It depends on your eyes, and on the cataract surgery choices you make.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in the front of your eye. During cataract surgery, your clouded lens is removed and replaced an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, or IOL. The lens you and your surgeon select to implant during cataract surgery plays a big part in your need for glasses after surgery.
Here’s a quick overview of your lens options before we go into more depth.
|Lens Type||Clear Distance Vision||Clear Up-Close Vision||Corrects Astigmatism||Covered by Medicare||Out Of Pocket Costs|
MonoFocal Lenses – Clear Vision at Distance
A MonoFocal lens is the “standard” lens used in many cataract surgeries. It’s designed to remove the cataract clouding your eyes, and give you clear vision at a single distance.
That means that if you and your surgeon choose cataract surgery with a MonoFocal lens, it’s likely afterwords you’ll have clear vision at a distance, but still need to use reading glasses for close up vision when you’re reading, using a computer or doing other close tasks.
The exception is patients with astigmatism, who will still need to wear glasses to correct their astigmatism after cataract surgery with MonoFocal lenses.
The cost of MonoFocal lenses when implanted with cataract surgery is covered by medicare, and most commercial insurance plans.
Toric Lenses – Clear Vision For Patients With Astigmatism
Toric lenses are a type of IOL that allows your surgeon to correct cataracts and astigmatism in a single surgery. If you have astigmatism, it’s likely that you’ve needed to wear glasses or contacts for quite some time to correct your astigmatism.
If you choose cataract surgery with a Toric, astigmatism correcting IOL, it’s likely that you’ll be able to see clearly at a distance without glasses after your surgery. You’ll still need reading glasses for close-up tasks like reading, but many Toric IOL patients are thrilled to go from needing to wear glasses or contacts all the time, to just needing glasses or contacts for close up tasks.
Cataract surgery with Toric lenses requires an out-of-pocket charge in addition to the costs covered by medicare and most commercial insurance programs.
MultiFocal Lenses – Clear Close and Distance Vision
Multifocal cataract lenses are designed to give you clear vision across a range of distances. In studies, between 60% and 88% of patients who have cataract surgery with a MultiFocal lens report that they never wear glasses. For cataract patients who value their ability to see clearly at a range of distances without glasses, a MultiFocal IOL can be a great option.
It’s helpful to understand that providing clear vision at a range of distances with MultiFocal lenses can be a bit of a compromise. For example, a patient who selects a MonoFocal IOL might have slightly clearer distance vision than a patient who selects a MultiFocal IOL. However, the patient who selects a MonoFocal will definitely need reading glasses for close-up tasks, while the MultiFocal patient has a good chance of being completely independent from glasses.
Like Torics, MultiFocal lenses require an out of pocket charge in addition to the cataract surgery costs covered by medicare and most commercial insurance programs.
MultiFocal Toric Lenses – A Close & Distance Vision for Patients With Astigmatism
In the past, patients with astigmatism didn’t have a good option for a multifocal lens that also corrected astigmatism. But, in July of 2016, the FDA approved the Tecnis Symfony. The Symfony is designed to correct cataracts, astigmatism and offer clear vision without glasses at a range of distances.
In studies, about 85% of Synfony patients report wearing glasses little to none of the time, and less than 8% report any issues with haloes, nighttime glare or starbursts. At Moscow Family Eye Care, we were one of the first cataract surgery clinics in our area to offer the Symfony as an option to our patients. It can be a great option for patients with astigmatism, who would like to minimize their dependence on glasses after cataract surgery.
Like Torics and Multi-Focals, the Symfony requires an out of pocket charge in addition to the cataract surgery costs covered by medicare and most commercial insurance programs.
Find Your Best Option
If your goal is living life after cataract surgery without glasses, you have some great options and we’d be happy to help. Just get in touch with our surgical concierge, and we’ll help you find the best option for your vision.
Contact our surgical concierge at (208) 882-3434, or make an appointment online.