Updated on  February 20, 2024
4 min read

What are PanOptix Trifocal Lenses?

10 sources cited
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Key Takeaways

  • The Alcon PanOptix® lenses are the newest FDA-approved version of multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) for people with cataracts.
  • It received FDA approval in 2019 as a great alternative to monovision lenses.
  • PanOptix lenses provide vision at all three distances: near, intermediate, and far. They also eliminate or reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses.
  • The ideal candidates are people who want to reduce dependence on glasses, get rid of cataracts, or need eye lens replacement.
  • You must learn as much information as possible about the procedure before committing to these lenses.

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What are Alcon PanOptix Lenses?

The Alcon PanOptix® lenses are the newest FDA-approved version of multifocal Intraocular lenses (IOLs) for cataract surgery. IOLs are artificial lenses placed in your eyes to promote clear vision. 

The PanOptix intraocular lens is made of hydrophobic acrylic material with 15 refractive rings.1 The lens is placed in the posterior chamber of the eye after removing the natural eye lens. 

Unlike other IOLs that enable one or two types of vision, PanOptix Trifocal lenses enable clear distant, intermediate, and near vision.2 

With PanOptix lenses, you can perform daily activities like watching TV, reading, or driving without needing your glasses or contacts.

Before FDA approval in 2019, the Alcon PanOptix Trifocal lenses were already popular in many other countries with highly satisfactory outcomes.3 According to research, over 90% of people with these lenses no longer need glasses or contacts after surgery.4

In addition to replacing the lenses clouded by cataracts, PanOptix IOLs enhance vision by correcting presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) and reduce risk for residual astigmatism (refractive error after lens placement).5

Recovery and adjustment after PanOptix lens placement may take several weeks to 2 months.

Pros and Cons of PanOptix Lenses

Below are the pros and cons of the Alcon PanOptix lenses:


  • Provide a broader range of vision (near, intermediate, and distance)
  • Provide better near and intermediate vision, making reading and other up-close tasks much easier than with other IOLs
  • An excellent alternative to monovision, where both eyes are set to see clearly at different distances
  • Eliminate or reduces the need for eyeglasses or contacts
  • Made with ultraviolet and blue light filtering material
  • Better image quality (vivid colors)
  • No maintenance or replacement required


  • Potential for glare, starbursts, and halos around lights
  • Blurry vision during recovery
  • Possible decreased contrast sensitivity at night7

The benefits of PanOptix lenses outweigh the risks. According to the FDA, when used properly, these IOLs are safe and effective in treating vision issues due to astigmatism, cataract removal, or aphakia (absence of an eye lens).8

PanOptix Lenses vs. Monovision Lenses

PanOptix Trifocal lenses are different from monovision lenses. The main difference is that PanOptix lenses enable three vision distances: near, intermediate, and distance vision, whereas monovision lenses can only be set to one vision distance: near or far.9 

To enable effective change between near and distance vision, one monovision IOL is set for near vision and the other for distance. The dominant eye is usually set for distance vision.

People with monovision lenses may require reading glasses to enhance their vision. This is especially true for doing detailed tasks such as reading and using a computer. They may also have poor depth perception (inability to determine the distance between objects).10

This isn’t the case with PanOptix trifocal lenses. They provide the best visual acuity at all three distances. For this reason, PanOptix lenses are a great alternative to monovision lenses.

An eye doctor can evaluate your eyes to determine the best lenses for your situation.

Who is a Candidate for PanOptix Lenses?

The best way to determine if the PanOptix lenses are good for you is through an evaluation by an experienced ophthalmologist. Ideally, you’ll qualify for Alcon PanOptix lenses if you:

  • Are at least 22 years old and need natural lens replacement
  • Want to reduce dependence on glasses and contacts
  • Have cataracts that affect your vision
  • Have healthy eyes
  • Have no underlying health conditions such as a detached retina or advanced macular degeneration
  • Are not taking any medications that can interfere with surgery or contain blood thinning agents. This includes anti-inflammatory drugs. Consult your doctor if you take any
  • Are well informed about the procedure
  • Can follow post-surgery recovery guidelines

People with corneal scars, irregular astigmatism, severe macular degeneration, and other optic neuropathies, including glaucoma and ischemic etiologies, are not good candidates for the Alcon PanOptix® lenses.6

How Much Do PanOptix Lenses Cost?

The Alcon PanOptix lenses are premium intraocular lenses. They’re considered elective, and therefore, insurance does not cover them. 

Although your insurance coverage may include cataract surgery, it will only finance the placement of monofocal lenses. If you prefer to get PanOptix lenses, you’ll have to pay out of pocket. 

The average price of one PanOptix lens is about $2,000. The procedure can be more expensive if you don’t have insurance coverage, specifically for cataract surgery.

Talk to your doctor and insurance provider for more accurate information about cost and financing options.

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Best Overall

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Also Great

Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.

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Best Overall

Discount Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

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Updated on  February 20, 2024
10 sources cited
Updated on  February 20, 2024
  1. Sudhir R. et al., “AcrySof IQ PanOptix Intraocular Lens Versus Extended Depth of Focus Intraocular Lens and Trifocal Intraocular Lens: A Clinical Overview,” National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 09 Aug. 2019
  2. Pouly S., “Extended Depth of Focus IOLs,” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 04 Mar. 2022
  3. Summary Of Safety And Effectiveness Data (SSED),” Food and Drug Administration, 26 Aug. 2019
  4. Hovanesian JA  et al., “The PanOptix Trifocal IOL vs the ReSTOR 2.5 Active Focus and ReSTOR 3.0-Add Multifocal Lenses: A Study of Patient Satisfaction, Visual Disturbances, and Uncorrected Visual Performance,” Dovepress, 04 March 2021
  5.  Sukhovolskiy G. and Roan V., “Four Steps to Make Premium IOLs Worth the Cost,” Review of Optometry, 15 Mar. 2020
  6. Jerry G., “Patient Selection Criteria for PanOptix Trifocal IOL,” Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today (CRST) 13 Nov. 2019
  7. Krader C., “Physicians sort out pros and cons of several new IOLs on the market,” Ophthalmology Times, 15 Oct. 2021
  8. Porter D., “What Is Aphakia?,”  American Academy of Ophthalmology, 10 Dec. 2021
  9. Blehm C.,  and Potvin R., “Reported Patient Satisfaction and Spectacle Independence Following Bilateral Implantation of the PanOptix® Trifocal Intraocular Lens,”  National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 06 Jul. 2021
  10. Berger M., “When a fix for one vision problem causes another,”  University of Pennsylvania, 25 Jul. 2019
The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.