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How Do You Choose an IOL Before Cataract Surgery?

Once you begin experiencing significant cataract symptoms, it’s likely your eye doctor will recommend cataract surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing your cloudy lens and implanting an intraocular lens or IOL in its place.

Prior to the procedure, you’ll have the chance to choose an IOL that will replace your natural lens. There are many IOL options available, and your eye doctor will help you decide which is best for you based on a variety of factors.

Keep reading to learn more about the various types of IOLs and how to ensure you select the right one for you!

What is an IOL?

An IOL is a synthetic lens that replaces your eye’s natural. It provides the focusing power required to see clearly and eliminates your bothersome cataract symptoms.

Intraocular lenses are permanently implanted in your eyes. They can be made of acrylic, silicone, or other plastics. 

Many also have a coating that protects your eyes against the sun’s harmful UV rays. If you need cataract surgery, your IOL options may include:

Multifocal IOL

Multifocal lenses allow you to have clear vision at all distances: near, far, and everything in the middle. The overall vision improvement offered by these IOLs dramatically decreases the need for contact lenses or glasses.

Toric IOL

If you have cataracts and astigmatism, a toric IOL can reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contacts following your cataract procedure. Astigmatism refers to an irregularly shaped cornea. 

The refractive error causes blurred and distorted vision at all distances. Toric lens implants are specially designed to correct astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery.

Standard IOL

The standard or monofocal IOL is the most common type of intraocular lens. It’s typically covered by insurance, unlike other IOLs but only offers one focusing distance. 

That means the focus can either be close up or long distance. So if you opt for a near focus, you’ll need glasses for driving. But if you prefer, you’ll wear reading glasses for tasks that require clear up close vision.

How Do You Choose the Best IOL For You?

There are many factors to consider when selecting the perfect IOL, including:


Medicare and other insurance companies do not cover Premium IOLs, such as multifocal lenses. So if cost is a significant factor for you and you don’t mind the dependence on glasses, a standard lens implant may be your perfect fit. 

Vision Goals

If you lead an active outdoor lifestyle or spend most of your time in front of the computer screen, you may want to choose a multifocal IOL. A multifocal lens implant can be an excellent option if you have healthy eyes.

These IOLs deliver clear vision at all distances, reducing the need for glasses or contact lenses post-op. However, since multifocals are typically advanced premium lenses, they will often require an out-of-pocket cost, making it a more costly option.


If you’re tired of living with astigmatism, toric IOLs provide an effective treatment option. With a toric lens implant, you can reduce blurry, distorted vision, eyestrain, and persistent headaches due to astigmatism.

Ultimately, your eye surgeon will discuss the pros and cons of each option and help you pick the IOL that suits your visual goals and lifestyle. The knowledgeable doctors at Simone Eye Center will explain the unique advantages of your lens options. That way, you can make an informed decision.

Do you want to learn more about your IOL options? Schedule an appointment at Simone Eye Center in Warren, MI, today!

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