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Multifocal and Toric lenses in Cataract Surgery


There have been many advances in cataract surgery that have made the process easier and more successful. The intraocular lens or IOL technology is one such advance.  IOLs are now able to correct astigmatism and give people a range of vision.  That means you no longer have to choose either distance or near vision  as your end point when having surgery.  

Let’s explore this further.  Most people who need cataract surgery wear glasses full time and/or the glasses don’t improve their vision.  Once cataract surgery is completed, many people expect to not wear glasses at all.  With a traditional monofocal lens, that is not possible.  Most people will still need a reading glasses, and some will need to wear glasses full time.  At the time of surgery, you can chose to be more independent from glasses by correcting  astigmatism, and implanting a multifocal lens.  This allows you to see at a distance and up close under most lighting conditions.  There will still be times when glasses would be helpful though.  Currently, we are using the Restor Acrysof lens http://www.reclaimyourvision.com/cataract/acrysof-iq-restor-iol.shtml  and the Technis Symfony lens http://www.tecnisiol.eu/tecnis-symfony-iol.htm 

Not all patients are good candidates though for a multifocal lens.  Please talk to us if you have interest in this type of lens.  It is important to have a thorough exam to see if if this lens is right for you.

Astigmatism can also be corrected with a special lens called a toric lens.  This lens counteracts the irregular shape of a cornea and brings images into focus.  For example, astigmatism makes a circle look like an oval by elongating the image in one direction.  In practical terms, it makes it hard to distinguish an 8 from a 6.  A toric lens will correct this issue and give you the best possible vision uncorrected (without glasses).  You may still need a prescription to read and sometimes to see at a distance, but in general, a toric lens is a great investment.

Specialty lenses are not covered by any insurance.  Insuance companies regard them as cosmetic meaning that all associated expenses are considered “out of pocket”.  If you would like more information, try the links embedded in this resource or call and make an appointment with one of our doctors.