Although cataract surgery is an elective procedure, it’s often seen as medically necessary to restore vision loss. If you have advanced cataracts, cataract surgery is the only way to remove them.

By having cataract surgery, you’ll be able to regain your sight and restore any vision loss due to cataracts. But if you want further visual improvement, considering certain IOLs before cataract surgery can mean better vision than you had before cataracts.

Keep reading to learn how to pick an IOL before cataract surgery and optimize your vision!

What Exactly is an IOL?

IOL stands for intraocular lens. An IOL is an artificial lens used to replace your natural lens, which your St. Luke’s at The Villages cataract surgeon removes during cataract surgery.

Cataracts form on the natural lens, and the procedure involves removing the entire lens and replacing it with an IOL. There are several kinds of IOLs.

Before having cataract surgery, you’ll choose what you’ll have. Your IOL of choice will be determined between you and your cataract surgeon at St. Luke’s at The Villages.

Their recommendation will be based on your visual needs, lifestyle, budget, and goals after cataract surgery. Here are some of the things to consider when you’re looking at IOL choices: 

The Options

Before discussing how to choose an IOL, it’s important to understand your options. At St. Luke’s at The Villages, we offer three different cataract surgery packages, including various IOLs.

Monofocal IOL

A monofocal IOL is the standard option included with the price of cataract surgery and is usually covered by health insurance. Monofocal lenses are uniform lenses that help you see either up close or at a distance.

If you choose monofocals, you’ll still need glasses to see at the opposite distance unless you choose a lesser-known option called monovision.

Monovision occurs when one lens is put into one eye to see up close and one into the other to see at a distance.

Monovision allows some people to see well between the two distances as the eyes work together. However, not everyone can adjust to monovision, so it may not be an option if you choose monofocals.

Astigmatism Reduction

Our astigmatism reduction package includes toric lenses. Toric lenses are IOLs designed specifically to correct astigmatism.

Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is irregularly shaped, leading to distorted vision at all distances. Toric lenses are the only IOLs specifically designed to correct astigmatism.

Our astigmatism reduction package may also include limbal relaxing incisions, which can further correct astigmatism in patients who require them.

Lifestyle Vision

The Lifestyle Vision package includes some of the most advanced IOLs available: PanOptix trifocal lenses. The PanOptix trifocal IOL is a lens constructed with three different sections.

The first helps you see up close, the second is for seeing at a distance, and the third is for seeing at a middle or intermediate distance. Your eyes learn to look through the lens to best see what you’re focusing on.

This allows you to experience incredible vision, particularly up close and at arm’s length. We also offer the toric PanOptix, the toric model of the PanOptix IOL, to correct astigmatism.

Choosing the Right Package for You

Now that you know the cataract surgery package options offered at St. Luke’s at The Villages, there are a few things to consider when making your choice of IOL:

What is Your Budget?

Of all the cataract surgery packages and IOLs offered at St. Luke’s at The Villages, only monofocal lenses are usually covered by insurance. Because of this, you will have to pay out of pocket for our other packages. 

Our Lifestyle Vision package is priced the highest of our three packages but offers the best results in unassisted vision post-cataract surgery. Before you choose an IOL, decide how much you can spend and what the cost of better vision is worth to you. If you can afford better vision and know that reducing your dependence on visual aids is important, the Lifestyle Vision package may be the best one to consider.

Does Monovision Work for You?

Before choosing a monofocal IOL, you should consider monovision. Your eye doctor can prescribe contact lenses that simulate monovision with IOLs.

It can take a while to adjust to seeing with monovision, and some people are unable to see with monovision at all. Trying these lenses for a week or two is essential in choosing the best IOL for you.

Do You Want to Correct Your Astigmatism?

Toric lenses can correct mild astigmatism. If you have mild astigmatism but don’t like wearing glasses to correct it, a toric IOL may be the perfect choice.

These lenses will reduce your dependence on glasses and give you clearer vision day to day. Standard toric lenses are also budget-friendly, as they cost less than our lifestyle lenses.

Do You Want to Reduce Dependence on Reading Glasses?

If you want to be able to see without reading glasses, the PanOptix trifocal IOL should be at the top of your list to consider. Most patients with the trifocal IOL never or only rarely need to use reading glasses.

These lenses can reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses, prescription glasses, and contacts.

Talk to Your Eye Doctor

Once you review the options and think about what you want, talk to your eye doctor to learn more. They’ll be able to advise you and tell you more about each option so you can make an informed decision together.

Are you ready to schedule your cataract surgery consultation and learn more about the IOL options available? Schedule yours at St. Luke’s at The Villages in Lake Sumter Landing, FL, today! Stop imagining better vision and start experiencing it after cataract surgery!