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Cataract Patients Now Have Choices!
Up until a short time ago, individuals who were diagnosed with cataracts had surgery and at best achieved good distance vision following their surgery. Because the intraocular lenses available only corrected distance vision and could not correct an astigmatism or near vision, patients were often required to wear glasses following their surgery.
Advanced technology now allows cataract patients to choose what type of intraocular lens is best for them. Those individuals who wore glasses for an astigmatism can now select a Toric Intraocular Lens. For the first time in their lives they will be able to see well at a distance without glasses or contacts.
Not all patients are candidates for these new high technology lenses. After careful examination, your doctor will suggest which lens he feels is right for you. Although patients will receive the standard Medicare reimbursement for cataract surgery when they select one of these premium lenses, there is an additional fee that is not covered by insurance.
If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, be sure and ask your doctor at your next visit if either of these new innovative lenses are right for you.
Cataracts – The Most Successful Surgery Available
People don’t have to live with vision loss because of cataracts. Through new technological advances, cataract surgery today is faster, more effective and more comfortable for the patient. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States. More than 20 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts, and more than two million people have cataract surgery each year in the United States. Over 95 percent of cataract surgeries are performed without complications and result in a significant improvement in vision.
What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. This clouding of the lens causes the light to scatter and prevents some light from reaching the retina which then causes blurred vision. This condition usually occurs slowly over time; however, it can also happen quickly.
Cataracts are not painful, but you may notice these symptoms:
- Details are difficult to see
- Cloudy, fuzzy or blurry vision
- Double vision
- Changes in the color of the pupil
- Poor night vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare, especially while driving at night
- Frequent changes in your glasses prescription
- Dull colors
- Inability to perform activities such as reading or driving due to poor vision
When should you see your doctor?
If you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, please make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis is the best method of management. Regular office visits assist your doctor in determining if cataracts are affecting your ability to see. However, if your vision suddenly becomes worse, see your doctor promptly.
When should you schedule surgery?
If cataracts limit your daily activities, such as reading, driving or watching television, speak with your doctor about scheduling surgery. Changing your glasses prescription will not improve your vision. Surgically removing the cataract and inserting a clear artificial lens is the only treatment for restoring clear vision.
Does My Insurance Pay for the Procedure?
Cataracts are considered a medical condition. For this reason, most health insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid, will cover their portion of the surgery for the doctor as well as the facility. Specific plans have limitations, such as co payments, deductibles or percentage payments.
Our insurance department will research your specific coverage before your surgery. They will discuss your coverage and notify you of any fees that you may be responsible for remitting.
How many people get cataracts?
Nearly half of all people will have a cataract by the time they are 65 years of age.
In addition to aging, other causes of cataracts include:
- A family history of cataracts
- Medical problems, such as diabetes
- Injury to the eye
- Medications, such as steroids
- High salt intake
- Long-term unprotected exposure to sunlight
Can cataracts be prevented?
Currently, there are no medications or exercises that will cause cataracts to disappear. The most important thing that you can do to prevent cataracts is to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light. Parents should also make sure their children are protected from these harmful rays. Ultraviolet exposure occurs over an entire lifetime.
Will cataract surgery improve my vision?
The success rate of cataract surgery is excellent. Improved vision is achieved in the vast majority of patients. Only a very small number of patients continue to have problems following cataract surgery.