primary eye care

How Do I Choose An IOL?

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A lot goes into preparing for cataract surgery. You need to attend several eye doctor appointments to watch the growth of your cataract.

You also need to follow preoperative instructions, and you need to know what you are going to do after the surgery. One of the most important parts of getting ready for the procedure is selecting an IOL.

An IOL is short for an intraocular lens. The IOL is what will give you clear vision after your cataract afflicted lens has been removed. There are several types of IOLs available.

Knowing how each kind of IOL functions is essential to picking the right IOL for your lifestyle. Keep reading to learn how to choose an IOL!

The Different Kinds of IOLs

There are two groups of IOLs: premium IOLs and the standard IOL. The standard IOL option is a monofocal IOL.

Monofocal IOLs

Monofocal IOLs provide clear sight at one predetermined distance, either near or far. With this IOL, you need to wear glasses after cataract surgery. This is to make up for the uncorrected distance.

The only real advantage of monofocal IOLs is that they are the cheapest option. You will continue being dependent on glasses with a monofocal IOL.

Premium IOLs

Premium IOLs are different because they allow for vision at several distances. They can even potentially correct previous refractive errors.

This means that you could end up with better vision than you’ve ever had before. What premium IOLs do not guarantee is full independence from glasses. At the very least, you will need glasses much less with these IOLs.

The first premium IOL option is multifocal IOLs. Multifocal IOLs function like other multi-focus lenses. They use the structure of the lens itself to correct incoming light.

The second premium IOL option is accommodating IOLs. Accommodating IOls are able to change focus by physically moving.

In this way, they act more like your natural lens. This IOL offers a smoother transition when changing focus.

The third premium IOL option is toric IOLs. Toric IOLs are the only IOL specifically designed for patients with astigmatism.

They are custom-fitted for patients with astigmatism.

If you want to reduce visual disturbances that can occur with other IOLs, you may want aspheric IOLs. Aspheric IOLs have a shape much closer to a natural lens. This allows for more natural vision.

What If I Don’t Like My IOL?

If you’re not happy with the IOL you chose, you can exchange your IOL for a different option. The procedure is as safe as it was the first time, although all kinds of surgery carry certain risks.

It is rare and unusual for a patient to be unhappy with the IOL they choose. It does happen on occasion. To prevent it from happening, we recommend having a conversation with your doctor.

They can recommend which IOL they think will be best for you. This is why it’s important to take your lifestyle and needs into consideration.

Choosing an IOL is an important decision that you should not make lightly.

Tired of living with cataracts that inhibit your vision? Schedule a cataract screening at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor, ME today!

cataracts vision care of maine

Cataracts are inevitable. As you get older, your chances of developing them will only continue to increase. If you have cataracts, they can put a stop to some of your favorite hobbies by obscuring your vision. In addition to distorting your vision, they can make your vision look like it’s tinted yellow or brown. This can make simply trying to relax with a book exasperating and will make driving (especially at night) dangerous. Having your self-sufficiency taken away from you can be difficult and frustrating, but there is hope for you if you have cataracts. Cataract removal surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries, meaning it is extremely understood and safe to undergo. 

How A Cataract Blocks Vision

A cataract is made up of proteins that exist in the nourishing fluid that flows through your eye, known as the aqueous humor. When a cataract starts forming, these proteins start clumping together on the lens of the eye. The lens is important because it helps light to focus properly on the retina. Cataract surgery isn’t necessary until your cataract starts obscuring your vision. This happens over time and causes the clump of proteins to get bigger and bigger until they block a significant amount of light. This is when a cataract is ready to be removed.

The Goal Of Cataract Surgery

It may seem obvious that the goal of cataract surgery is to remove your cataract, but there’s more to it than that.  During cataract surgery, your cataract is removed by fully removing the lens of your eye.

To remove the lens, your cataract surgeon at Vision Care of Maine will break up the lens using an ultrasonic device or laser. The broken pieces of the lens are then sucked out of your eye. After the lens and cataract have been removed, an IOL (also known as an intraocular lens) is placed into your eye to replace the lens. Your IOL will take over the job of your lens, without being clouded or obscuring your vision.

Which IOL Is Right For You?

Before cataract surgery, you will discuss what kind of IOL is best for you. In addition to improving your vision, IOLs are able to correct refractive errors. There are several different kinds of IOLs available, but if you are going to cover your procedure with Medicare, the only IOL that is covered is a monofocal IOL.

A monofocal lens improves your distance vision, but you may still require the use of reading glasses if you need to see things up close after cataract surgery. Different types of IOLs have advantages and disadvantages against each other. There are a lot to choose from— multifocal IOLs that have multiple focusing ranges, accommodating IOLs that mimic the small movements of a natural lens, and Toric IOLs that can correct for astigmatism. Premium IOLs like multifocal, accommodating, and Toric lenses are a great option if you are looking for freedom for glasses after cataract surgery! 

Want to learn more about cataracts or schedule your cataract surgery? Contact Vision Care of Maine to schedule your cataract surgery consultation!

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