If you’re planning on having cataract surgery, it is important to speak with your ophthalmologist about different intraocular lens (IOL) options. While standard IOLs will cure your cataracts, you may have to live with wearing glasses or contacts afterward. For some people, this option works great! But many patients who require cataract surgery want complete freedom from glasses and contacts, and opt for premium IOLs. At BoydVision, we carry a variety of IOLs to best fit our patients’ lifestyles with the bonus of skipping the lengthy waitlist for cataract surgery in Vancouver.
How Does Cataract Surgery Work?
A cataract is the clouding of the natural lens in your eye that focuses light onto your retina. When a cataract develops, light cannot focus properly and results in blurred vision. During the early stages of cataracts, glasses or contacts can help improve your eyesight. However, most people with the condition eventually choose to have their vision restored through cataract surgery.
During cataract surgery, a small incision is made on your eye to access the natural lens. The incision is quite small, so to remove the lens, it’s broken up into pieces using a high-frequency ultrasound device. The fractured lens is then removed and replaced with an IOL. And voilà, vision restored!
Standard monofocal IOLs are a popular lens choice as most health insurance providers cover the cost of a standard lens. There are also multifocal and toric lenses available that may reduce or eliminate the need for glasses after cataract surgery. However, these may be considered premium lenses and therefore not be covered by certain insurance providers. It’s important to discuss the pros and cons of each of these lenses to ensure you’re making the right choice!
Standard IOLs provide excellent vision at one distance only. Patients will need to choose between having proper vision for reading or driving; a reduction in night vision is also typical. Most people who select standard lenses will require glasses for daily activities. The typical patient who opts for standard lenses wants to cure their cataracts but is not concerned about wearing glasses or contacts after surgery. Most provincial healthcare plans also cover standard lenses.
Toric IOLs are premium lenses that fix your cataracts while also correcting astigmatism. Toric lenses offer focused vision at a single distance. Depending on your eye health before cataract surgery, a toric lens may eliminate the need for glasses or contacts post-op.
Lasik and PRK surgeries can be performed after cataract surgery. However, toric IOLs reduce the likelihood of needing these additional surgical procedures.
Multifocal IOLs correct both near and far vision. They act similarly to bifocals in that different parts of the lens are designed for distance, intermediate, and near vision, requiring your brain and eye to figure out which part of the lens to use. Some adjustment time is required for patients to benefit fully from this type of IOL.
Multifocal lenses are premium lenses that may reduce or eliminate your need for glasses after cataract surgery. The main drawback of multifocal IOLs is that they are likely to cause glare or halos at night. If you have a cataract you may be experiencing this already.
Speak with your Ophthalmologist about Your IOL Options
Not all surgeons offer the options of toric or multifocal lenses, so it’s essential to bring this up with your ophthalmologist if you’re considering cataract surgery in Vancouver.
Want to skip the waitlist for cataract surgery? Are you looking to cure your cataracts and eliminate your need for glasses at the same time? Get a free cataract surgery consultation from BoydVision.