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Cataract Surgery: Intraocular Lens Options

By Ken Kreidl, MD
Ophthalmologist at Boulder Medical Center

Understanding the various lens options for cataract surgery is essential before making your lens choice during the preoperative visit. Your overall eye health (dry eyes, corneal irregularity, previous LASIK, or macular degeneration), prescription, and the amount of corneal astigmatism that you have will play a big part in determining which lenses will give you the best results.

The primary decision is the type of vision you want to have after surgery:

  • Good Distance Vision – but wear reading glasses
  • Good Reading Vision – but wear distance glasses
  • Good Distance Vision plus Computer Vision
  • Good Distance, Computer, and Reading Vision
  • Monovision – distance vision in one eye and reading vision in the other eye. I  only recommend this option in patients that have done this previously with contact lenses, since many patients cannot tolerate monovision. Monovision limits depth perception, which can diminish balance and increase the risk of falling.

The main types of intraocular lenses are:

  • Single Vision (Tecnis) —I refer to this lens as the “standard” lens. It can be calculated to be used for either distance vision OR reading vision. If you choose distance vision, you need to wear glasses for reading. If you prefer reading vision, you need to wear glasses for distance. This lens does not correct for astigmatism, so if you have corneal astigmatism, you will likely see better wearing bifocal or progressive glasses to correct for this condition. Single Vision is the only type of lens covered by Medicare and insurance, so there is no extra out-of-pocket expense for this lens.
  • Toric (Tecnis Toric) — similar to the single vision lens, but corrects for astigmatism. This allows patients with astigmatism to see well in the distance OR near, and then wear glasses for the other one. Insurance, Medicare, and secondary insurances do not cover this lens, so there is an out-of-pocket expense.
  • Extended Vision (Symfony, Symfony Toric) — this lens offers a continuous range from distance to mid-range. Halos are less common than traditional multifocal lenses, and patients often use reading glasses for fine print or extended reading. There is an out-of-pocket expense for this lens.
  • Trifocal (Panoptix, Panoptix Toric) — gives good distance, computer, and reading vision. Some patients may see halos or starbursts in certain light conditions. There is an out-of-pocket expense for this lens.

Dr. Kreidl is happy to discuss Cataract Surgery and Intraocular Lens Options at his Boulder, Colo. clinic. Please Click Here for Dr. Kreidl’s full profile or call (303) 440-3049 for an appointment.


About Ken Kreidl, MD
Ophthalmologist at Boulder Medical Center

Originally from San Francisco, Ken Kreidl, MD started his ophthalmology practice at Boulder Medical Center in 2004. He and his wife, Ryn, a pediatrician, have two children, Luke and Max. Dr. Kreidl loves mountain biking and skiing with his family, and was a nationally ranked tennis player before becoming dedicated to medicine. He offers a full range of ophthalmology services and treatments, including:

  • Complete Eye Exams
  • Contact Lens and Glasses
  • Cataract Surgery – Crystalens and Trulign accommodative lenses
  • Glaucoma Care — SLT, ALT, LPI
  • Diabetes — Retinal Laser Surgery
  • Diagnosis and Treatment for Dry Eyes
  • Eyelid Surgery
  • Eye Trauma

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