If your eyes are more sensitive to bright lights while driving your car at night, you may have cataracts.
If you notice the color of objects has faded or yellowed, you may have cataracts.
If you experience blurry or double vision in one or both eyes, you may have cataracts.
Nearly one in six or about 24 million Americans 40 or older have cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of your eye, which is normally caused by aging. Cataracts happen when proteins in your lens break down, causing objects around you to look hazy or blurry.
June is Cataract Awareness Month. So, it’s a great time to let you know that cataracts are easy to diagnose and that sight-restoring treatment is readily available. Early symptoms of cataracts may be improved with new glasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses, but cataract surgery is the most effective treatment.
Variety of IOLs Available for Vision, Lifestyle
Since 1995, more than 500 million cataract procedures have been performed worldwide. Approximately 4 million cataract procedures are performed every year in the U.S. and nearly 28 million worldwide (Healio).
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that involves removing the cloudy lens from your eye and replacing it with an artificial lens called an IOL, or intraocular lens. An IOL is a clear, plastic lens that becomes a permanent part of your eye and requires no care.
You and your doctor decide which type of IOL is right for your visual needs and your lifestyle. Examples of IOLs include the following:
- Monofocal lenses offer vision at one distance only (far, intermediate or near).
- A toric IOL can be used to correct astigmatism to provide clear distance vision.
- Multifocal IOLs are designed to help you see near, far and intermediate with as little glasses or contact use as possible.
During the pandemic surges, elective surgeries like cataract removal, joint replacements and non-emergency hernia repairs were often canceled to free up hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. Elective surgery is an operation scheduled in advance to address non-life-threatening health problems.
Although it's considered an elective procedure, cataract surgery is essential for good health. If not treated, cataracts may impair or cause near-complete loss of vision, which can impact the active lifestyle and well-being of the patient.
“Many adults in the U.S. have postponed their medical care and procedures throughout the pandemic, including elective surgeries,” said Indira Venkat, Vice President, Consumer Insights at AARP. “It’s important to keep in touch with your health care providers to maintain good health and wellbeing, especially for older adults who are more likely to have chronic health conditions.” (Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation)
Benefits of Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most common and most effective surgical procedures performed in the United States, according to the U.S. National Eye Institute. This outpatient surgery only takes a few hours from the time you arrive at the center until you go home, allowing you to return to your life quickly. The surgery itself generally takes less than 30 minutes.
The cost of cataract surgery depends on the type of procedure, the facility (hospital vs. ambulatory surgery center), location of the facility (factor in the cost of living) and the type of IOL (standard vs. premium).
Impaired vision can prevent you from living an active lifestyle and doing activities you love with family and friends. If you cancel or delay your cataract surgery, you may experience difficulty performing tasks around your home, increased risk of falls or fractures and challenges with reading or driving.
Schedule Your Eye Exam
Your vision is important to you. Your vision is important to us. If your vision is impaired, don’t delay your care. If you and your doctor determine you have cataracts, consider scheduling cataract surgery at one of our cost-effective ambulatory surgery centers. Click here to find a center near you.