A cataract is an eye condition characterized by a cloudy eye lens. Your natural eye lens is transparent and clear, allowing you to view the world around you with perfect clarity. However, when your eye lens becomes cloudy due to cataracts, your vision gets blurred and even deteriorates over time.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, surgery is the only viable way to improve your eyesight as it removes the cloudy eye lens and replaces it with a synthetic intraocular lens.
In this article, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about cataract surgery. Continue reading to learn more.
When Is It Important To Get The Surgery?
Cataract surgery is essential for treating cataracts. If left alone for an extended period, cataracts can damage your eyesight and heighten your sensitivity to light. Your doctor may recommend cataract surgery if you’re having trouble seeing well due to a cataract. Or they can also suggest surgery when the presence of cataracts makes it difficult to address another eye condition.
Why Surgeon’s Expertise Is Important?
The first step to a successful surgery is finding a good eye care clinic (best if it is in your area). After all, if the procedure is not handled properly, you can suffer physical trauma to your eye, which can increase the complications in your case. Any surgical procedure’s success rate largely depends on the surgeon’s skill and expertise. Hence, it’s only right for you to choose an eye center with qualified surgeons.
Northern America holds 50% of the global vision services market, which indicates there is no shortage of qualified eye surgeons anywhere in the States from Texas to Idaho. For instance, finding an eye care center with qualified surgeons won’t be difficult if you’re from Texas. Kleiman Evangelista Eye Center is the most reputable Cataract Surgery Plano, Texas facility. Home to the best eye surgeons, they have a track record of success with over 250K successful corrective surgeries.
What Are The Risks Associated With Cataract Surgery?
The success rate of cataract procedures is about 99%, and the risk of complications is minuscule. However, complications can include inflammatory reactions, eye infections, corneal swelling, glaucoma, eyelid disorders, detached retina, dislocated intraoral lenses, secondary cataracts, and permanent visual impairment.
You are at a higher risk of complication if you suffer from a different eye condition along with a cataract or a major disease. Eye conditions like glaucoma can prevent patients from benefitting completely from cataract surgery, which means the procedure likely won’t improve their vision. It’s better to have your eyes examined for other eye conditions before getting cataract surgery to avoid unnecessary complications.
Things To Consider Before Making Your Final Choice
Below, we have listed some questions that can guide your decision regarding cataract surgery:
- Does the cataract disrupt your everyday routine? Can you drive well enough and go about your day safely with the cataract? If the answer is no, it’s time to consider surgery.
- Do you have a heightened light sensitivity? Do you have trouble reading or watching things on a screen, regardless of its size? If yes, surgery is the right choice for you.
- Do you need to rely on others for even the most menial task like meal prep or grocery shopping? If yes, cataract surgery can help you regain your freedom.
There’s no way to reverse cataracts simply by relying on medication, and surgery is the only way to improve your vision. It is usually safe to put off cataract surgery while you weigh your options. However, cataract surgery won’t be necessary if the cataract doesn’t significantly affect your vision.
How To Prepare For The Surgery?
1. Medication and Nutrition
For the days leading up to the surgery, it’s important to consume well-balanced meals to build up energy and stamina for D-day. However, your doctor may ask you to fast for at least 12 hours before the surgery. They may also ask you to refrain from taking medications, especially those for prostate issues, as they may cause complications during the surgery.
Additionally, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eyedrops that you must use according to their instructions until the day of surgery.
2. Other things to consider
After the surgical procedure, patients are usually discharged from the hospital on the same day. However, since a cataract is eye surgery, you won’t be in a position to drive yourself home, so it’s important to make appropriate arrangements for your ride home.
It’s also a good idea to plan for domestic assistance if you think you’ll need it since your surgeon may advise against strenuous physical activity for a week after surgery.
What Are Your Options For Cataract Surgery?
There are two options for cataract surgery available to patients, which are:
- Traditional cataract surgery, which is performed manually by the surgeon.
- Laser-assisted cataract surgery uses a laser to make the corneal incision and prepares the natural clouded lens for replacement.
Both types of surgeries offer the same results. However, which one you opt for depends on the eye center, the expertise of the surgeon you chose, and the specific details of your diagnosis.
For both methods, an incision is made in the eye, and ultrasonic energy is used to fragment the diseased lens. A specially engineered lens is then placed once the fragments have been removed. However, the increased precision and reduced stress of laser-assisted surgery mean a more comfortable patient experience and a speedier recovery with little discomfort.
What Are The Costs Associated With Cataract Surgery?
If you are a Medicare recipient and need cataract surgery, the government health insurance will likely pay for it. Both Medicare and private insurance providers often cover cataract surgery.
The program will pay for your eye treatment if your eyesight passes Medicare’s criteria for clarity and acuity. Private insurance providers share the same criteria as Medicare for the cataract procedure. However, even if Medicare or private insurance covers your surgery, there are still other expenses that you may have to pay out-of-pocket. The type of intraocular lenses you get will also add to the price tag of the treatment.
Furthermore, cataract surgery is more expensive if it is done before your eyesight significantly degrades. Insurance coverage is possible even if you don’t meet the qualification criteria. Discuss your options with your eye doctor before deciding to have cataract surgery.
Lastly, although cataract surgery can be costly, there are ways to minimize the financial impact without getting Medicare or private coverage. After consulting with your doctor about your finances, you can set up a payment plan at your doctor’s office.
A cataract is a common eye procedure with a high success rate. If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, it’s important to research every aspect of your cataract diagnosis, from the details of the surgery to the precautions before D-day to how you can finance it.
Hopefully, this article provided you with all the information you need regarding cataract surgery.