A cataract is when the lens of the eye becomes clouded. This can have a wide range of effects on the patient's vision, with examples including but not limited to faded colors, blurred vision, and reduced night vision. In turn, these effects on the patient's vision can have further effects on their personal well-being, with examples ranging from problems with reading and problems with recognizing human faces to an increased chance of serious injuries because of the increased likeliness of falls. On top of this, it should be mentioned that cataracts can take the patient's vision in the long run, as shown by how cataracts are responsible for about half of the cases of the blindness as well as a third of the cases of visual impairment that can be found out there in the world.
The single most common cause of cataracts is aging. However, there are other potential causes as well such as trauma and exposure to sources of radiation. Due to this, there are a number of factors that can increase a person's chances of getting cataracts, including diabetes, the consumption of alcohol, the use of tobacco, and excessive exposure to sunlight. As a result, people who are more at risk than others should pay more attention to the problem, lest they wind up with permanent consequences for their eyesight.
Treatment-wise, cataracts can be removed. Sometimes, this is carried out using emulsification. Other times, this is carried out by physically cutting it out. Whatever the case, the next step is the insertion of a man-made intraocular lens in the place of the cataract. Generally speaking, cataract surgery isn't particularly taxing on the patient, as shown by the fact that most patients are up and about on the same day as the procedure. With that said, not particularly taxing by the standards of surgical procedures doesn't mean that it is easy to go through, which is why patients are recommended to not strain themselves for about a month's time. On the plus side, cataract surgeries have very high chances of securing a successful outcome, though they are not much more readily available in developed countries than in developing countries.
How Much Does Cataract Surgery Cost?
Cost-wise, cataract surgery can see a fair amount of variation in the United States. In fact, All About Vision claims that it costs somewhere between $3,000 and $6,000 per eye in the United States for people who are paying out of pocket. However, since cataract surgery tends to be either covered in part or covered in full by either Medicare or private health insurance, interested individuals might not have to pay the full sum.
There are a number of factors that can influence the cost of a cataract surgery. For example, some intraocular lens are much more expensive than others, meaning that this is a choice that can have a material impact on the cost of things. Likewise, while cataract surgeries are based on the same basic principles, some technologies used in them cost more than others, meaning that has an effect as well. Finally, the expertise and experience of the surgeon performing the procedure has an important effect on the prices charged, though considering the importance of eyesight for most people, paying more for a more capable surgeon can be well-worth the increased peace of mind.
Please note that what will and will not be covered by Medicare and private health insurance can see some variation based on the exact kind of cataract surgery under consideration. Generally speaking, the more basic the choices made, the better the chances that the patient can get their full costs covered by either Medicare or their private health insurance. In contrast, if they want something more complicated, chances are good that they might have to spend some money of their own in the process.
On a final note, interested individuals should make sure to look up the options that are available to them when it comes to cataract surgeries in their local area. In part, this is because their eyesight is so important for most people, meaning that anything that can impact it to this extent merits increased care and consideration. However, it should also be noted that different surgeons can offer different procedures at different prices, meaning that thorough research is needed to get the full picture.
Written by Garrett Parker
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