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3 Things To Know About Cataract Surgery

Cataracts can have a major impact on vision and daily life. Our eyes have lenses that bend the light that enters our eyes and helps us see. The lens in an eye is supposed to be clear. However, clouding of the lenses can occur and when this happens it's referred to as cataracts. Cataracts tend to worsen with age. They can begin to impact your vision as early as your 40s and 50s but tend to cause the most problems after age 60. For those who suffer from cataracts, surgery can help restore clear vision. Here are three things to know about cataract surgery.

Healing Time

Cataracts can be removed either using high-frequency ultrasound device or a laser to break them into pieces. An artificial lens is then added to restore clear vision. Cataract surgery itself only takes about 10 minutes and recovery tends to be very quick for most people. Sharp vision returns for most people within a couple weeks of the surgery. Some of the side effects of the surgery include red or bloodshot eyes and mild bruising underneath the eye. Complications that can threaten eyesight are very rare and occur less than 2 percent of the time.

Artificial Lens

The artificial lenses used during cataract surgery are referred to as Intraocular Lenses, or IOLs. There are a variety of IOLs to choose from. Aspheric IOLs closely mimic the shape and clarity of a natural lens. They work better in low light conditions and are a great choice for those with large pupils. Those who have astigmatism or who are nearsighted or farsighted may want to consider toric IOLs. Toric IOLs correct these issues in addition to resolving the cloudiness and other vision problems due to cataracts. Accommodating and multifocal IOLs are also available and can reduce the need for glasses after cataract surgery. 


Another thing to know before getting cataract surgery is the estimated cost. Without insurance, cataract surgery costs between $5,000 and $10,000 per eye. Cataract surgery is covered by most health insurance plans and is also covered by Medicare. With insurance, the costs tend to be closer to $1,000 per eye. There can also be price variations depending on the type of IOLs used. Some specialized IOLs cost as much as $1,000 more than standard IOLs.

Cataract surgery is something that millions of Americans have each year. It's a very safe surgery with a low chance of complications. Healing time is quick, usually under 2 weeks for most people.There are a variety of artificial lenses to choose from and most insurance policies cover the surgery.