Cataract Surgery Facts and FAQs
Although we do have an FAQ section on our site, we thought we’d put together a list of the most common questions and misconceptions we get regarding cataracts and cataract surgery. If you have other questions, please let us know by emailing [email protected]!
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a degeneration of protein in your eye’s natural lens that causes clouding of your vision. When the protein degenerates it clumps together making the once clear lens appear cloudy.
Cataracts can develop in one eye or both, however, they cannot “spread” from one eye to the other, nor can they be “caught” from others.
Can I prevent cataracts?
Unfortunately, there is not a way to prevent a cataract from forming. Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process for some people.
How does cataract surgery work?
During cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. The process generally takes less than 10 minutes per eye.
What types of replacement lenses are available?
The type of lens implant will depend on your needs. We will do extensive testing to determine what type of lens best suits your goals after surgery. We offer the following lenses:
- Multifocal lens: a premium lens implant that will allow you to see clearly at long and short distance without the need for glasses
- Toric Lens: a premium lens implant that corrects astigmatism and can give good distance or near vision without glasses
- Monofocal lens: a standard lens implant that reduces but not eliminates the need for glasses
How much does cataract surgery cost?
When your cataracts affect your vision to such a degree to be declared “visually significant,” cataract surgery is deemed “medically necessary” and is generally covered by your medical insurance. If you wish to upgrade to our Vision Freedom Option in order to reduce the need for glasses post-surgery, you will need to pay out of pocket in addition to what your insurance covers. Insurance does not cover this ‘elective’ part of cataract surgery.
Are you sedated for cataract surgery?
We do not put patients to sleep for cataract surgery. It is an uncommon practice to be fully sedated during cataract surgery these days. Instead, we provide a relaxing pill. We use topical numbing drops during your procedure instead of a numbing injection. The procedure itself is short and painless.
How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?
Most patients can drive and return to normal activities the next day. The only restrictions are no eye makeup, contact sports, swimming, or excessively dusty locations for two weeks following the surgery. It can take up to 6 months for your vision to fully adjust to any premium lens implants.
Will I need to use eye drops after the procedure?
Yes. Most patients can use just one drop 3 times a day or less.
How do I know if I have cataracts?
Common cataract symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Increased sensitivity to sunlight and glare
- The sensation of a film covering your eyes
- Loss of vivid colors
- Night blindness and difficulty driving at night
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, you can call us at 800.EYE.EXAM or fill out this form and we will contact you to schedule a cataract evaluation.