One of the benefits of cataract surgery is that it can reduce your dependence on glasses. Wouldn’t it be great to not have to wear glasses anymore, or at least be able to toss those bifocals? So when you schedule your cataract removal, there are several options to consider:
Laser Vision Correction (LVC)
Although there are many names for LVC, most refer to the same overall procedure which involves reshaping the cornea with a laser to alter the way the cornea bends the light. LVC can correct astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness. Not every patient is eligible for LVC, so you would have to discuss your options with your surgeon.
Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI)
This procedure is often performed in conjunction with cataract surgery to reduce astigmatism. Your surgeon will create one or two partial-thickness incisions in the outer cornea to cause tissue relaxation or a change of shape of the cornea. LRI is effective for low-level astigmatism to improve uncorrected vision, but it does not correct nearsightedness or farsightedness. Although not as precise as LVC, limbal relaxing incisions are a good option for some patients with astigmatism because it is less expensive, but it is still not covered by insurance companies.
Premium Intraocular Lens (IOL)
When your surgeon removes your deteriorated lens, he or she will replace the lens with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). Most insurance companies will cover a monofocal IOL, which corrects either distance vision or near vision. A premium lens can correct both distance and near vision, or astigmatism, but is not covered by insurance. Talk to your health care insurance company to verify your benefits before making a decision.
Even though elective procedures are not covered by insurance, the convenience and independence of clear vision is definitely worth the investment. Talk to your eye care specialist today or use our physician locator tool to find a qualified doctor near you.