Undergoing cataract surgery is a big decision, but it’s one that will offer immense improvement in one’s vision immediately after the procedure. Before committing to surgery, you and your ophthalmologist will discuss a range of topics including your visual expectations after surgery as well as what type of surgery you will have.
However, one important thing to consider is the type of lens that will be implanted into your eye. During cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist will remove your clouded lens and replace it with an artificial one, yet there’s more than one type to consider. One of the most important questions remains - should you choose a monofocal, multifocal or a trifocal lens?
As the name entails, a monofocal lens allows you to focus on one distance, and in most cases, selecting this option will dramatically improve your far vision after surgery. Individuals who wore glasses to see far away will likely have a reduced prescription or not need any correction at all after their procedure, but this option does have its limitations.
If your pre-surgery vision required the use of glasses for both near and far distances, a monofocal lens will only address one of these. Since most choose to correct their distance vision, you’ll still need reading glasses to see up close. One option is to select two different monofocal lenses so that one eye is corrected for near clarity and one for far, however this can take some time to adjust to.
A Multifocal Option
When seeing clearly without glasses at all distances is a must, you might find that a multifocal lens is the way to go. These implants include a range of powers across the entire lens, and after an adjustment period, you’ll be able to see near and far with ease. Roughly 85% of people who select a multifocal implant do not need glasses at all after surgery, yet these also include some drawbacks.
Between 5% and 10% of individuals who select multifocal implants experience a halo type of effect when looking at lights at night. This glare can be distracting at first, but most people say they get used to it. Also, those with astigmatism prior to surgery cannot select a multifocal lens, making a monofocal implant their only option.
PanOptix Trifocal Option
Recently, the first and only FDA-Approved trifocal lens was launched in the U.S. for patients undergoing cataract surgery. AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® IOL is an intraocular lens designed to provide you with clear vision for near, intermediate, and far distances without glasses after cataract surgery.
It’s called “The Next-Generation Trifocal” because it is designed to provide correction at all three distances.
Carolinas Centers for Sight, a leading eye care practice in South Carolina and the only practice in the Pee Dee to offer femtosecond laser technology, is also the first in the region to offer the new PanOptix® trifocal lens. The new lens was first implanted in the Pee Dee last month in several patients by Dr. Samuel Seltzer of Carolinas Centers for Sight. These surgical patients were from the Pee Dee as well as the Grand Strand and are amongst the first recipients of this state-of-the-art technology in the Southeast. “We are proud to be the first in our area to offer this revolutionary IOL technology to our cataract and refractive lens exchange patients,” says Samuel E. Seltzer, MD. “This lens is the first of its kind to give patients all three ranges of vision and can be an alternative to LASIK in patients over 50 years old.” The data from Europe is exciting and very promising.
The new trifocal IOL from PanOptix® uses a proprietary design, ENLIGHTEN® Optical Technology, that optimizes an individual’s intermediate vision in various lighting conditions without compromising his or her near and distance vision. Statistics from a pivotal study at 12 investigation sites in the U.S. showed that 99% of patients would choose the lens again. This trifocal IOL technology is already in use in more than 70 countries. All board-certified ophthalmologists at Carolinas Centers for Sight are offering the PanOptix® trifocal lens including Samuel E. Seltzer, MD, Vivek P. Vasuki, MD, and Howard Greene, MD. This new lens implant continues a long tradition of Carolinas Centers for Sight bringing surgical innovation to the Pee Dee.
What’s Right For You?
Choosing to have cataract surgery is a huge decision itself, so take the time you need to consider all aspects before booking your procedure. Think about your lifestyle and the times when you do or don’t wear glasses, and then consider how life would be if that changed. In some cases, your prescription might dictate for you the lens options that are best for you, but if you have the opportunity to select more than one type, weigh all of the pros and cons.
Once you’ve decided whether a multifocal, monofocal or trifocal lens is the right option for you, contact your ophthalmologist to schedule the procedure. Your doctor will walk you through each step and make sure your comfort is a priority. Before you know it you’ll have vision that’s crisp and clear!