Different Types Of Intraocular Lenses (IOLs): Which Is Best?

By Thomas Byrd, MD

Intraocular lenses, also known as IOLs, replace your natural lens to create an anterior, uniform curve from the center of the eye to the periphery. There are three types of IOLs: monofocal, multifocal, and toric. The best type of IOL is based on the type of focus that you require for your personal treatment.

Individuals in the Detroit, Dearborn Heights, and Lincoln Park, MI, area who are interested in inquiring more about their cataract surgery choices can team up with Dr. Byrd to find out which option is right for them. Dr. Byrd’s innovative and knowledgeable staff strives for the highest standard of excellence, sophistication, and leading edge technology.

Monofocal IOLs

The most popular intraocular lenses are monofocal. Monofocal lenses sharpen only one focus (far, intermediate, or near), and do not correct astigmatism.

Most people use monofocal IOLs to clarify distance vision. If this is your case, you may still need “reader” glasses to accomplish nearsighted vision tasks. Monofocal IOLs could be an effective solution for patients with:

  • Cataracts in both eyes

  • Macular degeneration (gradually creates blurry vision over time)

  • A tight budget (usually covered by insurance)

Multifocal IOLs

Multifocal IOLs

Multifocal intraocular lenses have the most utility as they simultaneously correct near, intermediate, and distance focus. Multifocal IOLs require an adjustment period because the brain must be trained to select needed vision information for either near or distant objects.

Many people choose multifocal lenses with two different settings (near and far) in either eye. Oftentimes, the brain blends and adjusts both fields of vision to create a single image. This option is not for everyone and forces each eye to work more independently.

Multifocal lenses may be the perfect choice if you:

  • Are struggling with presbyopia (or age-related farsightedness)

  • Desire to be liberated from contacts and glasses

  • Have good visual capability in both eyes

However, this setting may cause depth perception and night vision issues.

Toric IOLs

Toric lenses may correct distance focus and substantially reduce astigmatism. Astigmatism is a common condition that blurs vision caused by an irregularly-shaped cornea. Toric IOLs are specially crafted to correct the asymmetry associated with astigmatism.

Toric lenses are different from monofocal and multifocal lenses in a few ways:

Toric lenses have special markers on the peripheral, which allow Dr. Byrd to properly align astigmatism correction. Toric lenses do not increase the risk of common cataract surgery complications (such as light sensitivity or eye inflammation)

Unfortunately, a misaligned toric IOL can cause blurred vision that cannot be easily improved with corrective lenses.

IOL Pricing

Cataract surgery is usually fully covered by insurance plans, but premium intraocular lenses may be an additional out-of-pocket expense. Please speak with your insurance provider to see what will and won’t be covered in your tailored cataract surgery plan.

Monofocal lenses are usually covered by most insurances, like Medicare. Multifocal and toric lenses are considered premium IOLs, so your insurance may not cover the cost of these types of lenses.

Ask for Advice

Cataract surgery changes lives. Find out if you are a candidate for cataract surgery. Call (313) 383-1300 or fill out our appointment request form at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation.