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Active Lifestyle Lens Options

Before beginning treatment, you and your doctor will work carefully to determine the right type of lens for your needs. Your surgeon will measure the depth of your eye, the size of your pupil, and the curvature of your cornea. If you wear contacts, you should stop wearing them for a few days before your surgery. Otherwise, they could prevent your doctor from obtaining completely accurate measurements.

If you are considering cataract surgery to replace the lens in your eye, you should discuss the different types of IOLs with your doctor. There are two main lens types to consider: monofocal and multifocal intraocular lenses.

Monofocal Lenses

Originally, all IOLs were monofocal. These lenses correct vision at one distance only. They can be set for near, intermediate, or far vision. With monofocal lenses, you will still need glasses, especially if you suffer from presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). Most patients receive monofocal lenses for distance vision, and they wear glasses for reading and other close-up work.

Premium IOLs: Multifocal and Accommodating

Traditional IOLs are monofocal. The lenses, such as the ones described below, are considered “premium” lenses, which mean you must pay any associated costs yourself. Medicare and most health care plans will not cover these extra costs, because the additional benefits of these IOLs are considered a luxury and not a medical necessity.

Newer, multifocal intraocular lenses will correct vision at multiple ranges without glasses or contact lenses. A multifocal IOL is designed with a series of "visual zones." Much like bifocals or trifocals, multifocal IOLs can correct both near and far vision. Your brain must learn to select the visual information it needs to form an image. Therefore, multifocal lenses may require a period of adjustment. You may get used to multifocal IOLs more easily if you receive them in both eyes.

Toric IOLToric Lenses For Astigmatism

If you suffer from astigmatism, and you are seeking treatment for cataracts, toric IOLs may provide an excellent solution. Astigmatism occurs when your cornea is irregularly shaped. As a result, your eye cannot properly refract light. In response, your brain registers a distorted image.

Toric lenses are not flexible, but they do refract light at different distances. Therefore, if you suffer from astigmatism, toric IOLs are the only lens that can reduce your dependence on glasses or contacts. Like most patients, you will probably need to wear glasses during long periods of distance vision. Placing a toric IOL requires a great deal of precision and experience. Therefore, you should be especially selective when you are choosing your eye surgeon. When you receive a toric IOL, you have a higher risk for lens rotation. However, in the vast majority of cases, your doctor can perform a quick, easy corrective procedure.

Toric lenses are not flexible, but they do refract light at different distances. Therefore, if you suffer from astigmatism, toric IOLs are the only lens that can reduce your dependence on glasses or contacts. Like most patients, you will probably need to wear glasses during long periods of distance vision. Placing a toric IOL requires a great deal of precision and experience. Therefore, you should be especially selective when you are choosing your eye surgeon. When you receive a toric IOL, you have a higher risk for lens rotation. However, in the vast majority of cases, your doctor can perform a quick, easy corrective procedure.

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