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All About Multifocal Implants and Cataract Surgery

Multifocal lens implants are a type of lens that can be used during cataract surgery to help improve vision in patients with cataracts. Unlike traditional monofocal lenses, which only provide clear vision at a single distance, multifocal lenses allow patients to see clearly at multiple distances, including up close, far away, and in between. This can help reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses after cataract surgery.

If you are considering cataract surgery and have been told that you may be a candidate for multifocal lens implants, there are a few things you should know.

What Are Cataracts & How Are They Fixed?

First, it's important to understand what cataracts are and how they affect your vision. A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye, which can cause blurry or distorted vision. As cataracts progress, they can make it more difficult to see clearly, and can even cause vision loss if left untreated.

Cataract surgery is a common and safe procedure that is performed to remove the cloudy lens in your eye and replace it with a clear, artificial lens. This can help restore your vision and improve your overall quality of life.

Traditional Monofocal Lens Implants

“While traditional monofocal lens implants can help improve vision after cataract surgery, they only provide clear vision at a single distance,” explained Dr. Michael Shumski, MD, who performs cataract surgery in Orlando, Florida. This means that you may still need to wear glasses or contact lenses to see clearly at different distances.

How Multifocal Lens Implants Are Different

Multifocal lens implants, on the other hand, are designed to provide clear vision at multiple distances, allowing you to see clearly up close, far away, and in between. This can help reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses after cataract surgery.
It's important to note, however, that multifocal lens implants are not right for everyone. In some cases, patients may not be good candidates for this type of lens due to their individual eye anatomy or other factors. Your eye doctor will be able to determine if multifocal lens implants are a good option for you.

Additionally, while multifocal lens implants can provide many benefits, they can also come with some potential drawbacks. For example, some patients may experience glare or halos around lights at night, which can affect their vision. In rare cases, patients may also experience other visual disturbances, such as blurriness or double vision.

It's important to discuss these potential risks and benefits with your eye doctor before deciding whether or not to have multifocal lens implants. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more information and help you make an informed decision.

How Is the Light Adjustable Lens Different?

The light adjustable lens implant is a monofocal lens implant that can be adjusted after it’s been implanted. This allows the prescription to be fine tuned after your surgery. However, it is still a monofocal implant.

How Does Laser Cataract Surgery Impact My Lens Implant Choice?

Lasers are used in many different eye procedures. Lasers have been used for cataract surgery for about a decade. Laser cataract surgery makes the procedure more precise and consistent, which can translate into safer procedures and better vision outcomes for patients.

Does Medicare Cover Multifocal Implants?

It’s important to know what your insurance covers, and doesn’t cover for cataract surgery. Many patients ask what Medicare covers for cataract surgery. Medicare does not cover multifocal lens implants. This is considered a non-covered service, and patients are required to pay an out-of-pocket fee for this type of implant.

What If I Still Need Glasses After Cataract Surgery?

Most patients who choose multifocal lens implants achieve increased freedom from glasses after their cataract surgery. However, a small percentage of patients may still have refractive error after their surgery.

Measurements are taken to get the lens implant just right. Modern measurement devices are great, but they’re not perfect. A small percentage of patients may find that the lens implant is close, but not perfectly on the bullseye.

For most patients this is correctable with LASIK. Dr. Shumski, who also performs LASIK in Orlando, Florida, says that a small percentage of patients may benefit from a LASIK touch-up after their cataract surgery.

Conclusion

In conclusion, multifocal lens implants can be a great option for patients who are considering cataract surgery and want to reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses. However, it's important to understand that this type of lens may not be right for everyone, and there are potential risks and drawbacks to consider. Talk to an experienced cataract surgeon near you to determine if multifocal lens implants are a good option for you.