Lens Replacement Options for Cataract Surgery or Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery (RLE)
Cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange surgery (RLE) each involve replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) in order to improve vision. There are many lens options, including advanced IOLs which can dramatically improve vision, and your eye doctor will help you choose an IOL that fits your lifestyle and vision needs.
What is an IOL?
An IOL, or intraocular lens, is an artificial lens that is meant to replace the eye’s lens when the natural lens is affected by cataracts or other vision issues. IOLs are medically biocompatible, which means that they are designed to work with your eye and be stable once placed.
Types of IOLs
Also called a standard or traditional IOL, these lenses improve vision at just one distance. This usually means that a monofocal IOL can provide clear distance vision, but patients will still require glasses or contacts to see near distances or to correct astigmatism. Some patients may benefit from a monovision technique, which utilizes different monofocal lenses in each eye. Placing a near vision correcting lens in one eye and a distance vision lens in the other can allow some patients to reduce their dependence on glasses.
Presbyopia Correcting IOLs
Presbyopia correcting IOLs are advanced lenses designed to improve vision at all distances. Since they can correct near, intermediate, and distance vision, these lenses offer patients the greatest chance of reducing or eliminating their need for glasses or contact lenses. There are several varieties of presbyopia correcting IOLs:
- Multifocal IOLs have varying magnification powers at different places within the lens, allowing patients to see clearly at a full spectrum of distance ranges.
- Accommodating IOLs are designed to move with your eye in a way that mimics a natural lens and can correct distance vision as well as reduce the need for reading glasses.
- Extended Depth IOLs are innovative lenses designed to enhance the depth of focus, meaning that patients can focus easily between close, intermediate, and distance vision.
Toric IOLs are lenses that can correct astigmatism, which is a common vision error that causes blurry or distorted vision. Several types of toric IOLs are available. Monofocal toric lenses treat astigmatism, but correct vision at just one distance. Advanced, multifocal toric IOLs can correct astigmatism, as well as allow patients to see clearly at a range of distances which may reduce or eliminate the need for glasses.
Which IOL is Right for Me?
At Bernitsky Vision, we are committed to helping you find personalized vision solutions. There are several considerations, including your eye health, lifestyle, and budget, that will factor into your IOL choice. During your consultation appointment, our cataract surgeon will explain all your options to help determine your best fit.
Does Insurance Cover Intraocular Lens Implants?
Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, will cover the cost of cataract surgery and standard, monofocal IOLs for patients with cataracts. Advanced IOL options, including presbyopia correcting and toric lenses, are not typically covered by insurance and pricing of advanced IOLs varies by brand and type. Although they are not covered by insurance, many patients choose to invest out of pocket funds in advanced IOL options in order to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses.
For patients who are choosing to improve their vision with RLE, but have not been diagnosed with cataracts, surgery and all IOL options are considered elective. Affordable financing is available for qualified patients, which can help you fit the procedure and IOL of your choice in your budget. Contact us to learn more about affordable payment options.