Cataracts may be a common side effect of getting older, but that doesn’t make them any less inconvenient. Not every cataract develops enough to need surgery.
But when a cataract has ripened, vision loss is inevitable. When this happens, the only option is cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is a highly effective procedure that can restore your sight. But it also comes with something extra- an intraocular lens, or IOL. Keep reading to learn these 5 crucial IOL facts!
IOLs Are Necessary For Cataract Surgery
When you have cataract surgery, your cataracts are removed. A cataract is a clump of proteins on the lens that results in vision loss and cloudy vision. During cataract surgery, the whole lens has to be removed to remove your cataract.
In the past, this meant that patients who had cataract surgery would no longer have a lens. Without a lens, their vision stayed impaired, requiring thick glasses to see anything.
Like many medical procedures, cataract surgery has evolved over the years! Now, removing the lens means it will then be replaced with an IOL, or intraocular lens. The IOL takes over what the lens was doing, and provides clear vision.
You Choose The IOL Best For You
There isn’t only one kind of IOL. There’s a variety to choose from! Most IOLs are are “premium,” meaning they are not usually covered by insurance. Premium IOLs allow a patient to see better after surgery without glasses.
As a result, many people find the extra price worth it. You get to decide what you want based on your needs and your budget. It’s up to you to choose the IOL that’s best for your lifestyle.
You Can Achieve Monovision With Two Standard IOLs
If you don’t mind wearing glasses after cataract surgery, a monofocal IOL is available. Monofocals are the only IOL that insurance or Medicaid usually covers.
Monofocals are made from a uniform lens designed to allow near vision or vision at a distance. But if you go with monofocal IOLs, you don’t have to feel limited to seeing up close or far away.
You can get monovision, which is when you have one monofocal in each eye, one for distance and one for up-close. This will allow you to see well at most distances, though you’ll still need reading glasses.
IOLs Help You See Better Than Before Cataracts
There are premium IOLs that allow your eye to see at a distance and up-close quite clearly. These premium IOLs all you to see even better than your natural lens could! One such IOL is a multifocal IOL.
A multifocal IOL has rings around the center which hold a different refractive power. The IOL trains your eye to look through the area of the lens you need for distance or up-close vision.
There’s also an accommodating lens which responds the way a natural lens would. Accommodating lenses thicken when focusing up close, and flatten when focusing further for distance viewing.
IOLs Can Correct Astigmatism
One premium IOL is a toric IOL. This is a special type of lens designed to correct irregularly shaped eyes. An irregular eye shape is usually associated with astigmatism. If you’ve struggled with astigmatism all your life, a toric IOL is a good option.