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Monofocal Intra Ocular Lens (IOL)

The monofocal lens has a set focal point. The lens will bring into focus an object that is at a certain distance from the eye. Objects that are not at that distance are less clear. Usually your doctor will choose a monofocal IOL that will allow you to see the clearest at a distance of twenty feet and greater. Anything that is twenty feet or further from your eye will be seen the clearest. However you will need to wear glasses if you want to see objects closer than twenty feet. Examples of activities that may require glasses are reading or using the computer. If you decide to have a monofocal IOL that focus at your reading distance or computer, you will need glasses to see at a distance clearly. Other conditions, such as astigmatism (discussed below) may limit the clarity of your vision as well. Most insurance companies and Medicare pay for the implantation of a monofocal lens. However there are IOL types that may offer you a greater range of vision clarity than a monofocal IOL. These lenses are not however covered by most insurance companies and Medicare.

Multifocal Lenses

In the multifocal type, a series of focal zones or rings are designed into the IOL. Depending on where incoming light focuses through the zones, the person may be able to see both near and distant objects clearly.

  • Design of the accommodative lens allows certain eye muscles to move the IOL forward and backward, changing the focus much as it would with a natural lens, allowing near and distance vision.
  • Ability to read and perform other tasks without glasses varies from person to person but is generally best when multifocal or accommodative IOLs are placed in both eyes.
  • Takes 6 to 12 weeks after surgery on the second eye for the brain to adapt and vision improvement to be complete with either of these IOL types.

For many people, these IOL types reduce but do not eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. For example, a person can read without glasses, but the words appear less clear than with glasses. Each person's success with these IOLs may depend on the size of his/her pupils and other eye health factors. People with astigmatism can ask their eye doctor about Toric IOLs and related treatments.
Side effects such as glare or halos around lights, or decreased sharpness of vision (contrast sensitivity) may occur, especially at night or in dim light. Most people adapt to and are not bothered by these effects, but those who frequently drive at night or need to focus on close-up work may be more satisfied with monofocal IOLs.

  • Medicare, and most other insurances, will not pay for the implantation of this lens.

Examples of these lenses are:

Tecnis Multifocal:

technisToday, for people who have cataracts, there is a procedure to remove the clouded natural lens of the eye and replace it with an advanced, artificial TECNIS Multifocal Lens. This unique implantable lens is proven to provide excellent vision at all distance, under all lighting conditions - day and night. Even better, the TECNIS Multifocal Lens has helped thousands of people gain independence from glasses for the first time.

  • Designed to give you back younger vision, the TECNIS Multifocal Lens can provide you with high-quality vision at any distance, and in all lighting conditions - even in dim light.
  • With the TECNIS Multifocal Lens, you can see objects up close and far into the distance, as well as at every important milestone along the way.
  • Advanced TECNIS Multifocal is an implantable lens that significantly improves vision after cataract surgery and corrects presbyopia.
  • TECNIS Multifocal Lens is designed with patented optics and materials to provide high-quality vision even in low-light conditions. Some lenses lose the ability to provide good vision, particularly up close, as light is reduced.
  • With the TECNIS Multifocal Lens, you may comfortably enjoy everyday activities like reading a menu in a dimly lit restaurant, taking a walk at dusk, or even driving at night.

AcrySof IQ ReSTOR Multifocal:

restorThe AcrySof IQ ReSTOR IOL is a breakthrough lens for cataract surgery that lets patients see from neat to far and everywhere in-between - usually without glasses. An innovative optical technology called "apodization" has been used for years in microscopes and telescopes to improve image quality. A similar technology has now been patented for use in intraocular lenses by Alcon, making the AcrySof IQ ReSTOR lens uniquely effective, especially when placed in both eyes.

Most AcrySof IQ ReSTOR lens patients find that they can read a book, work on the computer, drive a car - day or night - and play golf or tennis with increased freedom from glasses. You may, however, experience some visual disturbances with the lens. Approximately 25% of patients implanted with the AcrySof IQ ReSTOR lens experienced moderate glare or halos around lights. Additionally, approximately 10% of patients experienced moderate side effects with the AcrySof IQ ReSTOR IOL that can make it more difficult to see in low lighting conditions. As a result, increased care should be taken when driving at night.

Cataract surgery with the AcrySof IQ ReSTOR lens enables most people to see near, far and everywhere in-between. Such improved eyesight immediately multiplies the possibilities in your life. Passengers could become drivers again. Golfers could keep their eye on the ball and enjoy the surrounding scenery. Family celebrations, reading special birthday cards, looking at the sunset, seeing everyone's happy faces - none of it will be missed.

Crystalens Multifocal:

crystalensCrystalens replacement lenses don't just treat your cataracts. They're designed to flex like the eye's natural lens, giving you an active range of vision from arm's length to distance. No other replacement lens comes closer than Crystalens to mirroring the natural focusing ability of the eye.

  • Crystalens is FDA approved and permanent.
  • The outpatient surgical procedure takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Most patients are able to resume driving and working within just 2 or 3 days

After Crystalens cataract surgery, patients feel more comfortable doing more of their favorite activities, such as driving during the day or evening, playing sports, cooking, using a computer or an iPad, and much more.

Astigmatism Correcting Implants (Toric IOLs):

Astigmatism: This eye condition distorts or blurs the ability to see both near and distant objects. With astigmatism the cornea (the clear front window of the eye) is not round like a basketball, but instead is curved like a football. People with significant degrees of astigmatism are usually most satisfied with Toric IOLs.

Medicare, and most other insurances, will not pay for the implantation of this lens. It is considered a Premium lens even though it only has one focal point, much like a monofocal IOL. It corrects astigmatism, but does not allow you to focus at both distant and near objects as does the accommodating or multifocal lenses do.

AcrySof IQ Toric IOL:

toricThe AcrySof IQ Toric IOL is changing the way people see cataract surgery - and life. This foldable, single-piece lens is implanted during cataract surgery to replace the clouded lens. It provides clear distance vision for patients with astigmatism, usually without the need for glasses.

A cataract is like a cloud over the eye's lens, interfering with quality of vision and making normal activities, such as driving a car, reading a newspaper or seeing people's faces, increasingly difficult. As the eye ages, the lens becomes cloudier, allowing less light to pass through. The light that doesn't make it to the retina is diffused or scattered, leaving vision defocused and blurry. Astigmatism is caused by an irregular curvature of the cornea or the lens and hampers the ability to see fine detail. When the surface of the cornea has an uneven curvature, shaped more like a football than a basketball, vision becomes distorted. This common irregularity, called a "corneal astigmatism," causes blurred or distorted vision because light rays are not focused on one spot to provide clear vision. Astigmatism affects vision at all distances and is a separate vision problem from cataracts.