What Is an IOL?
An IOL is an intraocular lens. This is an artificial lens that is approximately one-third the diameter of a dime. The lens is implanted into the eye to replace a natural lens that has become clouded by cataracts.
What Are Monofocal IOLS?
Monofocal IOLs give vision with higher contrast than multifocal IOLs which focuses light at close, intermediate, and near. Additionally, monofocal intraocular lenses are structures that are made with a prescription for a single distance. For example, a monofocal IOL can improve the clarity of distance vision, but not up-close vision.
Will I Still Need Glasses?
By choosing a monofocal lens set at distance vision, a patient continues to need reading glasses, if they have difficulty seeing up-close. Conversely, a monofocal IOL can be prescribed to improve up-close vision, if so desired. The limitation of this type of IOL is that it is not adjustable from near to far vision.
Who Is a Candidate for a Monofocal IOL?
Patients who are interested in cataract surgery are good candidates for monofocal IOLs. For most patients, this type of IOL achieves optimal results when both eyes are being treated, rather than just one.
“Excellent, highly experienced & magically skilled doctor. He replaced cataracts with symfony multifocal IOLs in both eyes without complications (1 week after 2nd surgery now). Was at work next day in both cases. Can not be happier with my new crispy clear vision.”
Benefits of Monofocal IOLS
Clearer vision is the primary benefit of any type of lens replacement, including the monofocal IOL. Another benefit is that monofocal lenses minimize glare and halos around lights in comparison to multifocal lenses. Additionally, patients may find that their health insurance benefits extend at least partial coverage for their monofocal lens replacement while they do not cover multifocal lenses.
Often, people who undergo cataract surgery wear eyeglasses when they drive, especially at night. The insertion of a monofocal IOL may improve distance vision, reducing this need. Toric IOLs are a premium type of monofocal intraocular lens that can correct astigmatism as well as overall visual clarity, often enabling patients to be able to see to drive or read without glasses.
The Monofocal IOL Procedure
Dr. Sondheimer has helped many people manage their vision needs alongside the aging process and the progression of cataracts. Many patients choose to have cataract surgery performed with femtosecond laser His expertise in laser eye surgery is sought by patients in Skokie, IL and environs. Lens replacement surgery is conducted as an outpatient procedure. Numbing drops are administered to anesthetize the eye.
After anesthetizing the eye, Dr. Sondheimer makes precise incisions in the cornea and lens. The cloudy crystalline lens is broken up into fragments using ultrasound waves. Gentle suction then removes the fragmented pieces. The selected IOL is then inserted into the lens capsule. Because the procedure is conducted through specifically-constructed incisions, there is usually no need for stitches, the incision will heal on its own.
Is the Procedure Painful?
Most patients feel minimal, if any, discomfort during their procedure. Usually no shots or needles are necessary.
Results of Monofocal IOLS
Most patients achieve optimal results from the placement of a monofocal IOL after cataract surgery. This technique improves vision at a single distance. In most cases, patients choose a monofocal IOL that sharpens their distance vision.
What Is the Difference Between Monofocal and Multifocal IOLS?
The monofocal lens is designed to improve visual clarity at a single distance, usually farther distance versus up-close vision. This IOL is believed to provide the clearest image but leaves a patient needing eyeglasses for certain tasks. Multifocal IOLs are designed to improve near, intermediate, and distant vision. This choice is appealing for people who desire to see without the need for corrective lenses. , making this choice appealing for people with presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness. Multifocal IOLs are more likely to produce halos than monofocal IOLs.
Toric IOLs are monofocal lenses, but they work differently than the monofocal intraocular lens. A Toric lens is made to correct astigmatism, a common refractive error in which the spherical curvature of the front of the eye is astigmatic. IOLs focus light on the retina, often enabling patients to see clearly in the distance or at near without corrective lens. This IOL is implanted using special marks that align the lens at the appropriate part of the eye.
Is Lens Replacement Surgery Safe?
Lens replacement surgery itself is safe and effective in more than 99 percent of cases. One of the primary risks of cataract removal is that vision will continue to be slightly blurry even with a new lens. In most cases, patients achieve satisfactory results with their chosen IOL. Monofocal IOLs usually require the patient to continue needing eyeglasses for certain tasks.
What is the Eyhance Monofocal Intraocular Lens?
In February 2021, the FDA approved a new monofocal IOL from Johnson & Johnson, the Tecnis Eyhance and Eyhance Toric II, for implantation in cataract patients in the U.S. Unlike most monofocal IOLs, which correct only at a single distance, Eyhance increases the depth of focus. This improves intermediate distance vision, while still providing the crystal-clear distance vision achieved with all monofocal IOLs.
While new to the U.S., the Tecnis Eyhance IOLs have been available in Europe since February 2019 and have proven to be a popular expansion of monofocal IOL vision acuity.
How is the Eyhance Monofocal IOL Different From a Standard Monofocal IOL Lens?
We have long offered standard monofocal IOLs to our patients. The Eyhance is a new monofocal iol design which uses a continuous change in power from the periphery to the center of the lens, creating a unique anterior surface that improves intermediate vision. These lenses do this while maintaining the same quality of distance vision as the standard monofocal IOL.
Will the Eyhance Monofocal IOL Replace My Need For Reading Glasses?
The Eyhance can improve the near vision range that patients using monovision enjoy. Many of our monovision Eyhance patients can see to read clearly without glasses. The Eyhance monofocal IOL allows patients to expand their range vision that doesn’t require glasses to bring items into clear vision.
What Kinds of Activities Will I be able to do Wiithout Glasses With Eyhance IOLs?
Dr. Sondheimer is excited to offer the extension of vision acuity, roughly one extra line on the eye chart, delivered with these Eyhance IOLs. By extending the range of intermediate vision, the Eyhance and Eyhance Toric IOLs have shown in testing to increase the chances that patients with these lenses implanted are able to better enjoy these activities without the need for glasses:
- Driving, including night driving
- Reading price tags when shopping
- Watching TV, including reading subtitles
- Cooking and eating
- Playing cards
- Reading at a computer/tablet/smartphone distance
- Reading music to play piano and other instruments
- Feeling increased confidence when walking, especially down flights of stairs or on uneven surfaces
Can the Eyhance IOL Correct for Astigmatism?
One great benefit of recent improvements in all intraocular lenses, both monofocal and multifocal, is the addition of correction for astigmatism. This is the condition where the patient’s cornea is more oblong in shape versus the normal circular shape. This creates various areas in the patient’s vision that can be blurry. The new IOLs corrects for astigmatism by positioning the iol to correct astigmatic refractive error in the same way as glasses can correct astigmatism.
Why Would I Choose The Techis Eyhance Monofocal IOL For my Cataract Surgery?
Patients opt for monofocal IOLs typically for a couple reasons.
First, they need to see great at distance. An example would be the case of a pilot, where distance vision is critical. Multifocal lenses provide good vision at multiple distances, but create some loss of contrast. Multifocal IOLs can also create halos around lights at nighttime in some patients. In some patients this loss of contrast is severe enough that the multifocal iol needs to be replaced surgically.
Second, Medicare and most insurance plans cover most or all of the cost of monofocal IOLs. These plans treat astigmatism corrective, multifocal, or light adjustable IOLs as a non essential personal preference and the patient must pay extra costs to provide advanced technology iols..
Dr. Sondheimer is excited to provide advanced vision correction technologies. A large percentage of his patients see at distance, computer, and reading without the need for corrective lenses after cataract surgery without the need for visual aids.
Are There Any Risks Associated With The Techis Eyhance Monofocal Lens?
There do not appear to be any difference in risk or side effects with this new monofocal IOL option. As with all cataract surgeries, these are highly successful in replacing the cataract-clouded natural lens with the artificial Eyhance IOL. Of course, all cataract surgeries have some risk.