasses, then premium IOLs are for you. Results vary, and there is no guarantee that a premium IOL will end your need for glasses. But if you want to give yourself a chance not to need glasses anymore, premium IOLs give you that chance.
It doesn’t end there, though. Premium IOLs are available in several subcategories. You can define the different types of premium IOLs by how they function.
Multifocal IOLs vs. Accommodating IOLs
Multifocal IOLs function like bifocal glasses. Specific zones of the lens adjust the focus distance depending on how light enters the eye.
In contrast, accommodating IOLs move freely inside your eye. They use the same muscles you use when you move your natural lens.
The pros and cons of one versus the other are subtle but could be important to you. You can discuss all the options available with your eye doctor.
No matter what you choose, it will take some time for your brain to adjust to your new way of seeing. You can expect some visual blurriness as you get accustomed to your IOLs.
The main drawback of premium IOLs is that insurance and Medicare do not cover the lenses or procedure’s cost when you choose them for your cataract surgery.
Can You Fix Astigmatism During Cataract Surgery?
You can correct your astigmatism during cataract surgery. Toric IOLs use a custom prescription to correct astigmatism. As long as your IOL has a toric option, your cataract surgery will also fix your astigmatism.
Choosing an IOL is a critical decision. Schedule an appointment at Frantz EyeCare in Fort Meyers, FL, to discuss cataract surgery and the IOL that is right for you!