Cataract surgery, which involves the removal of the eye’s natural lens and the implanting of a new artificial intra ocular lens (IOL), has come a long way in the past decade. Previously, IOL’s only allowed for vision at one distance, meaning cataract patients would require glasses after surgery. New premium IOL’s, however, allow for a much greater range of vision.
This article by board certified ophthalmologist Samuel F. Boles, M.D. seeks to better explain the various types of premium or advanced technology lenses – Multi-Focal, Accommodating, and Dual-Optic Accommodating.
Each type of premium lens has its advantages, disadvantages and price tag. While the majority of the surgical center and surgeon fees are covered by your insurance, the full price of the advanced technology lens and portions of the previous two fees fall onto you, the patient, since premium lenses are not covered by insurance. So it is important to know about each type of advanced technology lens (something your ophthalmologist will discus with you) before jumping at the opportunity to restore your vision close to where it was when you were 25 years old. Even after surgery, many people still benefit from the use of glasses for certain visual tasks, like computer usage and reading.
A consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable Ophthalmologist will help guide you through your decision. You may find out that a particular lens suits your needs very well, or you may discover that a mono-focal lens makes the most sense for you.
Premium lenses available include:
Similar to bi-focal glasses, Multi-Focal Lenses are divided into multiple viewing areas – each of which refracts differently – allowing the cataract patient to view at multiple distances. Sometimes these lenses are even intentionally different in each eye to allow for specific types of intermediate vision.
Accommodating Lenses, unlike Multi-Focal Lenses, act much similar to the eye’s natural lens. Your eye’s lens has muscles, which pull the lens, altering its shape, allowing the eye to focus. Similarly, Accommodating Lenses are made to move and adjust to allow for viewing at all distances, mimicking the functionality of the eye’s natural lens.
A Dual-Optic Accommodating Lens is like a hybrid of the first two types of premium lenses. It has two optics, meaning it has two different lens pieces that adjust with the natural movement of the eye. This allows for vision at all distances.
To find out which type of lens, if any, might be right for you, schedule an eye appointment to discuss your individual needs/wants. This will help to narrow down the best choice for you, your vision and your wallet.
And if the price tag is scaring you away, consider that you spend around $24,000 for a new car that you will only drive a few hours a day for five to 10 years. Why not spend a few thousand dollars to better your vision, something you use every minute of every day?
If you have any questions, contact Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here today!