Cataracts can form at any point in your life, but typically will form after 55 years of age. If your doctor has informed you that you are a candidate for cataract surgery, you may want to consider enhancing your procedure by selecting a specialty package. Unlike monofocal lenses, the specialty packages are designed to help patients reach their vision correction goals, over and above what the benefits of standard cataract surgery provide. One package is designed to help correct a patient's astigmatism, giving clearer distance vision with less dependence on on glasses for distance vision. You may have some residual distance, and will require glasses for near and intermediate vision. The other package helps provide patients with near, intermediate, and distance vision with less dependence on glasses for daily tasks. Before choosing the specialty package that is right for you, it is important to discuss your options with your cataract surgeon. Insurance companies, including Medicare, generally cover the cost for the cataract surgery using the standard intraocular lens, minus any deductibles of coinsurances you may have. If you choose to proceed with one of the specialty packages, your insurance will still provide up to its allowed payment for the standard procedure, but will not cover the cost of enhancing the surgical outcome with one of the specialty lens packages. Fees are based on the package chosen and cover additional services, devices, physician time, evaluation and any other additional treatments.
Please see below to read about the Specialty Package options you have at Regional Eye Associates. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our Surgical Coordinator at
304 598 3301.
The lens of your eye is an important structure. In order to see clearly at all distances (from up close to far away), your eye must be able to change its focus power. The lens of your eye is responsible for this change in focus - it changes its shape to bring whatever you're looking at into clear focus. Sometime around the age of 40, we begin to lose the ability to see up close. As we age, the lens hardens and cannot change shape anymore. In order to focus at different distances, more than one glasses prescription is required. This is typically built into one pair of glasses with a bifocal.
As we age even more, the lens may become cloudy. A cloudy lens is called a cataract. Cataract is a common problem among aging Americans, and cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed on adults in the United States. In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed. Please take a look at the cataract surgery section for a more detailed explanation of the procedure. In order for you to see clearly afterward, a new lens (called an intraocular lens implant or IOL) must be inserted at the time of surgery, or on very rare occasions, during a future surgery.
Monofocal IOL’s are routinely used to replace the natural lens which is removed during cataract surgery. These lenses have a single focal point and help provide vision correction at either near or far distances, but not both simultaneously. Most insurance companies will help cover the cost of a monofocal lens with cataract surgery.
With the latest technological advances, surgeons are able to provide Specialty Packages to qualifying patients in order to achieve certain goals post operatively.
Multifocal IOL lens implants enable patients to see at near far and intermediate distances after surgery. The 2 major brand names in this category are the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL by Alcon and the Tecnis® by AMO. (Recently acquired by Abbott). With a multifocal IOL the central portion of the lens has a series of steps that are carved in a very precise arrangement with varying step heights and distances between steps. Each of the steps of this diffractive optic bends the incoming light differently; creating a near focus that is quite separated from the distance focus formed by the remaining refractive portion of the lens. This large separation between the two images allows for less artifacts or distortion in either of the images, providing good quality of vision at both distance and near.
Accommodating lens implants have garnered a significant amount of positive review and testimonials from thousands of early patient adopters. These special lenses are designed to mimic or accommodate, just like the eyes natural lens would. The hinge design of the lens enables it to move inside the eye just like the original natural lens. The end result is that patients can see better at multiple distances. The only accommodating IOL available is known as the Crystalens by Bausch & Lomb.
Toric Lens Implants are a unique type of lens implant that are used to correct astigmatism. A toric lens implant is NOT the only method of astigmatism correction so consult a doctor about the current possibilities. Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses. If a cataract patient has astigmatism and has aspirations to be glasses free after surgery the Toric lens implant is a good option. Toric lens implants are NOT a correction option for presbyopia. The ACRYSOF® Toric lens implant is a popular choice for this type of lens.
The TRULIGN Toric intraocular lens is the first toric IOL that corrects for astigmatism and, unlike other standard toric lenses, has the additional capacity to deliver improved vision across a natural range of focus. TRULIGN Toric is an intraocular lens (IOL) that replaces the eye’s natural lens after cataracts have been removed. Unlike a standard toric IOL, it is designed to both correct your cataracts and give you back a broader range of vision. In many cases, TRULIGN Toric IOL is designed to reduce your dependence on glasses after cataract surgery. To find out if you’re a TRULIGN Toric IOL candidate, your doctor will perform a thorough exam. Custom-selected for your degree of astigmatism, TRULIGN Toric IOL may be the ideal choice to improve your vision.
A Specialty Package can be a very exciting option for patients that want to have a new level of spectacle freedom after cataract surgery or with clear lens extraction. Due to the complex nature of each person's visual system, it is difficult for a patient to make an assessment about the right lens without consulting an eye surgeon. Therefore, we highly suggest a consultation with one of our surgeons at Regional Eye Associates before making any decision on a lens implant. A number of patients will have special considerations that may preclude the use of some of our treatments. For second opinions on lens implants, please feel free to consult with our staff and doctors.
*As with any surgical procedure there are risks along with benefits. It is important to discuss your surgical procedure with your surgeon to fully understand the risks and benefits.