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Standard IOLs vs. Premium IOLsin Boston, MA

If your doctor has recommended cataract surgery, you may already be familiar with options for IOLs. Cataract surgery removes the lens in your eye that has become cloudy.

The lens is an important part of being able to see. During cataract surgery, your cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial lens.

This artificial lens is an intraocular lens or IOL. When it comes to IOLs, there are several kinds to choose from! Keep reading to learn more about standard and premium IOLs. You will be better informed for a meaningful discussion with your doctor.

Standard IOLs

If you opt for a standard IOL, most insurance companies will cover it. Unlike procedures like LASIK, cataract surgery is often something that insurance will cover.

This is because cataract surgery is a medically necessary procedure. This means if you get a standard IOL, you won’t have to pay any money out of pocket. But there is only one kind of standard IOL.


The monofocal lens is the only kind of standard lens. It consists of a lens that only has one refractive power.

Monovision means that you can either see up close or far away, but not both with it. One way to counteract this is getting a lens in each eye at different refractive powers.

You may still need reading glasses, but it does allow you to see!

Premium IOLs

Premium IOLs are not covered by insurance. This means you will have to pay extra to have one.

Premium IOLs can cost up to a couple of thousand dollars per lens. This sounds like a lot, but many people find it worth it if they can reduce their need for glasses and it will last a lifetime.

There are three main types of premium lenses:


Multifocal lenses have rings in the center of the lens. These rings are set to alternative refractive powers. This allows the patient to see up close and far away depending on which part of the lens they look through.

Patients with multifocal lenses usually can see very well up close. Most only need reading glasses for very small print.


A toric lens is a lens designed to correct for astigmatism. It allows the patient to see both up close and far away. The added benefit is toric lenses fix faulty vision because of astigmatism.

For some people, a toric lens isn’t enough to completely correct their astigmatism. Some patients need extra Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI) during cataract surgery.

These incisions help to further correct the irregular shape of the eye.

So what IOL should you get? It depends on what you need and how you live your life.

Some people are happy with monovision. Some people want the high-focus of a multifocal lens. Talk to your doctor about your options and figure out what’s best for you.

Looking to get cataract surgery? Contact Nielsen Eye Center in Quincy, MA to schedule a cataract appointment today!

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