Intraocular lenses, also known as IOLs, are artificial lenses that are surgically implanted to replace the natural lens of the eye. IOLs are placed in patients who have damaged or diseased corneas. At our eye care facility, Monterey County Eye Associates, we place intraocular lenses during cataract surgery. These lenses replace the natural lens that has become clouded due to the presence of cataracts; this treatment provides patients with clearer vision. There are different IOLs available for this procedure. However, we prefer to offer our Monterey patients premium IOLs, which in most cases are more beneficial to our patients than the alternate monofocal intraocular lenses.
When Are IOLs Used?
The most common use for IOLs is during cataract surgery. Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to cloud or discolor, interfering with a patient’s vision. With early detection, cataracts can often be managed and vision can be corrected with corrective lenses. However, in its progressive stages, cataracts may begin to interfere with a patient’s day-to-day routines. At this point, cataracts may need to be treated through surgery. During cataract surgery, the damaged lens is removed. Our doctors then replace this lens with an artificial lens, or an intraocular lens (IOL) so that clearer vision can be restored.
Premium IOLs vs. Monofocal IOLs
Intraocular lenses do more than just replace a damaged lens with a clear lens. IOLs actually serve to enhance a patient’s vision. Much like a pair of eye glasses or contact lenses, IOLs are available to correct different types of vision impairment. The main difference between premium IOLs and monofocal IOLs is that premium IOLs are able to accommodate a full range of vision while monofocal IOLs can only correct vision at one distance. Below are some of the major advantages and disadvantages of each of these types of intraocular lenses:
- Premium IOLs: Premium IOLs can come in accommodating or multifocal lenses. In either case, the lens has the ability to allow patients clearer vision at far, close, or mid distances. Because these lenses can address an array of visual distances, patients are able to greatly reduce their need for corrective lenses following surgery, which is the biggest advantage of premium IOLs. The only downside to premium IOLs is that the full cost is not covered by insurance, so it is often a greater expense to patients.
- Monofocal IOLs: The advantage of monofocal IOLs is that they are usually covered by insurance, making them a more affordable option for many patients. However, because these lenses can only correct vision at one distance (typically far vision), patients often still need to rely on corrective lenses or reading glasses after surgery. The cost of maintaining prescription lenses can add up over time, which may rule out the cost benefits of monofocal IOLs.
Before cataract surgery, our doctors will thoroughly discuss the choices regarding intraocular lenses so that each of our patients is satisfied with the type of IOL being used during their procedure.
Contact Monterey County Eye Associates
Our doctors are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding premium vs. monofocal IOLs. If you would like to discuss cataract surgery and your options for intraocular lenses, contact our practice at your earliest convenience. We look forward to helping you regain clear vision.