Cataracts are a common vision condition. More than 24 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts, and approximately 50% of Americans will develop the condition by the time they are 75 years old.
A cataract is a clouding of your eye's natural lens. As the condition progresses, your lens becomes increasingly clouded, preventing light from passing through to the retina clearly. This results in a progressive deterioration of vision. Fortunately, clear vision can easily be restored with cataract surgery.
During cataract surgery, your eye's clouded lens is removed and replaced by an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). While cataract surgery is an effective way to restore your vision, it's important to understand that there are some instances where you may still need glasses after your procedure.
Factors Impacting whether You'll Need Glasses after Cataract Surgery
There are several factors which may impact your need to wear glasses after cataract surgery. These include:
- Your overall eye health
- Whether you have astigmatism
- Your current eyeglass prescription
- The type of IOL used during your procedure
The IOL You Choose Matters
Traditional IOLs are monofocal. This means that they are only able to focus clearly at one visual point. If you choose a monofocal IOL, you may see clearly at distances, but still require glasses for near vision tasks after cataract surgery.
However, recent advances in IOL technology have resulted in a wide range of premium IOL options. Many premium IOLs are multifocal and provide you with the ability to focus clearly at multiple distances. In many instances, the use of a premium IOL will reduce, if not eliminate entirely, your need for glasses after cataract surgery.
Other benefits of using premium (multifocal) IOLs include:
- Better range of vision
- Improved vision in a wide range of lighting conditions
- Improved ability to read and perform other near vision tasks
Premium IOL Options offered at Kirk Eye Center
At Kirk Eye Center, we offer several premium IOL options in addition to traditional monofocal IOLs. These include:
- Toric IOLs -- Toric IOLs are an excellent option if you have astigmatism, a condition that occurs as a result of having a cornea that is oval-shaped instead of round. Prior to the development of toric IOLs, patients with astigmatism always needed glasses after cataract surgery. By choosing a toric IOL, you may be able to eliminate your dependence on glasses after surgery.
- Multifocal IOLs -- Multifocal IOLs allow you to focus clearly at multiple distances. Not only will these IOLs be able to potentially eliminate the need for glasses after cataract surgery, but they are also an excellent option to combat the near vision issues associated with presbyopia.
- Toric Multifocal IOLs -- Toric multifocal IOLs are one of the newest and most advanced options available. They provide clear focus at all distances while allowing you to simultaneously correct for astigmatism.
It's important to understand that Premium IOLs are more expensive than traditional monofocal IOLs. Therefore, you'll need to weigh the increased cost against the convenience benefits you'll experience by reducing or eliminating your dependence on glasses.
Monovision Cataract Surgery may Eliminate Your Need for Glasses
One other option that may help you avoid the need for glasses is to undergo monovision cataract surgery. In this procedure, one eye will receive an IOL designed to provide clear distance vision and the other eye will receive an IOL designed to provide clear near vision. Both monofocal and premium multifocal IOLs can be used as part of a monovision cataract surgery procedure.
If you're considering monovision cataract surgery, Dr. Kirk may recommend trying this technique using contact lenses for several weeks to make sure your brain can adapt to using one eye for near vision and the other eye for distance vision. Some people struggle to adapt, which would rule out this option as a viable treatment course.
Experienced Loveland Cataract Surgeon
Dr. Kirk has more than 25 years of experience performing cataract surgery. Throughout his career, he has remained committed to using the most advanced cataract surgery techniques and technology. This experience, combined with his use of state-of-the-art methods, has helped Dr. Kirk earn a reputation as one of the most highly respected cataract surgeons in the Northern Colorado area.
Please contact Kirk Eye Center using the form on this page or call 970-669-1107 today to schedule a cataract surgery consultation. We serve patients in Loveland, Fort Collins and throughout Northern Colorado.