Common Questions About Cataracts
1. What are the risks of cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States. The complication rate is typically very low; in fact, 99.9% of cataract patients experience no ill effects at all. However, it is still a surgery and carries some chance of risks, including:
- Dry eye
- Secondary cataract
- Loss of vision
- Loss of eye
- Retinal tear or detachment
- Need for glasses
- Corneal or retinal swelling
- Need for additional surgery
3. Does cataract surgery hurt?
All patients have a different threshold of pain; however, most of our patients do not feel any pain during surgery. To minimize any mild discomfort after surgery, your doctor may prescribe pain medication or recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever. You will also receive anesthesia through an IV for pain relief and to reduce anxiety.
4. What can I expect after cataract surgery?
Your doctor will provide a protective eye shield to wear the day of your procedure as well as while sleeping for the first few days. You will be given prescription eye drops to use for a month following the procedure. For the first week after surgery avoid strenuous activity, swimming or exposing your eye to dust or grime.
Many patients experience vision improvement the day after cataract surgery; however, it may take a month or so for the full effect of improved vision. If you still require glasses after surgery, your eyeglass prescription may need to be updated to ensure the sharpest vision. We will work with your present eye doctor to determine the best follow up plan for you.
5. Do I need to have my cataract removed right away?
Not necessarily. The early onset of cataracts may not affect your vision. However, as they grow larger and your vision becomes cloudier, you should seriously consider cataract surgery. Frequent visits to your ophthalmologist will help to monitor the progress of your cataract and determine when surgery is necessary to prevent blindness.
6. Are Active Lifestyle Lenses right for me?
Only you can decide if advanced replacement lenses will significantly impact your quality of life. Many of our cataract patients are extremely satisfied with their vision after choosing Active Lifestyle Lenses. They can live their lives lens-free; that means no glasses or contacts needed to play water sports, read, knit, drive or any daily activity.
7. Can Active Lifestyle Lenses correct all vision issues?
No. Some vision disorders are the result of irregularly-shaped corneas or retinal issues.
8. How much does cataract surgery cost?
Medicare and most health insurance plans typically cover the cost of cataract surgery and standard (Monofocal) intraocular lenses as these are considered medical necessities. The Restor Multifocal (or Active Lifestyle Lens) and Toric IOLs are not covered by commercial insurance or Medicare/Medicaid. We will discuss the costs and payment options during your consultation.