Until recently, cataract patients received basic monofocal lens implants that had only a single power. This meant you had a choice of clear vision either far or near vision, but not both. This means that you still need glasses for either reading or for distance vision. The FDA has now approved multifocal lens implants for use by certified ophthalmologists. The multifocal IOL (Intra-Ocular-Lens) lens can increase your chances for a life free of glasses after cataract surgery for near, far, and intermediate vision.
If you have worn glasses for a very long time this might be an opportunity for you to eliminate this hassle from your life.
The ReSTOR Multifocal Lens Implant
If you would like freedom from glasses, the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL is an outstanding choice. This lens provides clear full range vision, from far to near with minimal need for glasses. In fact, 97% of our patients no longer need any eyewear after receiving this lens implant. This lens comes closest to restoring a natural range of vision that you had in your youth.
How is the lens used in conjunction with cataract surgery?
If you having cataract surgery, Dr. Levine will tell you if a multifocal lens, like the ReSTOR lens is an option. In cataract surgery, your natural lens, which has become cloudy, is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens. The majority of intraocular lenses that are currently available for use by ophthalmologists are designed to give patients good distance vision after surgery. Most patients use reading glasses after surgery to read and see things up close. Unlike these standard intraocular lenses, the ReSTOR intraocular lenses are designed to give patients good distance vision as well as reading, or near, vision after surgery.
The FDA-approved ReSTOR procedure is a landmark in vision correction technology for people with cataracts that may restore the eyesight of your youth. During U.S. clinical trials, the results with ReSTOR Procedure were remarkable:
- With ReSTOR®, 97% of patients could see well enough to drive a car without glasses or contacts
- With ReSTOR®, 97% of patients could read the newspaper without reading glasses or bifocals
- With ReSTOR®, 74% of patients could read stock quotes in the Wall Street Journal without reading glasses or bifocals
Is the ReSTOR lens covered by Medicare?
Medicare and most private insurances cover cataract surgery. Medicare beneficiaries may choose to receive multifocal lens, such as the ReSTOR lens, that allows the eye to focus on near, intermediate, and far vision, minimizing the need for corrective lens. However, you are responsible for payment of that portion of the charge for the lens and associated services that exceed the charge for a conventional lens. Our cataract surgical coordinator is available to help with any questions.
Lens Implants to correct astigmatism (Toric) IOL’s
If you have astigmatism you know that it makes it harder for you to get a good prescription for glasses or contacts, and that it interferes with your vision at all distances. It may also interfere with your ability to see clearly after cataract surgery. However, toric lenses allow us to correct your astigmatism and have clear distance vision or near vision. Your cataract and astigmatism can be corrected with one procedure.
Astigmatism occurs when your cornea is more oval than round. In other words, more like a football than a basketball. This shape of the cornea causes vision to be out of focus at all distances. To correct this, you can either reshape the cornea with surgery, such as LASIK or or you can use a lens for cataract surgery that counteracts the astigmatism.
Astigmatism and Cataract Surgery
After cataract surgery, you have many options for the lenses you will receive. You can get a monofocal lens that allows you to see at one distance, or a multifocal lens that can let you have a full range of vision after surgery. But if you have significant astigmatism, then a toric lens may give you the best possible vision. And since astigmatism affects your vision at all distances, it is more likely that you will need glasses all the time after cataract surgery if you do not get a toric lens.
If, however, you receive a toric lens during cataract surgery, you will likely have clear vision without spectacles or contacts for either distance or near vision. For the other type of vision, you can likely select inexpensive vision options, such as off-the-rack reading glasses from your corner pharmacy. In some patients, Dr. Levine will offer an option called ‘blended vision’. This allows one eye to see at distance, and the other at near, thereby minimizing or eliminating the need for glasses.
During your cataract examination, Dr. Levine will discuss your visual needs with you, and rely on several eye tests to determine which type of lens can best correct your vision, and minimize your need for glasses after cataract surgery. For further information, contact us here or call our office at (201) 941-9400.