Choosing a Premium Lens for Cataract Surgery: The Complete Guide

If you live long enough, nearly everyone will have cataracts, a medical condition that causes the deterioration of your vision. Cataracts currently affect more than 24.4 million Americans aged 40 and older. By age 75, one-half of all Americans will have cataracts. For most people, developing cataracts is simply part of the aging process. Fortunately, cataract surgery can safely remove the cataract and replace it with clear premium intraocular lenses to restore your vision.

This blog will help you understand how a premium cataract lens replacement can restore your vision from cataracts. There are several premium lenses to choose from for your cataract surgery. Here’s what you need to know about how premium intraocular lenses can restore your sight and sometimes even eliminate your need for glasses.

What is a Premium Lens Implant for Cataract Surgery?

Premium intraocular lenses, or IOLs, are a type of artificial lens that implants in the eye during cataract surgery. These premium lenses for cataract surgery are designed to correct vision problems, including:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia), a refractive error of the eye that causes distant objects to blur while close-up objects remain clear.
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia) is a refractive eye error that causes close-up objects to blur while far objects remain clear.
  • Presbyopia is an age-related eye condition that makes it harder to see up close. The condition begins around age 40 and gradually worsens. Presbyopia can’t be prevented but the condition can be cured with a specific type of premium intraocular lens.

Each type of premium intraocular lens has a different benefit. The best choice of premium lenses for your cataract surgery depends on your visual needs and preferences. It’s important to talk with your doctor about your options.

Each type of lens also has a different cost.

How Much Does a Premium Lens Replacement Cost?

According to Forbes Health, the average cost of cataract surgery in 2023 varies from $1,789 in an ambulatory surgical center to $2,829 in a hospital outpatient setting.

The cost of premium cataract lens replacement varies widely. There are several factors affecting the cost of your surgery:

  • The type of premium lenses for cataract surgery that your doctor chooses.
  • The experience the surgeon has with premium cataract lens replacement.
  • The location of the surgical center where you have your premium cataract lens replacement.
  • If you have additional tests or services before or after the procedure.

Both Medicare and Medicare Advantage currently cover at least a portion of cataract surgery with a conventional intraocular lens. Each private insurance company differs, so check with your plan to see what they offer. Each private insurance company differs, so check with your plan to see what they offer.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Premium Lens for Cataract Surgery

Choosing the type of premium lenses for cataract surgery is a complex decision. There are several things to keep in mind:

  • What is Your Desired Range of Vision? Discuss your vision goals with your surgeon. For example, you may want to improve your distance vision and reduce your need for glasses.
  • Do You Have Astigmatism? If you have astigmatism, there are specific types of premium intraocular lenses (toric IOLs) to help correct the condition.
  • Are You a Nighttime Driver? Many patients experience better nighttime vision after premium cataract lens replacement.

Talk with your doctor about your lifestyle and goals for your cataract surgery. Together, you’ll make an informed decision about the best IOL for you.

Types of Premium Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

Unlike standard IOLs that only correct distance vision, premium lenses for cataract surgery are designed to provide a wider range of vision and potentially lessen the need for contacts or glasses after surgery. Premium lenses come in several different types:

  • Multifocal IOLs with multiple focusing zones to allow for clear vision at different distances.
  • Accommodating IOLs have a flexible design that changes shape in the eye in response to muscle movement. These lenses also allow for clearer vision at a distance or up close.
  • Toric IOLs correct astigmatism and provide sharper vision after cataract surgery.
  • Extended depth of focus (EDOF) IOLs not only sharpen vision but they manipulate light in a way that reduces glare and halos.

Two of the most common premium intraocular lenses recommended by The Eye Care & Vision Associates (ECVA) team include:

  • The Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens
  • The AcrySof IQ Vivity Lens

Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens

The Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens is a premium IOL designed to provide clear vision at multiple distances, including near, intermediate, and far. This lens uses a proprietary trifocal design that splits the light into three focal points, which sharpen your vision at different distances. The Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens design lets patients see at various lengths without needing glasses or contact lenses. The Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens was the first and only trifocal IOL approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s been successfully implanted by eye surgeons all over the world. Clinical studies show an extremely high rate of 20/20 vision post-surgery at all distances.

AcrySof IQ Vivity Lens

The AcrySof IQ Vivity Lens uses a unique design known as X-Wave technology. This lens has an extended range of vision, smoothly transitioning between near, intermediate, and distance vision. The AcrySof IQ Vivity Lens provides continuous vision at different distances without needing contacts or glasses. The AcrySof IQ Vivity Lens is made of a material called hydrophobic acrylic, a type of plastic that is safe for the eye. The FDA has also approved this lens.

Choose the Right Premium Lens for Your Cataract Surgery in Buffalo, NY

We know you have choices when selecting an ophthalmologist to perform your cataract surgery. The ECVA is standing by to give you the best clinical experience and clearest vision throughout your lifetime. Our experienced, compassionate team has four convenient locations in Elmwood Village, Orchard Park, Williamsville, and Niagara Falls. We’re standing by to answer all your questions about premium cataract lens replacement. Call on us. We’re here to help. Request an appointment with our cataract surgeons today!

What Causes Tunnel Vision?

Tunnel vision is a highly disruptive condition, making it difficult or impossible to see objects that aren’t positioned directly in front of you. Without your peripheral vision, navigating the world becomes riskier, as you can’t clearly identify objects to your side. As a result, it’s critical to understand what causes tunnel vision and whether it’s correctable. Here’s what you need to know. 

What Is Tunnel Vision? 

Technically referred to as peripheral vision loss, tunnel vision is functionally the loss or diminishment of your peripheral vision. When it occurs, objects that aren’t directly in front of you become unclear or impossible to see. Essentially, your field of vision shrinks, leaving only the central part intact. 

What Causes Tunnel Vision? 

There are several potential causes of tunnel vision. In some cases, medical conditions impacting the brain can lead to the condition. Issues with blood vessels or nerves connected to your eyes or vision centers may also cause tunnel vision. 

Additionally, there are eye conditions that may lead to tunnel vision. Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, retinal detachment, retinal vein occlusion, and optic neuritis are all eye diseases that have the potential to cause tunnel vision. 

In some cases, migraines may lead to peripheral vision loss. The same is true of hypertension, concussions, and strokes. 

Is Tunnel Vision Serious? 

Any change to your vision is serious. With tunnel vision, the loss of your peripheral vision impacts your daily life. Along with altering what you can and can’t see clearly, it can lead to headaches, dizziness, and other uncomfortable symptoms, which are often highly disruptive. 

Additionally, some conditions require immediate treatment to have the best chance of restoring your vision. Since that’s the case, treating any occurrence of peripheral vision loss as a serious medical event and seeking care immediately is wise. 

Finally, some causes of tunnel vision are also life-threatening. Conditions like strokes can lead to peripheral vision loss, though there may be other damage that isn’t causing immediately clear symptoms. If treatment is delayed, the stroke can cause more damage to the brain, which can lead to catastrophic outcomes, including loss of life. 

Can You Recover from Tunnel Vision? 

Whether tunnel vision is temporary or permanent depends on the cause of the peripheral vision loss. For example, tunnel vision relating to migraines often clears once the migraine subsides. If retinal detachment is the cause, tunnel vision isn’t recoverable unless the proper treatment option is available and pursued quickly. With diabetic retinopathy, stroke, or glaucoma, the peripheral vision loss is often permanent. 

As a result, it’s critical to see a medical professional or your eye care provider right away if you’re experiencing tunnel vision. They can determine the cause and recommend treatments that may restore your vision, depending on what underlying condition is responsible. Additionally, some causes of peripheral vision loss are life-threatening, making immediate care essential. 

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patients’ eyes are our priority. If you’re experiencing tunnel vision or simply haven’t seen your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today. 

Family looking at eyeglasses

5 Reasons to Consider the Alcon PanOptix Lens for Cataract Surgery in Buffalo

cataract treatment buffalo NY

As you age, you’ll likely have cataract surgery. Cataract surgery in Buffalo is a routine surgery to restore vision in older patients suffering from the condition. According to one study, “Cataract extraction is the most prevalent surgical procedure of all medical specialties with an estimated 3.7 million cases per year in the USA, 7 million in Europe and 20 million worldwide.” Since 1995, more than 500 million cataract surgeries have been performed successfully on more than 130 million people. One estimate suggests doctors will perform close to 100 million of these procedures annually by the year 2050.

These are astonishing numbers that place modern cataract surgery at the top of the list for the most performed medical procedure in the world. However, cataract surgery is also one of the most effective clinical procedures on the body, with a 99% success rate. The procedure continues to evolve and improve. One of the latest innovations is the Alcon PanOptix Lens for cataract surgery. It’s being used today for cataract surgery in Buffalo and around the U.S. What is the PanOptix Trifocal Lens? Why might it be a better option for your cataract surgery?

What is the Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens?

The Alcon PanOptix Lens for cataract surgery is a trifocal intraocular lens, or IOL, designed for cataract surgery. This technology is designed to provide clear vision at near, intermediate, and far distances after cataract surgery.

The Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens is used in cataract surgery as a replacement for the natural lens that is clouded and blurred. The surgical procedure involves removing the cloudy lens and implanting the PanOptix trifocal lens.

Surgeons typically perform cataract surgery in Buffalo and around the country as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. The surgeon will make a small incision in the cornea and use ultrasound to break up and remove the cloudy lens during the process. The new PanOptix Trifocal lens is inserted through the same incision and positioned in the lens capsule.

After surgery, your vision should gradually improve over a few days and weeks. The trifocal technology in the PanOptix Trifocal Lens allows for clear vision at near, intermediate, and far distances without the need for glasses or contact lenses in most cases. After surgery, your vision should gradually improve over a few days and weeks. The trifocal technology in the PanOptix Trifocal Lens allows for clear vision at near, intermediate, and far distances without the need for glasses or contact lenses in most cases.

What Technology is Used in PanOptix Trifocal Lenses?

The Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens uses copyrighted, FDA-approved trifocal optical technology. This technology divides incoming light into three focal points, providing clear vision at near, middle, and far distances. The trifocal design leverages diffractive zones in the lens that split light into several focal points. The zones provide a patient with clear vision at different lengths without needing other corrective lenses. This technology offers an improved range of vision that single-focus intraocular lenses do not.

To understand how the PanOptix Trifocal Lens works, you must first understand how the eye sees. Your eyes see by capturing light and transforming it into electrical signals transmitted to the brain. When you look at an object, several things happen:

  • Light enters the cornea, the transparent outer layer that helps to focus incoming light back toward the brain.
  • The light passes through the pupil, the adjustable opening in the center of the eye. The pupil opens and closes to adjust how much light hits the retina at the back of the eye.
  • The light passes through the lens of the eye, which is the clear covering that is replaced with an interocular lens during cataract surgery.
  • Light hits the retina at the back of the eye. The retina is a thin layer of tissue that contain photoreceptor cells called rods and cones. These cells convert the light (and what you see) into an electrical signal that transmits to the brain through the optic nerve.
  • The brain processes the electrical signals, forming an image. This process is what allows you to see and perceive the world around you.

When a cataract clouds the eye, this disrupts the normal process of clear vision. Your vision can also be disrupted by nearsightedness, farsightedness, or other problems that prevent perfect 20/20 vision. These issues stem from having an improperly shaped eye so that light does not adequately focus on the retina. For example:

  • Nearsightedness or myopia occurs when the eye is too long or the cornea is too curved. When light enters the eye, it focuses in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This results in clear close-up vision but blurry distance vision.
  • Farsightedness or hyperopia happens when the eye is too short, or the cornea is too flat, causing light to focus behind the retina. Farsightedness lets you see in the distance, but up close, vision is blurry.

Corrective eyewear, in the form of glasses or contacts, corrects where light focuses in the eye Corrective eyewear, in the form of glasses or contacts, corrects where light focuses in the eye to improve your vision. That’s the power of this technology to help you see clearer. Interestingly, the Alcon PanOptix Lens for cataract surgery does something similar, except the corrective technology is built into the interocular lens. Now, your cataract surgery in Buffalo will not only eliminate the cloudy vision that comes with a cataract. If the PanOptix Trifocal Lens is suitable for you, it can also stop your need for other types of corrective vision wear.

Is the PanOptix Trifocal Lens Right for Everyone?

The Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens may not be the right choice for everyone. Some factors that may impact the suitability of the Alcon PanOptix Lens for cataract surgery include:

  • Your existing visual impairments.
  • Your overall health.
  • Your lifestyle.
  • Your expectations.

You may not be an ideal candidate if you have very high visual demands, such as frequently driving at night or needing precise intermediate vision. You must have an open discussion with your eye doctor to determine the best type of interocular lens or whether cataract surgery is the right option for you at this time.

Benefits of the Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens for Cataract Surgery in Buffalo

The Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens is considered better than a regular intraocular lens in several ways:

  • Improved vision at multiple distances: the technology built into the PanOptix Trifocal lens turns the average cataract surgery in Buffalo into a vision correction dream. You can emerge from the surgery with clear vision at near, mid, and far distances without needing glasses or contact lenses. This makes the Alcon PanOptix Lens for cataract surgery a better option over traditional single-focused IOLs.
  • Improved night vision: The Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens is designed to offer improved night vision, particularly when compared to traditional intraocular lenses, by reducing glare and halos that muddy your vision in the evening.
  • Increased patient satisfaction: Patients who undergo cataract surgery in Buffalo prefer the PanOptix Trifocal Lens, reporting higher levels of satisfaction with their vision after the surgery.

It’s important to note that not all patients are suitable for the PanOptix Trifocal Lens. Your cataract surgery in Buffalo will include a comprehensive eye exam and discussion of your vision needs and goals. Talk to your doctor about whether the Alcon PanOptix Lens for your cataract surgery is the best option.

#1 The PanOptix Lens Offers Three Clear Vision Distance

The Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens offers three corrective vision distances:

  • Near vision: Improvements in your near vision happen through a series of small diffractive zones within the lens that split light into a nearby focal point. This vision correction lets you see objects up close without needing contact lenses or glasses.
  • Intermediate vision: Better middle-distance vision occurs through a series of larger diffractive lens zones that split light into an intermediate focal point. This correction lets you see objects at a middle distance, such as a computer screen or a car dashboard, without needing additional corrective lenses.
  • Far vision: Seeing far away is better with the Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens for cataract surgery. Better far vision happens through the center of the intraocular lens, which is dedicated to providing a clear view of the distance.

The combination of trifocal (near, intermediate, and far) vision in the Alcon PanOptix Lens allows you to see clearly at different distances without the need for glasses or contact lenses. With traditional single-focus interocular lens, patients often still need reading or other corrective lenses to see clearly, even after their Buffalo cataract surgery.

#2 Experience Blue Light Protection with PanOptix Trifocal Lenses

The PanOptix Trifocal Lens is permanently coated to protect the eyes against blue light from computer screens and the sun’s ultraviolet light. However, the Alcon PanOptix Lens isn’t light responsive, meaning, they don’t operate like photo gray glasses that darken under the sun’s rays. It’s generally a good idea to protect your eyes from excess sun exposure and to take breaks from your computer screen to allow the eyes to rest.

#3 The PanOptix Trifocal Lens Can Correct Astigmatism

The PanOptix Trifocal Toric Lens corrects astigmatism. The Toric Lens is the only FDA-approved trifocal IOL that corrects astigmatism after cataract surgery. Astigmatism is a common refractive error of the eye that causes blurred vision. The condition occurs when the cornea or the lens inside the eye isn’t evenly curved, causing the light entering the eye to focus unevenly on the retina. This results in eye blur at near and far distances. The Alcon PanOptix Lens for cataract surgery can take care of this condition and restore your vision

#4 PanOptix Trifocal Lenses Improve the Quality of Your Vision

PanOptix trifocal lenses improve the quality of your eyesight by providing clear vision at all distances. The Alcon PanOptix Lens for cataract surgery not only eliminates the gradual clouding of your vision caused by the condition, this procedure can help eliminate your glasses entirely.

Additionally, the PanOptix Trifocal Lens has a unique design that helps reduce visual distortions and aberrations, providing clear and stable vision in all lighting conditions. This leads to improved visual quality, reducing the visual strain and discomfort often associated with traditional multifocal lenses.

#5 With the PanOptix Trifocal IOL You Can Maintain an Active Lifestyle

The Alcon PanOptic Trifocal Lens for cataract surgery can help you maintain an active lifestyle without needing multiple pairs of glasses or switching between contacts and glasses. This implant makes it easier to participate in activities requiring visual acuity at multiple distances, such as playing sports and using a computer, driving, or reading.

The Alcon PanOptic Lens is surgically implanted inside the eye, so it isn’t necessary to remove or clean it. This convenience can give you the peace of mind to participate in an active lifestyle without requiring contacts or glasses.

Is the Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens Right for You? Consult with the Top Cataract Surgeons in Buffalo, NY

If you’re experiencing the cloudy, blurry vision common to cataract sufferers, the ophthalmologists at Eye Care & Vision Associates can determine if PanOptix cataract surgery is right for you. We offer four locations for cataract surgery in Buffalo and the surrounding region: Elmwood Village, Southtowns, Niagara Falls, and Williamsville.

Request an appointment with the cataract surgeons at ECVA today to learn more about the Alcon PanOptix Trifocal Lens. We can help!

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About AMD

Receiving a diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is often startling and concerning, particularly if you aren’t overly familiar with AMD. As a result, it’s wise to prepare questions that you can ask your ophthalmologist after being referred for an appointment. If you aren’t sure what to ask, here are a few questions that will help you understand the diagnosis and get the conversational ball rolling. 

Is It Wet or Dry AMD, and Is It Affecting One or Both Eyes? 

AMD comes in two primary forms, wet and dry. Each type has a unique cause and requires different treatments to manage. As a result, it’s critical to learn which kind of AMD you have early in the process. 

Additionally, finding out if it’s affecting one or both eyes is wise. Either is a possibility, so learning whether both eyes are impacted is essential. 

What Stage Is My AMD? 

Knowing the stage of AMD lets you know how advanced the condition is, and it may make it easier to determine which treatment options are worth pursuing at that time. By asking your ophthalmologist whether you’re in an early, intermediate, or advanced stage, you’ll have a better understanding of your current diagnosis. 

Is My AMD Likely to Progress? 

When, how, or if a condition progresses depends on multiple factors. With this question, you can find out how quickly your AMD may advance, allowing you to determine whether various treatment options make sense at this time. 

Will Any Lifestyle Changes Slow Progression? 

In some cases, lifestyle changes – like altering your diet, adjusting your exercise schedule, or taking supplements – can impact the progression of specific eye conditions. However, whether any changes are right for you depends on many factors. For example, whether there are other medical conditions you have that would be negatively impacted by an adjustment is something you need to discuss with your care team before making lifestyle changes. 

Should My Blood Relatives Get Checked for AMD? 

Genetics can play a role in some eye conditions, including whether someone is potentially at greater risk of developing AMD. By asking your doctor this question, you can find out if your blood relatives – such as siblings or children – may need more frequent screenings to ensure the health of their eyes. 

How Frequently Should I Schedule Follow-Ups with My Eye Care Provider? 

With conditions like AMD, it’s wise to schedule follow-up appointments with your eye care provider to monitor how your AMD progresses and whether various treatments are effective. Speak with your ophthalmologist to determine an ideal schedule and prioritize those appointments. That ensures your eye care provider can adjust the treatment plan quickly if necessary, increasing the odds that your vision is preserved as much as possible. 

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patients’ eyes are our priority. If you were recently diagnosed with AMD and want guidance on treatment options, our board-certified ophthalmologists are here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.