Cataracts are a common vision problem that typically occur in both eyes as we age. Although cataracts cannot spread from one eye to another, it is not unusual for a cataract to first develop in one eye and later appear in the other eye.
How Does a Cataract Form?
In a healthy eye, the lens allows light to pass through and focus an image on the retina. As we age, a cataract forms when the lens, predominately composed of water and protein, becomes cloudy due to proteins clumping together. Once a cataract has developed, images typically appear increasingly cloudy, distorted and blurry.
What is Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. The procedure is simple, virtually painless and usually has a rapid recovery time. A skilled surgeon will remove your cloudy lens during cataract surgery and replace it with an intraocular lens (IOL) customized for your vision needs. Cataract surgery can often provide people with the best vision they have ever experienced. In fact, many patients comment after surgery that they wish they had chosen cataract surgery sooner.
What Type of IOL is Right for You?
There are many types of IOLs from which to choose:
- Monofocal Lens: This lens is designed to provide sharp distance vision. Medicare and other insurance plans usually cover it. Glasses may still be necessary for reading, and in some cases, distance vision, especially if you have astigmatism.
- Astigmatism-Correcting Monofocal Lens: your surgeon may be able to correct your astigmatism as well as your cataracts during one simple procedure. With the advanced technology of astigmatism-correcting monofocal lenses, most people only need glasses for reading after surgery.
- Multifocal Lens: Imagine not needing to rely on corrective glasses anymore! Multifocal lenses can help you see both near and far, so you may have the luxury of being glasses-free after cataract surgery.
Although most insurance and Medicare only cover the cost of a monofocal lens, there are many factors to consider. For example, selecting a multifocal lens may reduce your dependence on glasses after surgery. When making your decision regarding the type of lens you prefer for your cataract procedure, compare the one-time cost of purchasing the multifocal lens with the cumulative cost of buying contacts or glasses for the rest of your life. You may find that a multifocal lens proves to be the most affordable choice.
Find an Ophthalmologist Near You
Are you interested in cataract surgery? New research shows many benefits of getting cataract surgery at a younger age, so you may not need to wait. There are many choices that exist that may provide you with the desired vision. Consult with your physician and determine the best lens choice for you. Make an appointment with a board-certified ophthalmologist to discuss your options. Connect to one of our many eye care centers located across the country.