If you have been advised that you need cataract surgery, lots of questions might pop into your mind. You may be wondering what is involved in the surgery and whether your insurance company will cover the cost. You may also want to know how long it will take you to recover, particularly if you need to take time off work. Below will give you an idea of what to expect from this surgery and hopefully answer any questions you may have.
What is Cataract Surgery?
Cataracts are cloudy patches over the lens of the eye. It is a condition that typically occurs in people over the age of fifty-five and is a symptom of ageing. When we are young, the lenses in our eyes are transparent like glass, providing clear vision. However, as we age, the lenses can become cloudy or frosted, making it harder to see clearly.
Unfortunately, once cataracts develop, they tend to get worse with time and the only way to improve vision is to have the cataracts surgically removed. You do not need to have surgery as soon as the cataracts develop. If your vision is still quite good, you can wait until it gets worse before going ahead with it. Waiting will not cause harm to your eye. Nevertheless, if the cataracts are interfering with daily life, surgery might be the only solution.
What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
If your doctor has advised that you have surgery for cataracts, you will likely be referred to a specialist eye doctor called an optometrist. As well as discussing the risks associated with this type of surgery, the optometrist will complete a full assessment of your eyes and will take measurements of your sight. You may be prescribed antibiotic eyedrops to use one or two days before surgery.
The good news is that cataract surgery is straightforward and safe. For most people, the procedure can be completed in less than an hour and will be carried out under local anesthetic. You should be able to go home on the same day (but you will need someone to take you home as you will not be able to drive).
During the procedure, the optometrist will place eye drops in your eyes, which will dilate your pupils. You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area but will be awake during surgery. The surgeon will make a small cut in your eye, which will allow for the removal of the cloudy lens. The new artificial lens can then be fitted.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
Recovering from cataract surgery is typically quite quick, with most people noticing a marked difference in their vision within 24 hours. It is recommended though that you take at least three days off work.
You are likely to notice that colors around you seem much brighter as you recover from the surgery. This is because you are now looking through a clear lens, instead of a clouded one. Your eye might be itchy as it heals but it is particularly important that you refrain from rubbing it.
Is Cataract Surgery Covered by Insurance
The experts at Find-A-Code (Visit their website clicking here) say that as cataract surgery is a medically necessary procedure, it is usually covered by insurance. Most private insurance policies as well as Medicaid and Medicare will cover the cost of the procedure. Your doctor’s office will usually make a claim for reimbursement using specific medical billing codes. It is worth checking with your insurance provider to make sure that all aspects of your surgery is covered