Eye on Lens Technology
Artificial intraocular lenses (IOLs) are implanted in the eyes to replace the natural lenses of patients with cataracts, presbyopia or refractive errors. Advances in lens technology mean improvement in the quality and variety of lenses you may choose from, and are customized to your lifestyle. Our lens options range from standard lenses (covered by OHIP) to premium Lifestyle lenses. Your NTEC doctor can help you decide which lens is the best choice for your needs.
OHIP only covers a basic measurement of the size of your eye to help your surgeon to select the most optimal lens power (like glasses prescription) for your eyes. This measurement uses an older technology, and is only suitable if you don’t mind wearing glasses full-time, and elect to go with the OHIP covered IOL (described below). If you would like to know what IOL options you have, and would best suit your lifestyle and vision needs, then more specialized tests would be required to give your doctor more information about the shape and curvature of your eyes. These specialized tests require an additional fee.
3 Zones of Vision:
To understand how each type of IOL works, you need to first understand there are 3 zones of vision:
- Far distance – this includes looking at things approximately 3 feet and further away from you, e.g. television, street signs.
- Intermediate – this includes looking at things approximately 2 to 3 feet away from you, e.g. dashboard of your car, computer monitor, coffee table or kitchen counter.
- Near – this includes looking at things approximately 1.5 to 2 feet away from you, e.g. cellphone, tablet, book.
Lens Options Explained
Monofocals provide vision at 1 zone of vision only, typically for far distance, and you will need glasses for intermediate and near vision. Below are types of monofocals lenses:
• A basic spherical monofocal lens provides distance vision and is covered by OHIP. You will likely require glasses to see as sharp as possible for all 3 zones of vision.
• An aspheric monofocal lens is designed to provide improved image quality by reducing spherical aberrations. It will provide crisper, clearer images with enhanced contrast and improved low light vision as compared to a spherical lens.
• Clareon® IOL – is an advanced aspheric monofocal IOL that is made from an enhanced material that provides optimal image clarity. It also has a yellow filter that helps protect the eyes from UV rays and blue light. Unlike other lenses, Clareon is implanted using the first-and-only automated disposable pre-loaded system, which makes lens implantation during surgery easier, and safer. Learn more about Clareon® IOL
Extended depth of focus (EDOF) lenses are similar to blended lenses, but with more intermediate vision. They provide clear distance and good intermediate vision, and some functional near vision. Sometimes glasses for certain intermediate tasks are still needed, but light reading glasses will be needed for near work.
Acrysof® IQ Vivity® IOL uses non-diffractive X-Wave™ technology to offer continuous extended range of vision. Unlike diffractive lenses, this IOL reduces the risk of halos, glare, and starbursts (similar to monofocal lenses). This allows surgeons to implant this lens in patients with retina and other visual conditions. Learn more about Acrysof® IQ Vivity® IOL
• TECNIS Symfony™ IOL uses its unique optical technology to provide sharper distance vision than other EDOF IOLs. Learn more about the TECNIS® Symfony Extended Range IOL
All lenses (monofocal, blended, EDOF, and trifocal) have a toric option. Toric lenses are used to correct for corneal astigmatism, which occurs when the cornea is oval-shaped rather than spherical in shape. From your specialized testing, your doctor will be able to see if you have astigmatism. If you do, using a toric IOL implant will give you sharper vision, and eliminate the need for astigmatism correcting glasses after surgery. Learn More About Toric IOLs for Astigmatism
Blended lenses are the next-generation IOLs that go beyond the expectations of monofocals. In addition to clear distance vision, they also give functional intermediate vision (e.g. looking at the dashboard, food on the table, remote controller). You may still need glasses for certain intermediate tasks, like reading small print on the computer, and will need reading glasses.
• TECNIS Eyhance™ IOL is just like a monofocal IOL, it delivers exceptional distance vision, and minimal risk of halos, glare and starbursts at night. The added advantage of this lens is that it provides an improved depth of focus compared to monofocals, which means it gives you functional intermediate vision. Learn more about the TECNIS family of IOLS
Trifocals offer the most freedom from glasses. While current technology is able to provide more range of vision, these lenses cannot replicate the amazing range of vision you had when you were 20 years old. Sometimes glasses for near are still required.
• AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® IOL is a trifocal lens that delivers optimum visibility in all lighting conditions, and has a yelow filter that helps block UV rays and blue light. Read Real PanOptix® Patient Stories
Your Guide to Acrysof IQ PanOptix IOL
• TECNIS Synergy™ IOL is the newest trifocal lens that provides continuous high-contrast vision for all distances (with more enhanced near vision than other IOLs), regardless of levels of light. It uses violet filtering technology to reduce halos at night. Learn more about TECNIS Synergy™ IOL
Additional information about specific lenses
Refractive correction services that are offered during cataract surgery can include special-feature intraocular lenses like multifocal and accommodating IOLs, femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery, and other specialized diagnostics. These services are an additional cost to patients because they are not deemed medically necessary. Newer innovations for cataract surgery aim to enhance refractive outcomes for patients who are hoping to be independent of glasses or contacts lenses but at a financial cost.
What options are covered by OHIP, and what are the non-insured options?