When cataracts obscure your vision, surgery is one of your only options. Your doctor can help you recover your vision, but medical procedures can be costly. If you have Medicare, can it help cover the cost of your cataract surgery?
Continue reading to learn more about cataract surgery, including how it works and how you can find ways to help cover this procedure.
What Is a Cataract?
A cataract is the clouding of your eye’s lens. Your natural lens is typically clear, helping to bend light rays as they come into your eye. Your lens is critical for helping you see clearly, but cataracts can significantly affect your vision.
Cataracts progress with time and slowly dull your vision, making it feel as if you’re looking through a frosted windshield. Severe cataracts can affect your ability to read the expression on someone’s face.
At first, you may not notice any differences in your vision, but with time, you’ll begin to notice symptoms of this condition, including:
- Blurry vision
- Double images
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Faded perceptions of color
What Causes Cataracts?
Several factors can contribute to cataract development, but the usual cause is age. Proteins in your eye’s lens begin to break down around age 40, causing your lens to cloud. Many adults over 60 have some degree of lens clouding.
Besides age, other contributors to cataract development include:
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Spending extended time in the sun without protection
Many parts of your lifestyle can increase your risk of developing cataracts. These risk factors include:
- Conditions like diabetes & high blood pressure
- Previous eye injury
- Previous eye surgery
- Significant alcohol consumption
As a cataract progresses, it eventually blocks light from reaching your retina, blurring your vision. When this condition significantly hinders your ability to see, you typically require cataract surgery to regain your vision.
What Is Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery can help restore or even improve your vision when your lens becomes clouded. In short, this surgery removes your affected lens and replaces it with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens (IOL).
There are several types of intraocular lenses, depending on your needs. Some IOLs can remove your need for glasses entirely. IOLs used in cataract surgery include:
- Monofocal IOLs
- Multifocal IOLs
- Accommodating IOLs
- Toric IOLs
Cataract surgery is safe and relatively quick. The surgical aspect of the procedure usually takes only minutes per eye.
How Does Cataract Surgery Work?
If you’re receiving cataract surgery, here’s what you should expect during your procedure.
Your doctor will begin by placing eye drops into your eye to dilate your pupil, and you’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the area.
Your doctor will remove your clouded lens before replacing it with the chosen IOL. The ophthalmologists at Center For Sight gently disassemble the cataract using an ultrasonic probe.
After removing the clouded lens, your doctor will implant your new artificial IOL. Your eye requires no stitches to heal, and you will rest before going home. Remember to have someone available to help you get home safe.
When deciding on your IOL, you typically have a few options.
Different Surgical Options
Depending on your vision goals, you have several options with cataract surgery.
Our basic vision option for cataract surgery implants a clear IOL that restores your vision but doesn’t correct your refractive error. Another option is to receive a premium IOL which can provide clear vision from all distances and reduce your need for glasses. Your eye doctor can help you determine which surgical option is best for your needs and lifestyle.
Cataract surgery is beneficial, but it comes with a cost. If you have Medicare, can it help cover this procedure?
Does Medicare Cover Cataract Surgery?
If you have Medicare, you can cover your cataract surgery as long as you meet certain requirements. Because most people don’t require a stay in the hospital during cataract surgery, this procedure falls under Medicare Part B.
Medicare can cover up to 80% of your total surgical cost, including the procedure and facility fees. Medicare Part B covers the following:
- Preoperative exams
- Removal of the cataract
- Implantation of the IOL
- Postoperative exams
- One pair of prescription glasses after surgery
Some factors can affect your overall coverage. Medicare covers cataract surgery your doctor believes is necessary, but the coverage requirements can vary depending on where you live. You’ll have to cover the remaining 20% of the surgical cost, but Medicare can help you improve your vision.
Regain Your Vision With Cataract Surgery
Cataracts can be a natural part of aging, but you don’t need to live with affected vision. Cataract surgery can help you see clearly again. No matter your vision needs, your doctor can help find the best surgical option available. If you’re interested in cataract surgery, contact your eye doctor today.