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The Kinds of Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

By Edited Oct 14, 2015 0 0

Among the most frequently performed surgeries today is cataract surgery. The foggy lens of the eye is taken out and replaced with an artificial one made from assorted materials. Intraocular lens (IOL) replacement has existed for five decades but it did not become a standard of care until the 1980's. Before intraocular lenses (IOLs) were available, people were forced to wear contact lenses or thick glasses to compensate for the loss of the eye’s natural lens.

These days, cataract operations have a high rate of success and minimal complications. Patients can recover quicker than in previous times and the outcomes of cataract surgery have improved greatly.

A person has numerous choices as far as eye replacement lenses are concerned just as they have several options for eye wear. At one time, the patient could not make a choice for the most beneficial lens. Now, a patient has more input in the selection.

We will break down the choices currently available for cataract surgery:

Standard IOLs

A regular IOL will take the place of the foggy eye lens with a lens that is designed to fix eyesight for one length (distance or close). This could certainly still leave you having to put on glasses or contacts to see at distances that your new IOLs don’t fix.

The advantage of a regular IOL is the fact they are generally fully included with Medicare. Any kind of premium lens, like those that fix astigmatism, are multifocal or are of different materials would require you to pay the difference in cost with your own money.

Toric IOLs

A toric IOL is designed to correct astigmatism and is comparable with wearing contact lenses. Toric lenses are regarded as a premium alternative and they have further costs linked to them.

These lenses are able to repair a moderate quantity of astigmatism (generally from 1.00 to 3.00 D). Numerous cataract surgeons will also employ astigmatic keratotomy (AK) or LRI -  limbal relaxation incisions to remedy astigmatism by making little incisions in precise locations on the cornea.

Positioning of this kind of lens is crucial with a toric IOL since the alignment of the lens needs to be just right. If the lens revolves, it might be necessary to have an additional operation to correct the motion of the lens or to substitute it.

Aspheric Intraocular Lenses

An aspheric lens has a non-uniform shape. It features a flatter contour close to the borders. It helps to greatly cut down aberrations especially spherical aberration.

Some research has indicated aspheric lenses can make differences in contrast as compared to the regular IOL. Though any IOL lens can provide better eyesight and contrast in contrary to the one being removed, the power to distinguish contrast is largely reliant on the condition of the retina.

Two companies specializing in these lenses are Alcon and Bauch & Lomb. 

Monovision

The monovision intraocular lens generally does not fit in a specific category. This lens will be used in one eye for distance eyesight and the other will be used in the other eye for close-up. It is similar to what occurs if a patient has monovison contact lenses put in.  

If you are considering a monovision IOL, you should make certain that you feel comfortable before you undergo this kind of operation. A majority of people who choose this surgery already know they can handle monovison because they have worn contact lenses. See your doctor and ask them about monovision contact lenses before you consider the surgery. The usual disadvantage is they can throw off your binocularity(both eyes operating jointly) and depth perception. Looking at objects right in front of you can be a problem. For example, when you look at a computer screen, it will not be clear because you eyes have not been fixed to see this distance. 

A few specialists have been testing mixed kinds of IOL lenses to accomplish a modified monovision. They could fix a single eye with a multifocal lens and fix the other to see better up close.

Piggyback IOL

From time to time, the result of intraocular lenses is not what the patient expected. The solution for this problem is putting in an extra lens on the interior of the eye to correct the problem.

Piggyback IOLs are not used frequently and these lenses are regarded a more ideal choice as opposed to taking out the first lens and putting in a new one.

Price

Previously, Medicare would only pay for a regular IOl and if you chose the premium lens, you had to pay the whole cost from your wallet. They changed this rule in 2005 which made it possible for more patients to afford.

The average cost of the premium IOL lens is typically between $2000-$3000 for each eye.

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