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Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?

A cataract is a vision impairment resulting from a cloudiness of the lens in the eye that prevents light from being focused clearly. Most people have some clouding of their lenses by age 60.

Surgery is the only treatment option for cataracts and is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. During surgery, your cloudy lens is removed and an intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted and becomes a permanent part of your eye. Columbia Eye Clinic offers the latest advancements in lens implants and surgical procedure options to create a custom experience for every cataract patient.

There are many fantastic IOL options to correct nearsightedness, fiarsghtedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia–age-related inability to focus at near distances—that can reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses, even if you have had them for most of your life. Your surgeon will recommend a lens during your consultation visit based on your particular visual needs, including your hobbies, activities, lifestyle, and pre-existing eye conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration.

Patients who choose a monofocal IOL may need glasses for some or all distances. Monofocal IOLs are set to provide your best uncorrected vision at one focal point. Many people who choose a monofocal IOL have it set it for distance vision and use reading glasses for near activities. On the other hand, a person whose IOLs are set to correct near vision would need glasses to see distant objects clearly.

Monofocal IOLs can also be set for monovision, which is distance vision in one eye and near vision in the other eye. If you are considering monovision, your ophthalmologist may suggest trying this technique with contact lenses first to see how well you can adapt. If you require crisp, detailed vision, monovision may not be the best approach for you.

Multifocal IOLs utilize advanced technology and offer a series of focal zones or rings built into the IOL. Depending on where light focuses through the zones, you may be able to see distance, intermediate and near objects clearly. The ability to read and perform other tasks without glasses varies from person to person but it is generally best when multifocal IOLs are placed in both eyes.

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea. Laser cataract surgery enables the physician to correct certain amounts of regular astigmatism to reduce your need for glasses. Astigmatism correcting IOLs can also be used to help decrease the dependence upon glasses. Monofocal IOLs that correct astigmatism allow you to see without glasses at one distance. With this option, you may still rely on glasses for some activities. Some multifocal IOLs can also correct astigmatism.

Most insurance, including Medicare, cover the traditional procedure after deductibles and copays/coinsurances are met.  You may pay out of pocket for laser cataract surgery and for a premium lens.

Contact us at (803) 779-3070 to schedule an appointment for a cataract consultation at any of our four conveniently located offices.