Premium Lens Implants
The success of artificial lens implants beginning some 25 years ago ushered in modem cataract surgery. Today cataract surgery is done with topical anesthesia, minimal sedation, no sutures, no patch, virtually no pain, and almost immediate return of vision. Until recently, all lens implants were "monofocal" leaving the eye in focus at one fixed distance. If the lens power chosen is such that the eye sees clearly at a distance, then glasses are required for computer or reading. Some people like to have one eye, usually the dominant eye, set for distance and the other for closer up. This is called monovision since only one is clear at either distance with some resultant loss of depth perception. Glasses should still be worn for driving.
There are several FDA approved multifocal lens implants that create both a distance and a near image and one accommodating lens implant (Crystalens) that can somewhat change focus much like the natural lens of someone in their 40's. The loss of accommodation, or focusing ability, that always occurs around age 45 is called presbyopia. If you desire to be free of glasses as much as possible and are willing to pay extra for this convenience, then a presbyopia correcting premium lens implant may be right for you.
With a multifocal lens, there are slight halos around lights at night compared to a Monofocal lens and, with any of these lenses, glasses may be needed at times depending on the lighting, particularly for computer. To achieve optimal results any remaining refractive error, such as astigmatism must be minimal. Eximer laser corneal refractive surgery or limbal relaxing incisions for astigmatism are the two main surgical ways to treat residual refractive errors. Patients with larger amounts of astigmatism may be better candidates for toric astigmatism correcting lens implants rather than presbyopia correcting implants. We will be happy to explain any or all this in more detail after examining your eyes.
A number of tests and measurements are done prior to surgery and some time needs to be spent in consultation with the surgeon to decide which particular implant is best for you. Insurance, including Medicare, now allows you to upgrade to a premium lens implant and still be covered for the surgery and the cost of a standard lens implant.