Should I Consider a Premium IOL If I’m Having Cataract Surgery?

Older woman with eyeglasses considering Cataract Surgery

Cataracts form in the lens, making it become cloudy. The only way to treat them is to remove the entire lens during cataract surgery.

Before modern cataract surgery, this left patients without any lens in their eyes. They had to wear very thick glasses to see again.

But thanks to modern medicine, your lens can now be replaced with an artificial one called an IOL, or intraocular lens. IOLs also come in several varieties.

Some are more advanced than others. But do you need a more advanced, premium IOL? It depends.

Keep reading to find out if you should consider a premium IOL if you’re having cataract surgery!

Standard vs. Premium IOLs

Cataract surgery is often covered by medical insurance as it’s considered a necessity. But most insurances only cover one kind of IOL, which is the standard monofocal lens.

Monofocals are lenses that have a uniform surface set to only one refractive power. This is either for distance vision or close-up vision.

Doctors usually give patients who opt for monofocals one of each power in each eye. This creates monovision and allows patients to see decently at a mid-range distance. The disadvantage is that they may have trouble seeing up close without reading glasses.

But there are several other options available when it comes to IOLs. These are premium options, and they are not usually covered by insurance.

The cost of your surgery is, but the premium lenses are not. That means you’ll pay out of pocket for your intraocular lenses if you choose a premium option.

Many patients find the tradeoff for better vision to be worth the expense. You may, too, especially because there are so many options to choose from.

Types of Premium Lenses

There are many diff IOLs available. Not all practices that offer cataract surgery carry every kind of IOL. These are the most common ones that are widely available:

Multifocal IOLs

These IOLs have rings that extend from the center of the lens.
The rings are set to alternating refractive powers.

Wearing the IOL trains your eyes to look out the right part of the lens depending on what you’re looking at. This allows the patient to see more sharply up-close. Most patients no longer need glasses.

Accommodative IOLs

These IOLs are lenses that change their shape depending on what you look at. When you’re focusing on something up close, the lens thickens to magnify what you’re viewing.

When your eyes are relaxed, the lens thins out again to allow you to see at a distance.

Trifocal IOLs

The trifocal IOL is a lot like a multifocal IOL but it has three refractive powers instead of two. This is for up-close, far away, and in-between distance. This allows patients to see at any distance.

Toric IOLs

This is the only kind of IOL specifically designed for patients with astigmatism. Toric IOLs correct astigmatism as well as other refractive errors.

Assessing Your Needs

With these different options, how do you know what to get? It depends on you. If you’re okay with having to wear reading glasses after cataract surgery, you may be fine with monofocal lenses.

If you spend a lot of time on the computer or looking at screens, a trifocal lens may be best for seeing at a middle distance.

Be sure to discuss with your doctor what your needs are and what options are available to you.

Have questions about cataracts and what kind of IOL you should choose? Schedule a cataract screening at Berg Feinfield Vision Correction in Pasadena, CA!

Clear vision could be yours again when you say goodbye to cataracts!