Another one of the options you’ll need to consider for your cataract surgery is which type of intraocular lens (IOL) you will get.
During cataract removal surgery, the ophthalmologist will remove your natural lens, which is affected by the cataract. Because you need a lens to see, the surgeon will replace your compromised lens with an IOL. There are different types, each with their own plus and minus points.
This is the most common type of IOL used in cataracts surgeries. It’s also the one which is most likely to be covered by your health insurance plan. Medicare covers monofocal IOLs, too. Monofocals are best for people who need vision correction for near, far, and intermediate distances.
A lot of people have their monofocal IOLs set for intermediate or far distances and then use reading glasses when they need to see close up. Monofocals have been used for years and are very reliable.
Multifocal or accommodative lenses are a bit more expensive than monofocal IOLs. This means that not all insurance providers will cover the cost of them. However, because they help the wearer to see both far and near objects, they can eliminate the need for glasses after cataract surgery — an appealing option for many of us!
There is a drawback though, some wearers report increased “halo” effects while they are driving at night. There may also be increased glare. This is called contrast sensitivity. Some people with accommodative lenses don’t have this problem, others do. If you frequently drive at night, monofocals may be best.
People with mild to moderate astigmatism are best served by toric IOLs. These lenses correct the irregular shape of the cornea and restore vision.