There are a lot of options for a new lens. So many options. Oddly enough, facing a choice with too many options can be worse than having too few. Anyone with a Netflix account can tell you that. I have a theory that the most-watched content during American mealtimes is the scrolling Netflix library. A million meals a day, eaten start to finish while looking for a good show.
Choosing an Intra-Ocular Lens
I see the same analysis paralysis happen every day when people are faced with choosing their intra-ocular lens (IOL). But I think we can fix that with a few blogs… so let’s get to it. Today we will tackle a giant in the guise of false choices.
The biggest — usually unnecessary — obstacle people face when choosing an IOL is the illusion of too many good choices. Sure, there are scores of IOLs. But there are only a couple good choices for any one person. Imagine if you went to a shoe store to buy new running shoes and the salesman said, “First, let me start by describing all of our sandals, slippers, dress shoes, high heels, and water socks.” Insane, right? Yet, that happens all the time with IOLs.
Your Vision Has Specific Needs
You’ve got specific needs for your vision. If the goal is to be free of glasses, then the main question is “what tasks require you to wear glasses?” Reading, working at a computer, watching TV, golfing, knitting, and so on; we can summarize by saying everyone lives a life unique from others. Any, some, or all of the activities that folks want to be free of glasses require a ton of IOL options.
But — and this is key! — that list of IOLs that’s as long as a Cheesecake Factory menu is the bailiwick of your doctor. The task of researching every IOL option is not a burden you need to carry. The choice should be yours, the stress of knowing the specs of every IOL possible shouldn’t. There are just too many IOLs and too many anatomical variations of individual eye structures.
You might think, “If I’m going to live with it, I should be the one to do the research.” First off, I admire you and agree! You should absolutely be empowered to research your IOL choices, but your doctor can help narrow your research so that you feel in charge instead of overwhelmed.
Maybe a specific (and very oversimplified) example is the best way to show why researching everything is unhelpful. The cornea on the front of your eye might have some higher-order aberrations. One of those is called “vertical coma.” Maybe you have >0.3 microns of it. If so, you can skip researching the pros and cons of ZKB00, ZLB00, ZMB00, ReSTOR, and PanOptix IOLs. Their diffractive optics might not do well with your vertical coma. It’s like the shoe store salesman all over again, wasting your time looking at options that don’t apply to you. Except there are literally hundreds of factors like this that decide what will and won’t work for you.
Great News for Your Eyes!
Here’s the great news: your doctor has the specific task of turning all that super specific detail into a few customized best options. You can save a ton of time and energy by thinking through the vision you want, rather than IOL spec sheets. While the options may be limitless, your options should be much less daunting. Soon, your toughest choice will be what show to watch with your new eyes. That is my wish for you: that you may someday scroll through the eternal Netflix menu with crystal clear vision.