About Premium IOLs
Over the past six decades, the only choice for a cataract surgery lens implant was a standard monofocal intraocular lens. While these lenses still offer good functional distance vision, reading glasses are almost always necessary for near vision. If you would like to free yourself of eyeglasses or contacts, or if you have astigmatism, premium IOLs are an ideal solution.
To learn more about all of your IOL options, please contact either of Kirk Eye Center’s two locations. You can also simply complete the form on this page. We proudly serve patients from Cicero and other Chicago communities.
Once you have cataract surgery, you can’t change your mind and upgrade to a premium IOL later. That’s why it is so important to make the right choice the first time. Our doctors will help you make the right decision for your needs, budget, and lifestyle.
What Is A Premium IOL?
An intraocular lens (IOL) is an artificial lens that is placed during surgery to replace the natural lens of your eye. In the past, IOLs were primarily used in cataract surgery to improve vision. However, modern IOLs utilize recent advancements in medical technology to correct a more comprehensive array of vision problems.
Historically, monofocal IOLs were patients’ only options. They only allowed people to see clearly at a particular distance. You were able to see objects at a distance, but if you wanted to read or work on something closely, you still needed glasses.
A premium IOL is significantly more advanced. They provide a crisp field of vision at varying distances without the necessity of glasses or contacts.
Compared to conventional IOLs, premium intraocular lenses provide a number of advantages such as:
- Improved vision range
- Improved vision in different lighting conditions
- The ability to easily and comfortably read
How Does an IOL Work?
IOLs work like the natural lens of your eye. They focus on the light entering your eyes through the corneas and pupils onto the retinas. The majority of IOLs are made of highly flexible materials and they are about a third of a dime’s size. Like prescription glasses, IOLs have specific prescriptions that give you the best possible vision. IOLs are most commonly used in cataract surgeries, significantly improving refractive disorders such as severe hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism in the process.
Different Types Of IOLs
Traditionally, the majority of IOLs were monofocal, meaning they were only designed to correct vision at a single distance, far, intermediate or near. This meant that following cataract surgery, most patients still needed glasses to see clearly at all distances.
While monofocal lenses are still a good option if you can’t afford a premium IOL or don’t mind wearing reading glasses, modern advances in lens technology have made it possible to see clearly at a wide range of distances without the need for glasses or contacts.
There are a variety of premium intraocular lenses which can drastically improve the quality of your vision compared with traditional monofocal IOLs, including:
- Toric IOLs: Although Toric IOLs are monofocal, they are considered premium because they can also correct for astigmatism. Until recently, if you had astigmatism and underwent cataract surgery, you had no IOL options that could address your astigmatism. Toric IOLs are monofocal lenses that are convex on both sides. This double-convex design allows them to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness as well as eliminating the cloudy vision caused by cataracts.
- Multifocal IOLs: Premium multifocal IOLs expand your range of vision by providing magnification in various areas of the lens. By diffracting light through multiple focal zones, multifocal IOLs allow you to see clearly at a variety of distances without needing glasses or contacts.
- Accommodating IOLs: Accommodation is the process by which your eyes focus themselves, utilizing small muscles to alter the shape of your lenses to change their optical abilities. Accommodating IOLs use the same muscles to mimic this effect and allow you to focus on different distances.
Premium IOL Brands
TECNIS® Multifocal IOLs
The TECNIS Multifocal IOL is approved by the FDA to improve functional vision in all light situations, including low-light, such as night driving. While traditional lens implants can replace the cloudy natural lens of your eye during cataract surgery, they may not restore your functional vision.
If you are diagnosed with cataracts and are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for the TECNIS Multifocal lens:
- Need bifocals
- Changing eyeglass prescriptions
- Difficulty seeing to drive, particularly at night
- Difficulty seeing close objects
- Difficulty reading
TECNIS® Symfony IOLs
The TECNIS Symfony IOL is a premium intraocular lens that is approved to correct both the farsightedness of presbyopia and the blurry vision of cataracts. By using a combination of achromatic technology and a unique diffractive pattern, TECNIS Symfony IOLs provide a wide-range field of vision while maintaining contrast.
Some benefits of TECNIS Symfony IOLs include:
- Clear, continuous vision for patients with or without astigmatism
- Minimal recovery time; many patients can return to normal activities within 24 hours
- Very few reports of lens-related negative effects
- Majority of patients no longer require glasses for distance and many no longer need glasses for close-up vision
- No halos or glare on the lens
- No compromise in distance vision compared to Monofocal lenses
- A continuous range of high-quality vision for near, intermediate, and far distances
ReSTOR lenses are the only IOLs with a patented process that allows for apodization, the gradual blending of diffractive step heights. Each side of ReSTOR lenses has a convex surface and an arm that secures the lens within your eye. The ReSTOR lens scatters the light that enters your eye and sends it to different focal points on the retina.
ReSTOR lenses can be used for cataract patients with or without presbyopia, a condition that occurs when the lens of your eye loses its ability to change shape. Studies show that 80 percent of patients who received ReSTOR IOLs in both eyes reported that they no longer needed glasses following surgery.
Light Adjustable Lens
Implanted like a standard IOL, light adjustable lenses use a unique photosensitive silicone. Because of the specialized coating, this lens is highly receptive to light. It allows us to adjust your prescription to your exact needs after cataract surgery. Once your eyes have healed after your treatment, we will have you come back into the office and use a low-intensity UV light to change your lens structure. Adjusting the lens takes about 90 seconds per eye, and you can review your vision acuity until we have reached your desired eyesight.
Which IOL Should I Choose?
With so many IOL options, it can be confusing when trying to choose the best artificial lens for your specific needs, budget and lifestyle. Unlike glasses, you can’t simply try on an IOL and see which one you like best. Our experienced ophthalmologists will take the time to carefully examine the state of your ocular health, listen to your goals, answer your questions and carefully explain all of your options. Our goal is to help guide you toward an IOL choice that will meet your needs and provide you with clear vision for years to come.
Choosing an intraocular lens depends on a variety of personal factors, such as:
- Which distances are most important for you to be able to see more clearly without glasses: far (driving), intermediate (computer screen) or near (reading)?
- Are you able to afford the additional cost of a lens that offers more capabilities than the monofocal lens paid for by your insurer?
- What activities do you engage in throughout the day and which ones would you like to do without glasses, if possible?
- In addition to cataracts, what other eye conditions do you have, such as eye disease, presbyopia or astigmatism?
Fortunately, you don’t have to make this important decision alone. The knowledgeable eye doctors at Kirk Eye Center will help you every step of the way.
Premium Lens Cost
There are a variety of premium IOL options, and prices vary from lens to lens and patient to patient, depending on your unique needs. During your consultation, you will be provided with an estimate on what you can expect to pay based on the lens and procedure you choose.
Although insurance will usually cover the cost of cataract surgery itself, premium lenses are not covered because they are not considered a medical necessity. Any upgrade to a premium lens or advanced laser cataract surgery is the responsibility of the patient. The staff at Kirk Eye Center will review all billing information and financing options with you prior to your surgery.
Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Options
No amount of independent research can replace the value of a medical evaluation and personal consultation with our experienced cataract surgeons. To begin your journey toward crisp, clear vision, please contact Kirk Eye Center today to schedule your IOL consultation.
"Great overall experience with my Lasik procedure for both my eyes. Dr. Kirk & the staff were fantastic throughout the entire process. I'm so pumped that I don't have to wear contacts or glasses ever again!"- B.M. / Google / Jun 19, 2020
"I am so happy with the results of my first cataract surgery that I have already scheduled the one in my right eye. Everyone at Kirk is professional, compassionate, and wonderful."- J.B. / Google / Mar 03, 2022
"First class optical care. The best you can find. First Lipiflow machine in all Chicago. Especially love the dry care and top grade surgical team!Peggy Shearer"- P.S. / Yelp / Feb 27, 2022
"Dr. Kathleen Scarpulla may be new with Kirk Eye Center, but she’s been in private practice for a long time. She performed my lasik surgery in 1999 and later did my cataract surgeries. Her competent staff has been consistent throughout the years, and annual eye appointments are thorough. Anyone considering Kirk Eye Center should be comfortable and confident that there is no better choice for their eye care than Dr. Scarpulla."- J.B. / Google / Feb 24, 2022
"Dr Scarpulla and team are very thorough and professional. They explain everything in an understandable way and walk you through the entire process. I am very happy with the cataract surgery performed 3 years ago and am going to have my other eye done by Dr Scarpulla in the next few weeks."- E.M. / Google / Feb 18, 2022
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