Common Questions About Cataracts
Q. Can Young People Get Cataracts?
A. Yes. Cataracts can be caused from disease, injury or they can be present at birth. However, typically cataracts are age-related and begin to form after age 40. They are the most common cause of blindness worldwide. After age 80, over 50% of Americans will have a cataract.
Q. If I have a cataract, will I need surgery right away?
A. Not necessarily. Age-related cataracts can take a long time to interfere with your vision. In fact, many adults have cataracts and don’t even know it! Even when you are aware of your cataract, you can live for years with it. As the cloudy area in the lens begins to grow in size and opacity, your vision for normal, everyday tasks will be diminished. That is the point at which you will want to consider surgery. Regular visits to your eye care professional will help to monitor the progress of your cataracts.
Q. I'm nervous about cataract surgery. What are the risks?
A. Just like any medical procedure, there are risks with cataract surgery. Studies have shown that 99.9% of cataract patients do not experience any significant vision threatening complications – provided the surgery is performed by a skilled cataract surgeon. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States; in fact, there are 3 million procedures each year.
Q. Is cataract surgery painful?
A. Even though this is eye surgery and you are awake during the 10-15 minute procedure, the fast-acting IV sedation administered prior to the surgery provides a twilight sensation and blocks most pain. You will be alert and awake after the procedure. Most patients say that they only felt mild discomfort after the procedure – discomfort that can be minimized by taking the prescribed post-surgery eye drops.
Q. Will I be hospitalized for cataract surgery?
A. No. Cataract surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure in our adjacent AAAHC rated surgery center, Florence Surgery and Laser Center, LLC. After the procedure, we will have you rest in our recovery area. Our team will go over the post-surgery instructions for wearing a protective eye shield, taking the prescribed eye drops and activity recommendations. You must have someone else drive you home after surgery. Most patients can return to work and other activities within 2-3 days after surgery but strenuous activity should be avoided for several weeks.
Q. Will I still have to wear glasses after cataract surgery?
A. If you needed reading glasses before cataract surgery and you choose a monofocal intraocular lens (IOL), you will probably still need to wear reading glasses after surgery. However, patients who upgrade to premium multifocal and multifocal/Toric Extended Depth of Focus IOLs can often say goodbye to reading glasses unless they are viewing very small type.
Q. Does insurance cover cataract surgery?
A. Cataract surgery in Florence, SC with monofocal IOLs is typically covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans. If you choose bladeless femto laser cataract surgery, you will incur some out-of-pocket costs for the lens chosen. There are many different parameters regarding the cost of cataract surgery that our financial counselors will be happy to discuss in detail with you during a Cataract Evaluation.
We invite you to click on the Cataract Self-Evaluation Test to find out if you may be a candidate for this life-changing procedure.