Your Lens Options for Cataract Surgery

June 4th, 2018
doctor examining patient eye

Not all lenses are created equal. If you’re considering cataract surgery, you have a number of lens options to choose from.

As we age, we become more susceptible to cataracts, clumps of protein that cloud the lens, obstruct vision, and prevent proper focusing. Cataracts can grow larger over time and, if left untreated, may lead to total blindness.

Fortunately, cataract surgery — in which the cataracted lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens — offers an extremely effective and low-risk treatment. But because no two patients are alike, we offer a variety of lens options depending on patient needs.

Why Surgery?

Cataract surgery is the most effective method for correcting significant visual impairment brought on by cataracts. The surgery itself is brief — only 10 minutes or so — and results in very little discomfort. Vision is restored almost instantly, and patients typically experience a full recovery with a few days. Vision continues to improve in the weeks following the procedure.

Monofocal Lenses

The standard choice for lens replacements is the monofocal lens, so-named because its focus is fixed at one distance (near focus, mid-distance focus, or distant focus). Monofocal lenses allow patients to choose the focus that’s most important to them, whether that be near or distance vision. This option is almost always covered by insurance, making monofocal lenses a great option for patients concerned about cost and without additional eye conditions.

Monofocal lenses do have some drawbacks, however. Patients will still need to wear glasses or contacts, especially if they’re already nearsighted – distance vision tends to worsen with age. Nor will monofocal lenses fix vision problems caused by astigmatism or presbyopia.

Premium Lenses

Though monofocal lenses offer inexpensive vision restoration, today’s lens technology has progressed to further reduce patients’ reliance on visual aids like contacts or glasses. These premium intraocular lenses – called LifeStyle Lenses – offer correction for a variety of conditions and distances while reducing glare, haloing, and other side effects of artificial lenses. Best of all, patients can choose the lens that best fits their needs.

We offer three premium LifeStyle lenses:

  • Technis Multifocal LifeStyle Lens: Similar to bifocals, these lenses focus at multiple distances. Multifocal LifeStyle lenses are similar to bifocals, in that they can correct vision for both near focus and distant focus. 9 out of 10 people who use these lenses do not need glasses or contacts after their cataract surgery.
  • Toric LifeStyle Lenses: For patients with astigmatism, toric lenses are a great option. They correct for distance vision while further reducing dependence on contacts or glasses. Note that these lenses are not multifocal, and patients may still need reading glasses.
  • Symfony LifeStyle Lenses: This lens was recently approved by the FDA and corrects for presbyopia, an age-related condition that causes farsightedness. We find that it provides an excellent range of functional vision for tasks that range from driving to reading a cellphone screen. The Symfony lens is also available in a toric version for patients with astigmatism.

Making A Choice

No two pairs of eyes are the same, so each patient will need to choose the IOL that suits them best. Though it’s important to do your own research, the best way to determine which intraocular lenses are right for you is to consult with an experienced professional.

The eye care experts at Swagel Wootton Eye Institute will work with you individually to ensure that you achieve your best vision possible. Schedule a consultation with us today; appointments can be made either online at our Mesa or Chandler locations or by phone.