Barrett Eye Care
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside your eye that keeps light and images from reaching the retina. Cataract surgery involves the removal of the cloudy, natural lens of the eye followed by the placement of a synthetic, implantable intraocular lens. With the development of new, deluxe intraocular lenses, ophthalmology has entered an exciting phase for doctors and patients alike.
Today’s cataract surgeries are performed with small incisions that don’t even require stitches. High speed ultrasound is used to remove the cataract, and the replacement lens is then inserted through the same tiny incision. A local sedation is used and the surgery usually only lasts 10-15 minutes. Only one eye is done at a time with the second typically occurring two weeks after the first. While everyone heals differently, most patients return to normal activities within a few days following surgery.
There is one important decision for patients to make prior to surgery, and that is the type of vision they would like to have afterwards.
Currently, there are three “categories” of lenses to choose from and the choice of lens directly affects the patient’s dependence upon glasses following cataract surgery.
Standard Intraocular Lens: This is the standard lens selected by a majority of patients. With this lens, most patients are able to see well in the distance without glasses but still need glasses to read. Medicare and all insurance companies cover this lens so there is no out-of-pocket cost.
Deluxe Astigmatism-Correcting Lens: For those patients who have more than one diopter of astigmatism, this lens can correct that astigmatism. With this lens, most patients are able to see well in the distance without glasses but still need glasses to read. Because this is an upgraded lens, there is an additional cost to the patient over and above insurance reimbursements.
Deluxe Bi-Focal Lenses: With this lens, diffraction optics helps maximize both distance and near vision without glasses, while intermediate vision may still be a little blurry. It too carries additional out-of-pocket costs to the patient.
Revolutionary designs continue to transform results for cataract patients with a simple procedure that can change their lives.
Written by Erik S. Barrett, M.D.