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About Premium Intraocular Lenses

Your Lens Options After Cataract Surgery

At Oregon Eye Specialists, we offer the most advanced lens implants after cataract removal. These premium intraocular lenses (IOLs) give you the best possible vision. With premium IOLs, many people never need glasses after cataract surgery, or only wear them occasionally.

Your options include:

  • Standard (single-focus) IOLs
  • Multifocal and toric IOLs, for your best vision without glasses

How does an IOL work?

An intraocular lens (IOL) works by replacing the focusing power of your eye’s natural lens. Today’s IOL technology can give you better vision – often without glasses – than before cataract surgery.

Your Oregon Eye Specialists physician thoroughly evaluates your eyes before recommending an IOL. We’ll also talk about your work, hobbies and other activities to make sure your IOL fits your lifestyle.

About Standard IOLs (Single-focus)

Standard IOLs give you sharp, clear focusing power at a single distance, either close up (near vision) or far away (distance vision). They are also called single-focus or monofocal IOLs.

If you choose an IOL for near vision, you wear glasses to drive or see objects at a distance. If your IOL is designed for distance vision, you wear glasses for reading and other close-up activities.

You might choose one IOL for near vision and one for distance. This is called monovision. Your Oregon Eye Specialists physician can help you select the best option.

Does insurance cover standard IOLs?

Yes. When cataracts are advanced enough that surgery is considered medically necessary, health insurance (including Medicare) covers cataract surgery and standard IOLs.

Your Oregon Eye Specialists physician can talk with you about what is medically necessary and discuss your options.

Oregon Eye Specialists offers the Alcon AcrySof IQ® lens implant

We also offer the Abbott TECNIS® monofocal lens implant

Talk to your Oregon Eye Specialists physician about the best standard IOL for you.

About Multifocal and Accommodating IOLs

Multifocal and accommodating IOLs are designed to eliminate your need for or reduce your dependence on glasses after cataract surgery compared to standard IOLs. They are an upgrade from standard IOLs.

Multifocal IOLs eliminate or reduce your dependence on reading glasses compared to standard IOLs. They are designed to provide both distance (far away) and near (close up) focus at all times.

Multifocal IOLs work differently from bifocal eyeglasses. With bifocals, you look through the top part of the lens for distance and the bottom part for near vision. A multifocal IOL has concentric rings that help your brain select the right focus automatically. Like wearing bifocals, this can take time. Your vision without glasses usually improves gradually over the first year.

The rings of multifocal IOLs can create halos – a glow around lights at night. This depends partly on the size of your pupils, the area where light enters your eye. The amount of light affects halo size. With time, your brain gradually adapts, and most people with multifocal IOLs feel this effect is minor.

Oregon Eye Specialists offers the latest multifocal lens options, including the Alcon AcrySof ReSTOR IQ® premium lens implant. In research sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 80 percent of people with this premium IOL never needed glasses. If they did, they usually used glasses only for activities at intermediate distances, such as using a computer, seeing the dashboard display in a car or playing the piano.

We also offer the latest generation of the Abbott TECNIS® multifocal lens.

Your Oregon Eye Specialists doctor can tell you if a multifocal IOL is right for you. We’ll help you select the best lens for your needs.

Does insurance cover the upgrade to a multifocal IOL?

No. Health insurance (including Medicare) covers cataract surgery with standard IOLs when your cataracts are advanced enough that surgery is considered medically necessary.

Multifocal IOLs offer the added convenience of reduced dependence on glasses after surgery. Insurance companies don’t consider this benefit a medical necessity, so they do not cover the upgrade to a premium IOL. They do cover the cost of surgery if cataract removal is medically necessary.

If you choose a multifocal implant, we request that you pay for your premium IOL in advance. This is because the implant must be ordered before surgery in your specific focusing power. Your advance payment covers this cost.

Our office staff can answer any questions about insurance and payments.

About Accommodating IOLs

Accommodating IOLs give you clear vision without glasses at a greater range of distances — near, far and mid-range — compared to a standard IOL. These lenses have a hinge that flexes with your eye muscles to change the lens focus.

The Crystalens® from Bausch & Lomb is the only accommodating IOL approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Oregon Eye Specialists offers the Crystalens AO, the latest generation of this premium lens. In one FDA-sponsored study, almost all Crystalens wearers saw well enough without glasses to pass a driver’s license exam and read the newspaper.

Depending on your vision and lifestyle needs, you may choose a Crystalens implant with slightly different focus in each eye. This can give you a better range of vision. You might also choose a combination of multifocal and Crystalens IOLs for the best possible vision without glasses. Your Oregon Eye Specialists physician can discuss all your options with you.

The Crystalens offers very good night vision. It is designed differently from a multifocal IOL, so it does not produce halos.

Does insurance cover the upgrade to a Crystalens?

No. Health insurance (including Medicare) covers cataract surgery with standard IOLs when your cataracts are advanced enough that surgery is considered medically necessary.

The Crystalens accommodating IOL offers the convenience of seeing without glasses across a greater range of distances (near, far and mid-range) after surgery. Insurance companies don’t consider this benefit a medical necessity, so they do not cover the upgrade. They do cover the cost of surgery if cataract removal is medically necessary.

If you choose a Crystalens, we ask that you pay for your premium IOL in advance. This is because the implant must be ordered before surgery in your chosen focusing range. Your advance payment covers this cost.

Our office staff can answer any questions about insurance and payments.

Toric IOLs

Toric IOLs offer patients with moderate astigmatism better vision without glasses. Astigmatism, a common eye condition caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens, causes distorted or blurred vision. Other IOLs don’t correct astigmatism, so you might need glasses to correct it after cataract surgery. If you want better vision without glasses, a toric IOL could be for you.

With a toric IOL, you usually wear glasses for reading, computer work, and other close-up activities. It is possible to have toric lenses for near vision (close focus) or to set one eye for distance and one for near. Talk with your Oregon Eye Specialists doctor about your options.

If you only have astigmatism in one eye, you only need one toric lens.

Oregon Eye Specialists offers the Alcon AcrySof Toric lens implant. Your doctor can talk with you about toric lens options.

Does insurance cover the upgrade to a toric IOL?

No. Health insurance (including Medicare) covers cataract surgery with standard IOLs when your cataracts are advanced enough that surgery is considered medically necessary.

Toric IOLs offer the convenience of improving your vision without glasses after surgery. Insurance companies don’t consider this benefit a medical necessity, so they do not cover the upgrade. They do cover the cost of surgery if cataract removal is medically necessary.

If you choose a toric IOL, we ask that you pay for your premium IOL in advance. This is because the implant must be ordered before surgery in your chosen focusing range. Your advance payment covers this cost.

Our office staff can answer any questions about insurance and payments.

The Right Lens for You

Because your eyes are so important for everything you do, selecting an IOL is a very personal decision. At Oregon Eye Specialists, your doctor will help you consider all your options. Our doctors are Northwest residents, so they know what it’s like to walk in the rain, drive to the coast, ski or enjoy a good book. They’ve advised thousands of patients, and are familiar with the latest technology in premium and standard IOLs. Talk with your Oregon Eye Specialists doctor about the best lens for your eyes – and your life.

Frequently Asked Questions about IOLs

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