Everything You Should Know About IOLs

Over time, the natural lens of the eye may become stiff and cloudy, resulting in a decrease in visual quality. This is called a cataract and, if left untreated, will lead to total vision loss. Luckily, cataract surgery is one of the safest and most common procedures in the world, made even safer by the experienced surgeons and advanced technology at Buffalo Ophthalmology.

If you’ve ever looked into what cataract surgery entails, you may have heard the term “IOL” before. Read on to learn more about IOLs and how your choice of IOL can affect your vision following cataract surgery.

What is an IOL?

During cataract surgery, the clouded natural lens of the eye is broken up and removed. After this, the surgeon will carefully and precisely insert and position a new artificial lens in the lens capsule. This artificial lens is called an IOL, which stands for “intraocular lens.”

But not all IOLs are created equal. Before surgery, cataract patients will sit down with their surgeon and discuss which type of IOL will fit their unique lifestyle and visual needs. There are several types of IOLs to choose from:

Standard IOLs

Standard IOLs are monofocal, which means they improve vision at just one distance. This makes them a great choice for patients who wish to restore their vision to the same quality as before they developed cataracts, but also means that they will still need whichever form of vision correction they had previously used. Standard IOLs are typically covered by insurance.

At Buffalo Ophthalmology, our surgeons were among the first in the area to offer the Alcon Clareon® IOL, one of the highest quality standard IOLs available today.

Advanced Premium IOLs

Advanced premium IOLs can not only restore vision to pre-cataract quality, but also improve it, decreasing a patient’s reliance on glasses or other corrective eyewear following surgery. For example, multifocal IOLs can account for refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness), while toric IOLs correct astigmatism. However, these lenses may not be covered by insurance.

IOL technology is constantly improving, and at Buffalo Ophthalmology, we’re proud to offer some of the most advanced IOLs available today, including:

  • The AcrySof™ IQ PanOptix™ Trifocal IOL, a leading presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) correcting IOL that optimizes vision at intermediate distance without compromising near and distance vision
  • The AcrySof™ IQ Vivity™ IOL, the first of its kind to use Vivity X-WAVE technology to deliver an extended range of vision
  • The TECNIS Symfony® IOL, which is primarily used to correct both presbyopia and astigmatism while delivering a full range of vision

While our cataract surgeons prefer these lenses to grant our patients their best vision, they will always take the time to listen to our patients’ goals, explain all available options, and make a recommendation based on their individual visual needs.

Your surgeon should never make you feel pressured to choose an IOL or try to “sell” you on the most expensive option. If you live an active lifestyle, for example, a premium option that reduces your reliance on glasses may be best for you; if you don’t mind using reading glasses, a standard IOL could be your best option. It’s all about what works best for you, period.

Cataract Surgery in Buffalo, NY

If you’re considering cataract surgery, you may feel overwhelmed, but our Buffalo cataract surgery specialists are here to answer any questions you may have. To request an appointment with our renowned cataract surgeon, Deepan Selvadurai, M.D., reach out to Buffalo Ophthalmology today at 716-706-4945.

eye doctor and patient cataract surgery

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