What is a Cataract?
A cataract is progressive clouding of the eyes natural lens that interferes with light passing through to the retina. This is a normal effect of the aging process. Over half of the US population develops some form of cataracts by the age of 65, and cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness. Because it happens so gradually (over many years), most people do not notice a significant change in their vision until vision loss has occurred. Cataract patients usually describe the condition as being similar to looking through a waterfall, or a piece of wax paper, with a gradual blurring or dimming of vision.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms of cataracts include:
- Glare and halos around lights
- Difficulty seeing to read or drive
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
- Blurry or double vision
- Colors that appear faded
- Loss of depth perception
Early detection and treatment are key, so if you are suffering from any of the symptoms above, we recommend a thorough cataract evaluation with one of our experienced Ophthalmologists. Click here for the Eye Associates location nearest you.
What are the treatment options?
Currently, there is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, the only one way to achieve clear vision again is to simply remove the cataract from inside the eye and replace it with an artificial lens implant known as an Intraocular Lens (IOL). At Eye Associates, we provide our patients with the standard monofocal IOL, as well as premium IOLs to correct astigmatism and presbyopia.
Cataract extraction is performed on an outpatient basis at a local surgery center dedicated to only eye surgery. Patients receive a local/topical anesthesia which numbs the eye with drops. This is called the No needle, no stitch, no patch technique that avoids any painful needles administered around the eye. As a result, patients can safely continue on their routine medications, including blood thinners.
Cataract surgery is a micro-incisional procedure called phacoemulsification. In fact, the incision is only 2.4 millimeters in size! An ultrasonic probe is inserted into the eye to gently break apart and remove the cataract. Once the cataract is completely removed, an IOL is inserted into the eye to allow images to focus onto the retina. The surgery should take about 10-15 minutes to complete, and for many patients, visual improvement is apparent the day after surgery.
Great news for cataract patients: Lifestyle Lens Implants
Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most commonly performed procedures in the world. Over 95% of all patients report seeing at least 20/40 – good enough for driving – after surgery.
Previously, patients undergoing lens implant surgery received a monofocal – or single focus lens implant. Monofocal lenses generally provide excellent distance vision, but often result in continued dependence on glasses or contacts to correct near and intermediate vision.
Today, thanks to advancements in lens implant technology, patients enjoy a
greater independence from glasses and contacts and a much broader range of vision and than ever before. These multifocal and accommodating lenses are designed to allow you to perform most of your daily activities with a reduced dependence on prescription eyewear. At Eye Associates, we now offer different FDA approved lens implant options, designed to suit your lifestyle needs.
Click below to learn more about the state-of-the-art lens implants available at Eye Associates and to see which lens might be right for you!
Your health insurance plan should pay for standard cataract surgery with a standard monofocal lens implant. You will still be responsible for any required deductible or co-payments. Most insurance plans do not cover the additional costs associated with multifocal or accommodating lens implants, blended monovision, limbal relaxing incisions or astigmatism management options. Our physicians and staff will thoroughly discuss your options with you, help you determine which lens option is right for you and walk you through any costs associated with that before you make the final decision to have cataract surgery.
If you or someone you know suspects cataracts, then you should consult a vision specialist. Schedule your comprehensive evaluation with one of our board certified ophthalmologists by calling 781-272-4944.
Save on Your Cataract Surgery
Having your cataract surgery performed in an outpatient setting at a dedicated eye surgery facility not only saves Medicare & the insurance industry money it is also the safest method of performing cataract surgery today. Thanks to our dedicated surgery center, Eye Associates helps you save hundreds of dollars on your cataract surgery when compared with the cost of surgery at a hospital.