What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a common, natural aging process that occurs on the inside of the eye. Cataracts are defined as gradual clouding of the eye’s natural, clear lens. In early stages it can be minor and even unnoticeable but given time it can reduce vision sharpness. Due to less contrast, cataract eye disease eventually causes everyday activities such as driving and reading to be increasingly difficult. It is important to have cataract screening on a regular basis. It is not uncommon for age-related cataract development to start as early as age 40. If untreated, by age 50, measurable sight-stealing damage can occur.
Symptoms of Cataracts
- Cloudy or blurred vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Light sensitivity
- Seeing halos
- Colors may look less bright
- Increased glare
Treatment for Cataracts
Advancements in cataract removal and surgical techniques allow restoration of vision with minimum discomfort and downtime. Cataract removals and lens implant surgeries are among the safest and most successful medical procedures performed today. Surgical innovation and improvements allow patients who suffer from cataracts the opportunity to improve their sight, significantly reducing or eliminating the need for corrective lenses. Your ophthalmologist will make a recommendation on the best IOL options for your specific condition.
- Multi-Focal Lens – OSM also offers the multi-focal lens. This lens allows for a broader, less obstructed spectrum of your close, intermediate and distance vision. For 12 months after the procedure, OSM ophthalmologists follow up closely to provide the highest chance of freedom from corrective lenses. Multi-Focal lenses are not typically covered by insurance and will require out of pocket costs.
- Astigmatism Correcting Lens – Most people with cataracts also suffer from astigmatism. An astigmatism is a common condition where the cornea or lens of your eye is curved differently. Having an astigmatism causes your vision to be blurred. OSM offers many different treatments and procedures for astigmatism. Depending on the individual and their eye disease, some procedures may be performed on the same day as cataract surgery. Some options for astigmatism surgical treatments include:
- Toric implant and Limbal relaxing incisions – Designed to reduce or eliminate the need for corrective lenses, these procedures improve vision to help with activities such as driving and watching television.
- Monovision surgery – Monovision surgery implants one lens for viewing distance and the other lens for seeing near.
OSM’s Medicare-approved lenses are a cost-effective opportunity to restore, enhance and even “upgrade” vision. These procedures significantly reduce the need for prescription glasses and lenses and in some cases eliminate the need for corrective lenses completely. Premium lenses are also offered at OSM, however, these are not typically covered by insurance and will require out of pocket costs.
Most cataract procedures take place at our comfortable, safe and convenient outpatient surgery center. A surgical counselor will go over the benefits, costs and plans available to help you make the best decision about your vision. OSM surgeons have partnerships with area hospitals as well to meet all our patients’ needs and preferences.
If you received the diagnosis of cataracts or are experiencing changes in vision, call OSM today and set up an appointment. OSM’s ophthalmologist will examine, diagnose, educate and treat your condition with optimal results. You do not need a referral from your optometrist or doctor for a cataract evaluation.