If you had to name the most common medical procedure performed in the United States, you probably wouldn’t guess that it’s cataract surgery. June is Cataract Awareness Month, so let’s see why cataract surgery is so popular.
Cataracts are a Common Cause of Vision Loss
Cataracts are a degenerative, age-related condition. One in six Americans has a developing cataract by age 40, and about half of all Americans will develop a cataract by the time they’re 70 years old. You can delay the progression of cataracts by wearing sunglasses and hats and by saying “no” to cigarettes, but it’s still highly likely that you’ll develop a cataract in your lifetime.
Cataracts are Curable
Unlike vision loss due to glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, vision loss from a cataract is reversible. Your surgeon will remove your clouded lens and replace it with a customized, intraocular lens that corrects near or distance vision (or both), or astigmatism. Most insurance companies and Medicare will cover a monofocal lens that corrects vision at one distance.
Cataract Surgery is a Simple Procedure
Cataract removal is an outpatient procedure that takes less than 30 minutes. This means you can recover at home and resume your normal activities within a few days.
You can choose to have traditional cataract surgery or laser-assisted cataract surgery. This innovative technique uses a laser to make incisions and break up the cataract with micro-level precision. Most incisions are so small that you will not even need stitches.
Cataract Surgery Coupled with Other Eye Procedures
If you have another eye condition like glaucoma, your ophthalmologist may be able to treat the issue during the same procedure. Ask your doctor if this is possible so that you only have one recovery.
Cataract Surgery at an ASC
If you’re a candidate for cataract surgery, you don’t even have to go to a hospital. According to a recent study, more people are choosing to have their cataract surgery at ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) because of their specialized, streamlined services, smaller environment and lower cost.
The simplicity, convenience and success of cataract surgery are just a few reasons that 3.5 million Americans are choosing to have cataract surgery every year. So make an appointment with your ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam and a cataract consultation today.