T1 & lens type for cataract surgery

I will have cataract surgery for the first time early this summer and am going nuts trying to decide which type of lens replacement to request. I have been reading about the multifocal lens which is good for both near and far vision but has a 5%, at least, rate of night vision problems (halos, glare) and also possibly not quite as clear as the monofocal lens. On the monofocal, you have to choose between near and far vision! Who knew it was this complicated?

Those who have had cataract surgery:
Could I get some feedback on the type of lens you chose and how happy you are with it? I am interested in feedback on all three types, both monofocals and the multifocal. (I also read on one site that if you are "particular" you should not get the multifocal!) I want both near and far vision with both being clear!

Thanks. If it helps, one eye is worse than the other but I think since last spring, the other eye is now affected whereas it was not last year, according to ophthalmologist. I won't know until early June if I will need one or both eyes done.

I had both eyes done with the regular lenses because insurance wouldn't pay for any other type of lens, and it's about $1500 to $2000 extra per eye for the special lenses.

So all I can tell you is my experience - my previous vision (most of my adult life) was 600 in one eye and 650 in the other. I now have 20/20 vision for distance, BUT...I have at least 8 pairs of "cheaters" for reading strewn around the house and in my purse.


I have one lens that gives me 20/15 far vision (my dominant right eye) and one lens that provides 20/20 near vision. Best of both worlds and no need for reading glasses. I was told that this monocular route would affect my depth perception, but I have no problem with my depth perception. I should probably add that my 12-year-old daughter is the Type 1 in our family; I do not have diabetes. Having D should have little, if any, impact on your replacement lens choice, however.

I have a monofocal in my right eye. I chose distance because my distance vision has always been good. I am 20/20 now. Had to get my cataract out because of the glare at night when driving. I was only 20/30 - which is not the 20/40 some insurances require, but the glare was bad enough that insurance did pay. I have +2.5 reading glasses everywhere and do have a pair of progressives - only because I have a slight astigmatism. My other eye is starting to show signs of a cataract - but it is nowhere near as bad as my right eye was. I would probably also do another distance lens.

Insurance only covers the mono lens - so that was what my decision was based on.

My eye doc (as well as a retinal specialist) told me to only get the mono because if I ever need laser work done on my eyes, the multifocal lens presents a problem. My vision is 20/20 since my cataract surgeries--better than all of my previous life and I'm 67 now. I had my eyes done between 3-5 years ago, IIRC. all i need to use is reading glasses. no more expensive rx sunglasses or rx clear glasses.

Thanks to all. I forgot the most important thing and that is that I currently wear progressive lens glasses, needed for both eyes.
Thanks for the cost, Ruth. I was hoping the multifocal would be less than that but I was just kidding myself.
I use my laptop way too much so guess I will continue to wear glasses if I get the distance version, though they don't bother me.
Thanks for the tip about possible future laser treatments, phoenix. I supposedly have little to no retinopathy but I don't trust the "none" as I have had T1 for 43 years.

You would think they would have the lens figured out by now, as long as this surgery has been going on. I am not happy with having to "choose one good vision option" and live with glasses for the rest. Thanks again, though I wanted a "perfect" lens option!

PS. I have a friend who chose one distance lens and one 'near' lens. He says he doesn't notice anything odd though it sounds weird to me!

i had cataract surgery both eyes within two weeks of each other. I got the 'toric' lenses for astigmatism because I didn't want to end up with an expensive pair of glasses. I love my lenses and very well worth the $900 each for them. I had been prescribed some glasses but I can't see out of them so I took them back. I can see 20/30 with the new lenses, which is good enough and no more glare halos at night. My retina specialist works closely with my opthamologist and neither one of them said anything about making laser more difficult. I had laser surgery for macular edema and retinopathy in the right eye. Nothing was done on the lens.

You are welcome.

BTW, I don't have any halos at all after my 2 cataract surgeries.

NOTE: about a year after my first surgery, I noticed I was getting decreased contrast--almost like another cataract, so I went back to my eye guy. He could see some scar tissue had formed, which isn't uncommon. He took me into another room with a laser machine, which zapped the scar tissue away in a few seconds. My vision cleared up completely and that was years ago. The second eye that had cataract surgery never developed scar tissue. My eyesight is amazingly clear. I love the bright colors from not having diminished contrast.

Great items from Roxanne and phoenix again. Glad to hear from a multifocal customer and a satisfied one at that! I am thinking that the ‘scar’ tissue or “secondary cataract” that I read about may be more common than reported. Though it seems easy to fix.

What they do is slit the lens sack near the pupil, and then suck the lens out. Careful;y they roll the new lens into place, and it eventually becomes your new lens and permanent. What sometimes happen, is the back of the sack may become cloudy like a cataract, then all that is needed is minor laser to open the back to let the light in.

Nell, I wore progressive glasses too, before the surgery. Now I only wear glasses for reading and, sometimes for the computer. During the day, with some natural light, I don't need glasses at all for the computer, but at night with only artificial light, I need a milder set of cheaters than for reading books. My regular cheaters are 2.5's, but I keep one set of 1.5's at the computer.

It would have been nice to not have to wear glasses at all, but I couldn't afford the other lenses and, since my distance vision was SO poor, my ophthamologist didn't think my vision would be good enough with just one eye. I found the "cheaters" to be a pain in the neck at first, but I've gotten used to them. The joy of seeing scenery without glasses...without smudges, blurred colors, etc., more than outweighs any inconvenience of putting on glasses just for reading.


Ruth, it sounds like you wear OTC glasses, not prescription ones. Since you refer to "2.5" etc. That is great. It sounds also like you got the lenses for distance viewing like most of the posters. I guess that is a pattern!! I don't mind wearing glasses. I was just shocked at learning I would need to choose a lens for near or distance but could not have an "all in one" without paying big bucks for it. Another topic that I thought I understood until it affected me and then realized how little I knew about cataract surgery and the lens thing! Thanks much.

I was farsighted with sever astigmatism. The corrected my astigmatism and left a little bit in one eye which doesn't affect my vision much. Over the months I've gotten used to reading and whatever without glasses or cheaters. I got toric lenses with distance correction. Really most ppl don't need glasses or just need the "cheaters" for vision. IMO it was worth the more expensive lenses. If I just corrected the distance, then I would be looking through very thick expensive glasses. The upgraded lenses saves money the long run. I'm amazed what I can see now and is the best thing I've ever did.

Roxanne, I don't know when you got your lenses but I just read on one site that Medicare "allows surgeons to charge up to $5,000 to $10,000 extra for each multifocal lens!" This was a 2014 site. I am sure it varies by location.
My reading tells me that there are a number of possible problems with the multifocals but it sounds like you got the best possible outcome. Your surgeon made the correct measurements pre-op (am learning that is not an exact science), and did a great job during surgery (placement needs a skilled surgeon, especially for multifocals). Congrats on finding a good surgeon and getting such good results!

Oops. Rereading your comment, I don't know if toric lenses are mono or multifocal but my comments remain re your surgeon and results.

Nellje, I was wondering which lenses did you end up choosing ?
I am in the same situation with my cataract
I currently don’t use glasses but I guess I will have to start using some either way after the surgery
I was thinking of using the multi focal and willing to pay the extra expense I am just not sure about how bad the glare is at night Some say it’s bad others are saying they get used to it
I guess it depends on how bad it is
I know most of the discussion was about monofocal lenses but I was wondering if anyone else has tried the multifocals