When the lens, the component of the eye that focuses light onto the retina to generate a clear picture, becomes clouded, a cataract develops. In the early stages of cataract formation, a modification in your glasses or contact lens prescription may be sufficient. However, since cataracts increase with age, a large number of individuals need surgery to replace their “cloudy” natural lens with a synthetic one.
Cataract surgery is a common and safe treatment. In recent years, there have been several advancements in cataract surgery, including laser-assisted surgery and using an intraoperative aberrometer (ORA), a device that takes extra measurements of the eye during surgery. This enables a more precise measurement of the artificial lens used to replace the original lens affected by cataract. Continue reading for further vital information about cataract surgery, new developments, and costs.
Cataracts can be fixed with cataract surgery. Cataracts can make it hard to see clearly and make lights shine brighter. If you have a cataract that makes it hard for you to do everyday things, your doctor may suggest that you have cataract surgery. Cataract surgery may be suggested when a cataract makes it hard to treat another eye problem. For example, doctors may suggest cataract surgery if a cataract makes it hard for your eye doctor to look at the back of your eye to check on or treat other eye problems.
When contemplating cataract surgery, consider the following:
• Can you see well enough to complete your work and drive safely?
• Do you have difficulty reading or watching television?
• Is it challenging to cook, shop or ascend stairs.
• Do bright lights impair the ability to see?
Medications and food
Twelve hours before cataract surgery, you may be ordered not to consume anything. Your doctor may also recommend that you temporarily cease taking any medications that might raise your risk of bleeding during the surgery. Some prostate treatments might interfere with cataract surgery. One or two days before to surgery, eye drops containing antibiotics may be recommended.
Typically, you may go home the same day as your operation, but you won’t be able to drive, so make arrangements for a transportation. Also, if required, plan for assistance around the house, since your doctor may restrict activities such as bending and lifting for about one week after surgery.
Typically performed as an outpatient operation, cataract surgery takes one hour or less. Your doctor will first provide eye drops to dilate your pupil. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the region, and a sedative may be administered to help you relax. During surgery, you may stay awake but foggy if you are given a sedative.
During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is often removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. In some instances, a cataract may be extracted without the implantation of an artificial lens. During cataract surgery, laser-assisted therapy and intraoperative aberrometry are used to remove the cataract and measure the eye. This allows for a more accurate measurement of the artificial lens used to replace the cataract-affected lens.
In the few days following cataract surgery, your vision should begin to improve. Initially, you may have blurred vision while your eye recovers and adapts. As a result of having a new, clean lens implanted, colors may seem more vibrant following surgery. Before surgery, a cataract is often yellow or brown in hue, dulling the appearance of colors.
Ordinarily, you will visit your eye doctor a few days, a week, and then a month after surgery to check the healing process. It is common to have slight pain and itching for a few days following surgery. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. Your doctor may prescribe that you wear an eye patch and use drops for a few days after surgery and maybe a protective shield while you sleep throughout the recovery time.
Without insurance, the typical cost of cataract surgery in the United States is between $3,500 and $7,000 per eye. Medicare and commercial insurance plans often pay the expenses in whole or in part. This may cut your out-of-pocket costs by up to 80 percent.
The final cost depends on the kind of lens required. Premium corrective lenses and laser surgery are more expensive than conventional ultrasonic therapy. If you choose the finest lenses and use cutting-edge technology, you must pay for them yourself. Typically, a Medicare B plan covers the price of conventional treatments.