If cataracts have made your vision cloudy, the solution is clear: cataract surgery. However, what you may not realize is that cataract surgery is a good opportunity to simultaneously correct refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. When your ophthalmologist removes the hazy natural lens from your eye, he replaces it with an IOL (intraocular lens) that can help correct your vision at one or more distances. This may mean that you no longer need to rely on glasses or contact lenses.
At our office in Largo, we offer both monofocal and multifocal (premium) IOLs to best serve the diverse needs of our patients. Continue reading for some guidance on choosing the right replacement lenses.
Types of IOLs
Before making any decisions, it’s important that you have all the relevant information, especially what the differences are between these types of lenses.
Monofocal lenses are the standard IOLs used with cataract surgery. They correct vision at a single distance: either near, far, or in between. Because myopia is such a common refractive error, most patients end up choosing to correct their distance vision.
Multifocal lenses are “premium” lenses that can correct vision at multiple ranges of focus. This means that people with multiple refractive errors can see better at various distances without losing their depth perception.
Weighing Your Options
If you are someone who has just one type of refractive error or have not had to rely on prescription lenses in your life, monofocal lenses may adequately improve your vision. From a financial standpoint, monofocal lenses are less expensive and are generally covered by health insurance.
However, if you have myopia and/or astigmatism, and then developed presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), you are likely to need your vision corrected at multiple distances. If you do not mind putting on reading glasses for up-close vision, then a monofocal lens may suffice, but multifocal lenses can limit your dependence on prescription lenses in most situations. This makes multifocal lenses an appealing option for many patients even if requires some out-of-pocket expenses.
Make Your Decision with an Expert Ophthalmologist
At St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute, our talented eye doctors will present you with all your options and make a recommendation based on your existing vision prescription. Together, you can make an informed decision about whether a multifocal lens is a worthwhile investment so that you can stop wearing glasses/read glasses in most instances. To discuss IOLs and any other cataract surgery with our specialists, please call (727) 585-2200 for a consultation.