A standard lens implant option is the basic lens implant type which works well for many people. It is a monofocal lens, meaning it is set for one focal plane, typically distance. Patients using a monofocal lens set for distance will usually need glasses for computer and near work.
Occasionally a patient who is nearsighted and naturally reads without glasses will elect to have a monofocal lens set for close or near vision in order to continue to be able to read without glasses after cataract surgery. However, distance vision would then require the use of glasses. The option of targeting a monofocal nearsighted focus with cataract surgery is typically not recommended for those who were born farsighted or normal sighted because these patients will not usually be happy with needing glasses for distance.
The standard lens implant is a covered service included with standard cataract surgery.
Toric (astigmatism reducing)
Standard lens implants do not reduce astigmatism. “Astigmatism” is a term used describe the shape of the cornea, the clear surface in the front of your eye. People with astigmatism have a corneal surface that is not round (like a basketball), but has areas that are more steep (like an American football). If a standard lens is implanted in such a patient, although clarity will improve due to the removal of the cataract, the vision may still have some blur due to uncorrected astigmatism. Traditionally such astigmatism correction was put into a glasses prescription to clear the vision. Today there are advanced intraocular lens technologies that enable us to build some of the astigmatism correction into your intraocular lens implant, thereby making your uncorrected distance vision more clear without glasses than were the astigmatism unaddressed at the time of surgery.
A patient with significant astigmatism who elects toric intraocular lens implant correction will generally have better distance vision without glasses than a patient who elects the standard lens option.
A monofocal toric correction for distance will typically still require the use of glasses for computer and near use.
If an advanced toric lens implant technology is selected, there will be out of pocket costs associated with the astigmatism reduction package that are not covered by insurance.
These are also known as multifocal or extended depth of focus lens implants. These lens implants help correct for both distance and some near vision simultaneously. There have been vast improvements in the technology of this lens implant category, particularly in the last 3-4 years.
Early generations of multifocal lenses were fraught with symptoms of glare and halos which were unacceptable to many patients. There have been dramatic improvements in the more modern generation of presbyopia correcting lens implants so that symptoms of glare are greatly reduced to a level that is now acceptable or minimally noticed by most patients.
The benefit of this technology is that it greatly increases the number of situations in which you can have reduced dependence on glasses. Patients can often have good distance vision and some near vision without glasses. Depending upon the lens implant type selected by you and your surgeon, you may need glasses to see very small print, such as on the back of a pill bottle, or in certain situations such as dim light.
It is important to realize that every patient has a different ocular situation, and certain disease processes (macular degeneration for example) may exclude you as a candidate for this most advanced lens implant option. In other situations, concurrent ocular findings may affect lens implant choices and visual results. For example, if you have a tendency to dry eyes or have had previous refractive surgery (LASIK) or have an irregular cornea, you may not be the ideal candidate for certain intraocular lens implant technologies.
For the ideal candidate, there is now excellent lens implant technology available to maximize your refractive result.l and decrease your dependence on glasses.
If presbyopia correcting lens implant technology is selected, there will be out of pocket costs associated with the presbyopia correcting package that are not covered by insurance. If a patient chooses a presbyopia correcting lens and also has some significant astigmatism, astigmatism reduction also will be built into your lens implant calculation to optimize your visual outcome.
Examples of the modern presbyopia correcting lens implant types that we use include Symfony, Vivity, Panoptix, and Synergy lenses.