Lens options for cataract surgery.
Basic Monofocal Lens:
Mono-focal lenses provide clear vision for a single distance (i.e. near or far) and are usually chosen to make your distance vision clearer. With a mono-focal lens implant, even if you do not currently need to wear glasses for near vision activities (i.e. reading the newspaper, doing crossword puzzles, dialing a phone, or working at a computer), after surgery there is a high likelihood that you will. You may also need glasses for distance activities such as driving. Surgery with a mono-focal IOL implant is covered by Medicare and most commercial insurance plans with the usual out of pocket expenses, such as your deductible, co-pays, and/or co-insurance. This is the basic option.
Astigmatism occurs when an eye is out of round. A round eye sees better than an eye that is not round. Some astigmatism can be corrected with corneal relaxing incisions at the time of cataract surgery to make the eye rounder. Larger amounts of astigmatism may need a Toric lens to correct all the astigmatism. The Toric lens or relaxing incisions can usually give you good vision at distance for driving, TV, and sporting events. Glasses will be needed for reading, as well as intermediate vision.
A multifocal implant, such as the Panoptix lens, is like putting a trifocal in your eye including astigmatism correction when necessary. The goal is to gain as much freedom from glasses as possible for both near and far vision. Patients with these lenses enjoy a larger range of vision, with glasses-free clarity for distance vision, intermediate distance (computer, car dashboard, etc.), and most near vision tasks. Patients typically report needing reading glasses for very small print and extended reading. Some people will experience halos around lights at night, but these usually subside over the first couple of months if they are noticed at all. This is the lens to choose if you have a healthy eye and value the greatest independence from glasses with an infrequent need for reading glasses.
The Vivity lens has an enhanced depth of focus compared to the standard lens. This provides a larger range of focus than the mono-focal lenses without the potential for nighttime glare typical with multifocal implants. Although most people find that they still need reading glasses for smaller print, being flexible and moving also gives you a better range of vision. Therefore, you can expect good distance and intermediate vision (i.e. eating, dashboard, computer), with some near vision. Vivity is also very excellent at correcting astigmatism. This is the lens to choose if you desire expanded freedom from glasses but aren’t an ideal candidate for multifocal lenses and are okay with weak reading glasses for closer vision.