Standard vs Premium Lens Implant Cataract Surgery
It’s Your Choice
A cataract is a natural clouding of the lens in the eye commonly seen among people 70 years and older. Patients with cataracts typically will complain of blurred vision, nighttime glare, and occasionally double vision. Cataracts are caused by aging but are made worse by UV sun exposure, steroids, and diabetes.
The treatment for cataracts involves the surgical removal of the cloudy, “cataractous” lens and its replacement with an intraocular lens implant. Cataract surgery is performed by Eye M.D.s (ophthalmologists) in an operating room under sterile conditions utilizing a microscope and mild IV sedation. In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed through a tiny incision using an ultrasonic needle. The “cataractous” lens is then replaced with a clear, plastic lens implant. Since cataract surgery is performed through a self-sealing wound, sutures are not necessary. The entire procedure takes around 15 minutes!
The latest advance in cataract surgery surrounds the lens implant. In the past, the “standard” lens implant allowed you to see clearly at either distance or near without glasses following your cataract surgery. Today we have “premium” lens implants that allow you to see near, far, and everywhere in-between without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Standard lens implant
- single focus lens
- allows vision at one point – distance or near
- no correction for astigmatism
- advantage – insurance covers the cost
- disadvantage – glasses needed for distance or near and sometimes both
Premium lens implant
- variable focus lens
- allows vision at near, far, and everywhere in-between
- correction for astigmatism
- advantage – 90% independence from glasses or contact lenses
- disadvantage – patient pays out of pocket
Premium lens implants
The Tecnis lens is an intraocular, multifocal lens. This lens does not move like the Crystalens; instead it remains fixed and has variable powers on its surface giving it variable focusing capabilities. This allows patients to see near, far, and intermediate distances following cataract surgery.
The Crystalens HD is an accommodating lens which means it is hinged and flexes backward and forward in your eye as your eye muscles relax and contract. This movement of the lens inside the eye results in variable lens power. This is similar to how the natural lens works in a young person’s eye. 98% of patients implanted with the Crystalens HD will be able to read a newspaper, use their computer, and drive their car without glasses.
The TORIC lens is an astigmatic lens. Its purpose is to treat moderate amounts of astigmatism so patients can decrease their need for glasses at distance and near. It is not as precise as LASIK in the treatment of astigmatism but for patients with cataracts it is a good, less expensive alternative to LASIK.
After deciding to have cataract surgery, your next biggest decision is whether you want a standard or a premium lens implant. Dr. Strecker will advise you according to your lifestyle needs and your eye examination. But the bottom line is its your choice whether a standard or a premium lens implant would be best for you!