Cataracts are something that tens of millions of Americans will need to deal with at one time or another in their lives. Cataracts begin with the normally clear lenses of the eyes becoming cloudy, which can reduce your vision. In some cases, it can lead to blindness.
While many people can live with cataracts and carry on their lives as normal, others may find that it hurts their day-to-day lives. For these individuals, cataract surgery is something to consider.
If you think cataract surgery would help you, or you simply want to learn more about it just in case, this article is going to go over five things you need to know about cataract surgery.
Whether it is Covered By Your Health Insurance or Not
One of the first things to know is whether or not the surgery will be covered by your health insurance. The procedure can cost thousands of dollars per eye if you don’t have health insurance.
The good news is cataract surgery is generally covered by Medicare. The reason is that it is deemed medically necessary in most cases. So as long as you have insurance, you should have assistance.
Of course, be sure to take a close look at your plan and make sure that all is good and that you are indeed covered. It can’t hurt to double-check and make sure. The last thing you want is a giant bill to take care of when you are trying to recover and relax.
The Different Types of Lens Options
When you get cataract surgery, the natural lens of your eye is replaced by an artificial one. While you might think all of these artificial lenses are the same, this isn’t the case. There are actually several different lens options that you have.
Some are great for those who are near-sighted, others work best for far-sighted individuals and some can even build astigmatism correction into the lens. In addition to this, the cost and coverage for different lenses can vary, so always be sure to think about this before simply deciding on one.
How to Prepare for Surgery
Another thing to know is how you should go about preparing for the surgery. First of all, you should undergo a standard eye exam to make sure that there are no reasons why you shouldn’t do the surgery. Measurements of your eye will also be taken, and refraction will normally be performed.
You will also be told what to expect ahead of time, so there should be no surprises. You will need to discuss with your eye doctor all of the different medications you are taking, as well. Do your best to stay calm and be sure to ask a lot of questions, as your eye doctor or surgeon is there to help you feel as comfortable as possible.
What is Involved and How Long Does it Take?
While cataract surgery might seem like a large ordeal, this is thankfully not the case. Over time, thanks to advancements in technology and the experience of surgeons, the process can now be done in around 15 minutes. You will spend more than that amount of time at the office, but the procedure itself is incredibly quick. The simple procedure involves replacing the lens of the eye with the lens option you provided beforehand.
What is the Recovery Like?
Once the surgery is done, you will often be given an eye shield or patch and you won’t be able to drive yourself home. You will be given medicated eye drops to use daily and will have to visit your eye doctor the following day, a week later, and then around a month after that.
While you want to avoid TV for around a day after the surgery and be careful exerting yourself for a while, the recovery is normally very quick and easy. You may have some blurred vision and redness around the eye for a little, but this is normal. If you are unsure if your particular experience is normal, don’t be afraid to ask your eye doctor.
Cataracts surgery can be a stressful and worrying thing to think about. But by familiarizing yourself with the aforementioned 5 things, you can learn more about it and ease your mind ahead of the surgery.