Advanced Technology Lens Implants
A cataract develops as the natural lens of the eye ages. In general it is a slow and gradual process. Presently there is no way to prevent this from occurring and it will begin for most people between age 45-55 and progress slowly over time. Cataracts can develop more rapidly as a result of traumatic injury to the eye and some medications can hasten the speed at which a cataract develops. Most people over the age of 60 will be diagnosed with cataracts when examined by an Ophthalmologist. The overwhelming majority will not require surgery until the cataract begins to affect the daily activities and becomes symptomatic. This will vary from patient to patient depending on the individual’s level of activity and visual needs/requirements. Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens that has developed a cataract and replacing it with an artificial lens, an Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL). Dr. Block uses only Advanced Technology Intraocular Lens Implants.
There are 3 types of Advanced Technology Lens implants currently offered by Dr. Block:
As newer lens technology evolves Dr.Block will assess the data and determine whether he will adopt the newer technology for his patients.
Aspheric Monofocal IOL
Dr. Block commonly utilizes an Aspheric IOL that provides outstanding vision clarity and improved contrast sensitivity in poor contrast situations such as inclement weather. However, a monofocal IOL is limited in that it will only focus the eye for distance or near but not both and it does not correct any astigmatism (bending of images due to irregular corneal shape). Therefore, most patients opting for a monofocal lens implant will require glasses after cataract surgery to be fully functional at both distance and near. While some patients will be comfortable with just reading glasses most patients will opt for bifocal or progressive glasses. If there is any significant astigmatism the patient will require glasses to see clearly both distance and near. The cost for the monofocal lens is included in the surgical fee charged by the facility where the surgery is performed and paid for by insurance.
A Toric IOL is designed for patients with astigmatism. Use of a Toric IOL will significantly reduce the need for astigmatism correction with glasses. Most patients opting to have a Toric lens IOL will not require any glasses for distance vision or activities like driving, golfing, boating, tennis, skiing, hiking watching movies, theater or TV. They will require glasses for reading, although frequently they are comfortable with using “cheater” readers off the shelf. Many patients with a Toric IOL will be comfortable using a computer without any glasses. Some Toric lens patients wear bifocal or progressive glasses some or all of the time. The cost for this lens is not covered by insurance and represents an out-of-pocket expense. It is eligible for coverage through a Health Spending account or an FSA.
Unlike the Toric and monofocal IOLs a Multifocal IOL provides both distance and near vision as well as intermediate. Any astigmatism will be treated by Dr. Block with an additional procedure at the time of surgery. The Multifocal IOL provides an excellent alternative to wearing glasses and more than 95% of patients with multifocal lens implants when asked, would opt for the IOL again. Approximately 75-80% of patients implanted with Multifocal IOL are able to function well without ever using glasses. Of the remaining 25%, most only require glasses occasionally for reading in dim light or performing fine detailed work like threading a needle or sewing. A very small percentage will require glasses for driving. The Multifocal IOL offers a patient an opportunity to free themselves from glasses. It is not a bifocal and does not require any head positioning to use the reading function. The patient just looks at what they want and the brain is able to select a focal point in the lens to view the desired image.
This is the best choice for patients who want to significantly reduce or eliminate the need for glasses and maintain good depth perception. The cost for this lens is not covered by insurance and represents an out-of-pocket expense. It is eligible for coverage through a Health Spending account or an FSA.