Cataract is a tinting or clouding in the eye’s natural lens, which can obstruct the passage of light. This clouding of the eye typically worsens with time and, if left untreated, can severely impair one’s vision and even cause eventual blindness.
It is estimated that cataracts affect more than twenty-million individuals in America today. While some individuals experience them earlier than others, a majority of all people will eventually develop cataracts, beginning as early as the age of forty.
Cataract Treatment Options
When symptoms or vision changes are minor, one may not require any treatment at all for their cataracts, but should ensure to have their eyes regularly examined by a qualified ophthalmologist or optometrist to monitor the progression of the condition.
For those experiencing noticeable vision loss, cataract surgery is the only option. Fortunately modern day advancements in eye care have changed what is possible for patients afflicted with cataracts. Cataract surgery can now be done swiftly and painlessly and with little to no downtime. By taking advantage of a cutting edge surgical procedure known as refractive lens exchange, patients can have their cataracts treated with ease and dramatically improve their vision.
The procedure is done by replacing the coudy lens in the with an artificial one, known as an intraocular lens or IOL. There are several different lens options available, which can assist you to see clearly at all distances and greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for glasses.
A basic monofocal IOL helps restore clear vision, but without correction for astigmatism or near vision for reading. Insurance will generally cover the cost of a standard monofocal lens for cataract surgery. However, advanced technology lenses are not a covered benefit by insurance companies, so patients will need to bear the difference in cost or choose to continue the use of corrective lenses.
Surgery is done on an outpatient basis and one eye at a time. Anesthetic medication is administered and once it has taken effect surgery is begun. The ophthalmologist then makes a tiny (2.4 mm) incision in the periphery of the cornea and an opening is made in the clear capsule surrounding the lens. A small probe is inserted and the lens is gently removed using ultrasonic energy. The new lens is then implanted into the eye using the same small incision.
Cataracts & Insurance
We have experience with insurance coverage requirements and can help patients determine what their insurance will cover. We also can help patients apply for medical financing to cover the gap between a basic monofocal IOL and the more advanced options. At Soledad Eye Surgeons Medical Group, the goal is to help our patients achieve clear vision with minimal dependence on corrective lenses.
Here at Soledad, we specialize in this procedure and offer a variety of high quality advanced technology lens options. Modern IOLs allow vision to be corrected from within the eye, restoring clear sharp vision and often requiring minor to no correction.
Cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed surgeries in America and has a 98% success rate, according to All About Vision. Truly life improving enhancement for millions of people.
Recovering from cataract surgery is relatively mild but still requires about one or more weeks before vision is fully restored. Patients can usually return to most daily activities within a few days following surgery and can usually return to work after one week. The second surgery is scheduled once the doctor is satisfied with the progress of the first eye. This is done to protect patients from potential problems should an infection occur, which is very rare.
Toric and Multifocal Lenses
One recent advance in lens replacement for cataracts is the development of a special lens for those with astigmatism. Astigmatism is a common problem caused by an irregular shape to the cornea which causes blurred vision. Now, during cataract surgery, a Toric IOL can be placed which compensates for the irregular shape of the cornea. It can give sharp vision at far distances. Corrective lenses will still be needed for reading. Multifocal lenses are able to correct both astigmatism as well as distance and near vision. The need for distance and reading glasses is significantly diminished or often eliminated. Not all patients have the same results, but the vast majority have a significant improvement in distance and near vision and are less dependent on the use of eyeglasses.
Top Cataract Lens Surgeons
Soledad surgeons are highly trained, board certified and experts in their field. Equipped with a full array of leading-edge advancements in cataract surgery; our team can quickly and painlessly treat cataracts. This will result in dramatically improving vision and often reducing dependence upon eyeglasses.