Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over 40 and the principal cause of blindness worldwide. There are more cases of cataracts than of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy combined. In the U.S. alone, 30 million people over the age of 40 will have cataracts by the year 2020.
At Wilkinson Eye Center, we have extensive experience with the microsurgery used to remove the cataract-clouded natural lens and replace it with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL). There are many different IOLs to choose from. They all work well to restore your vision. Some IOLs are designed to help you be more spectacle independent. These are called premium lenses. Premium lenses cost more than standard lenses covered by most insurance plans. Ultimately the choice of a stand lens versus a premium lens is up to you. We will help you understand your choices.
We are pleased you have trusted us with the care of your eyes. To help you understand your options for the correction of your cataracts, we have prepared the following information for you.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside of your eye. Most of the time, it is caused by natural aging changes. It is not a film over the eye. Diet, vitamins, eye drops, or lasers will not correct cataracts. The only option for the correction of your cataract is surgery. In cataract surgery the doctor will replace your natural lens with a new artificial lens. Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed medical procedure in the world.
It is important you know all your options for cataract surgery. We are proud to offer the most advanced technology to our patients to restore a full range of vision. The following types of artificial lenses can be placed in your eye at the time of your cataract procedure:
Intraocular Lens Options
At Wilkinson Eye Center, we offer three options for your intraocular replacement lenses. Each has different characteristics in the range of vision improvement they provide, not only returning crystal clear vision to the patient, but also addressing issues such as astigmatism and presbyopia. Here are the premium replacement lenses we offer.
1. Advanced Technology Lens – Symfony Toric Lens, Symfony Lens and Crystalens
This lens will allow you to see things at distance (watching TV, driving), intermediate (dashboard of your car, conversation with friends) and near (computer work, reading the newspaper) decreasing the need for glasses. You may still need glasses for some activities, such as prolonged reading or reading very small print (pill bottles).
2. Toric Lens
Astigmatism is due to an irregularly shaped cornea (front surface of the eye). Astigmatism causes distorted vision which can be corrected at the time of surgery with a toric artificial lens. You will have sharp vision but will still need glasses for certain activities.
3. Standard Lens
This lens will focus at distance (watching TV or driving), or at near (reading a newspaper or book). It cannot focus at more than one distance. You will need glasses for most activities.
The Multifocal lens is designed to reduce your dependence on eyeglasses. The multifocal lens is a specially engineered optic which provides both a distance focus, and a near focus at all times. When doing a task your brain will learn to automatically select the correct focus. For example, you will need to figure out at what distance to hold a piece of reading material. Many patients report over time it improves.
What is my cost?
Medicare and most private insurance companies consider cataract surgery a medically necessary procedure. The insurance coverage of cataract surgery will vary depending on your individual plan. The out-of-pocket cost for surgery will also vary depending on the type of lens you select for your eyes. Advanced technology lenses including the Toric lens are considered a premium service and are not coverage by Medicare and most insurance plans.