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A monocular intraocular lens or a premium intraocular lens, how do I decide?

Ms Laura Crawley and Mr Jaheed Khan will be delighted to advise you on whether you have got a cataract and the best type of intraocular lens to have, whether it is a monocular intraocular lens or a multifocal lens.
All IOLs are measured up especially for your eye. After discussion with the surgeon, you will have both decided whether your personalised surgical plan will be to have clear, high-quality distance lens with glasses for reading or whether you may be a candidate for a multifocal lens which aims to give distance and near vision without further glasses correction.
With a high quality monocular intraocular lens, (the commonest type of lens implanted) you will have clear distance vision. There is also an option for you to have one eye corrected for distance and one for near. This is known as monovision. It is a good choice for patients who have contact lenses set up this way with one eye for distance and one eye for near.
Almost everyone needs glasses to read at a close distance as they get older and this is known as presbyopia. The only exception to this is patients who are short-sighted with a prescription around -3.00. These people can use this shortsightedness to read by taking their glasses off. If you are used to taking your glasses off to read then having a distance lens implant at the time of cataract surgery means you will no longer be able to do this, but your distance vision will now be excellent without glasses.
The current high-quality monocular lenses are excellent as most of the latest generation of monocular intraocular lenses employ aspheric lens technology, which provides a very sharp image. These lenses offer excellent contrast sensitivity and a very high quality of vision in a variety of lighting conditions.
For instance, if you require excellent distance vision because you like to play golf or you frequently drive at night you will be well suited to have an aspheric monocular lens. If you have had previous eye disease such as macular degeneration or glaucoma equally, you may well benefit from a good aspheric monocular intraocular lens, because for you the compromised state of your retina will be assisted by the aspheric lens to help perform the sharpest possible image on your retina.
Monocular lenses are covered by your private medical insurance company, and so there is no additional cost to you personally unless you have got an excess to pay on your private medical insurance. If you decide to have a multifocal lens, and I will tell you more about that in just a moment, then your private medical insurance typically will not pay for that and for this reason it is classed as a premium lens.
So, there is an additional out of pocket payment that you have to make for the purchase of the lens and for the surgeon to insert it. It is important to remember that the “premium” notation does not mean that this is a superior lens to the monofocal lens it just means that additional cost or premium is involved
There is a small disadvantage of the monocular lens in that it only gives one clear zone of vision. One way around this is (if you are having bilateral cataract surgery) that you can opt for something called monovision. Monovision is where you have one intraocular lens for distance and one for near. However, everyone doesn’t like that, and if you want to avoid glasses and have monovision, you would have to have a lengthy discussion with your cataract surgeon Ms Laura Crawley and Mr Jaheed Khan to see whether you were likely to be suitable for this.
In the next blog post, I will tell you about multifocal additional premium intraocular lenses as this is very important for you to know about these so that you can make a good decision along with your surgeon’s advice on which intraocular lens you want.


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