Dec 12, 2009
A "mono-focal" intraocular implant (IOL) is the standard IOL used in most surgery. It has a fixed focal length. At the focal length things are generally quite clear (unless there is a large amount of astigmatism or severe eye disease). Closer or farther than this focal length things are blurry and glasses (often progressive no-line bifocals) are used to help the eye see at those distances. Many people with monofocal IOLs have excellent distant vision or excellent near vision or excellent mid-range vision without glasses. If one monofocal IOL has a focal length of infinitity (distance) and the other a focal length of 20 inches and the person uses one eye for distance and the other for reading and doesn't wear glasses that is "Mono-vision".
A multifocal IOL or Premium IOL or Accommodating IOL are new, used in a small number of cases and have variable focal lengths due to the way the implant is made (mutifocal or apodized IOLs) or the implant actually bends and moves in the eye and focus's light (accommodating IOL).
Premium IOLs cost more, the costs are often not covered by insurance, the procedure is more difficult and complicated, complications are mor common, IOL exchanges and explants are much more common, night vision is often a problem and 20-30% of patients still require glasses for some or most visual tasks.
Our eye care forums are not a place where happy Premium IOL patients often come to crow about their successes, consequently unhappy premium IOL patients greatly outnumber "happy" premium patients.
I have said before that if I was going to have cataract surgery on myself at this time I would not choose a Premium IOL.
JCH III Eye Physician & Surgoen