Cataract surgery is basically a lens replacement surgery. When the natural lens of the eye develops a cataract, usually due to age, it becomes cloudy or opaque and eventually requires surgery to restore or improve vision. During surgery, the cataract is removed and the natural lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial one. Artificial lenses are called IOLs (intraocular lenses) and come in several different options that include monofocal, multifocal, extended depth of focus, accommodative, toric and light-adjustable lenses. Budget, lifestyle preferences, other eye conditions and vision goals will help you and your eye surgeon determine which type of artificial lens is right for you.
When you come in for your surgical consultation at Pendleton Eye, we want you to ask all the questions so that you feel calm and confident about your cataract procedure. Patients are concerned about the difference in their vision before surgery and what it will look like after. Recently a patient wanted to know, “can I keep my natural monovision after cataract surgery?” While monovision can occur naturally, most often monovision is achieved through corrective lenses or surgery. Monovision refers to the ability for one eye to see faraway better while the other eye focuses on objects nearby. Monovision surgery involves one eye, usually the dominant eye, being corrected for distance viewing, and the other eye being corrected for near viewing. For those who have monovision naturally it usually means that you will not need corrective refractive surgery in the future.
Keeping your natural monovision after cataract surgery is likely but specific answers will vary patient to patient. If you had quality monovision naturally before surgery, choosing a monofocal lens to replace the natural lens should be an easy substitution. Technically, at this point your monovision will no longer be “natural” given that the lens is artificial but the new lens will replicate the vision you had before cataracts developed. Before surgery, your surgeon will provide you with a full ocular examination as well as biometry testing. This testing gives a pre-operative measurement to calculate the correct power of the artificial intraocular lens. Monovision is not right for everyone but if you already know it works best for you, you are one of the lucky few that will not require an adjustment period to get used to the change in vision. In addition, most insurance plans cover the cost of a monofocal intraocular lens, but other premium IOL lenses require out of pocket cost. The only definitive way to be sure you can keep your natural monovision after cataract surgery is with a comprehensive eye exam. Call Pendleton Eye at 760-758-2008 to schedule your appointment. For more frequently asked questions and to learn more about our services, visit WEBSITE.