At Southern Eye Group, our goal is to help our patients in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and throughout the Gulf Coast achieve their best possible vision. One of the tools we use to do this is the intraocular lens (IOL), which can improve vision after cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange.
What is an Intraocular Lens?
An intraocular lens, or IOL, is an artificial replacement for the natural lens of the eye. The lens is located behind the pupil and the iris (the colored part of the eye), and its job is to focus light onto the retina to produce the images we see. IOLs are placed during cataract surgery to replace a lens that has grown cloudy. Advanced IOLs can also be used to improve vision. For this reason, IOLs are used to replace the Trusted Source Intraocular Implants (IOLs) American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source natural lens during refractive lens exchange (RLE), an elective procedure identical to cataract surgery.
Standard IOLs vs Advanced IOLs
During traditional cataract surgery, a standard or monofocal IOL is implanted in place of the eye’s natural lens that has become cloudy. A standard lens is designed to improve near vision or distance vision, but not both. This means that patients may need corrective lenses or reading glasses after cataract surgery. Some of our patients opt for customized cataract surgery, which involves the use of an advanced intraocular lens. Advanced IOLs are also used in refractive lens exchange. These lenses can treat astigmatism and improve vision at a range of distances and are patients’ best option if their goal is to reduce or eliminate their need for eye glasses or contacts.
Types of Intraocular Lenses
We offer a full range of advanced intraocular lenses to help our patients achieve clearer vision.
Standard, Monofocal IOLs
Standard IOLs are monofocal, which means that they correct either near or distance vision. These lenses are covered by insurance plans when implanted during cataract surgery, but patients may still need to wear glasses or contacts to see at all distances.
Toric IOLs are designed to correct astigmatism, a refractive error caused by an irregular curvature of the cornea. Astigmatism can affect vision at all ranges, causing images to be blurry or distorted. We offer a variety of toric IOL options, including monofocal toric IOLs which correct vision at a single distance. We also offer toric IOLs that can correct presbyopia in addition to astigmatism, giving our patients the highest level of vision freedom.
Presbyopia is age-related loss of near vision, and begins to affect everybody at around age 40. Presbyopia is a result of an increasingly rigid lens, and can cause a person to require reading glasses or bifocals. We offer a full range of presbyopia-correcting IOLs, including multifocal IOLs, extended-depth-of-focus (EDOF) IOLs, trifocal IOLs, accommodating IOLs, and more. These intraocular lenses afford our patients the highest likelihood of being able to go without eyewear at all distances.
Frequently Asked Questions About IOLs
Will insurance cover my IOLs?
In cases where cataracts have progressed to the extent that they cause significant blurring of the vision, surgery is deemed medically necessary. This makes it eligible for insurance coverage, and standard IOLs are included in this coverage. Advanced IOLs or refractive lens exchange when no cataract is present are considered elective and are not eligible for coverage by insurance.
How do I know which IOL is right for me?
Consulting with one of our experienced ophthalmologists is the best way to determine which intraocular lens is best for you. We will conduct a vision exam, then discuss your lifestyle and vision goals. You will be presented with the options most suitable for your unique needs, and together we will decide which IOL is right for you.
Contact Southern Eye Group
Whether you have been diagnosed with cataracts or simply want to improve your vision with refractive lens exchange, the ophthalmologists at Southern Eye Group have the right IOL for you. To learn more about your options or to schedule a consultation, please contact us. We proudly serve patients in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and throughout the Gulf Coast region.
1 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Intraocular Implants (IOLs). Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/iols-intraocular-lens. Accessed June 29, 2022.
The doctors at Southern Eye Group have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.