Cataract: A cataract is an eye disease in which the clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque, that can cause changes in vision. Cataracts are extremely common, and most cataracts are a result of the aging process. Cataracts are treated with surgery.
Causes of Cataracts
Maximum cataracts progress when aging or trauma changes the tissue that makes your lens of the eyes. Some inherited genetic disturbances that can increase your risk of cataracts.
Risk factors for cataracts include-
- Ultraviolet radiation
- Previous eye surgery
- Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
- Hormone replacement therapy
- High myopia
- Significant alcohol consumption
Symptoms of Cataracts
A cataract starts out small and at first has little effect on your vision. You may notice that your vision is blurred a little. Night vision will be diminished. In certain types, double vision may be noted in the affected eye. Some patients require frequent changes in their eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions and may be aware that their near vision is improving as their distance vision declines. Others cataracts symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing “halos” around lights
- Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
- Fading or yellowing of colors
Types of Cataracts
Cataract types include:
- Cataracts affecting the center of the lens (nuclear cataracts)
- Cataracts that affect the edges of the lens (cortical cataracts)
- Cataracts that affect the back of the lens (posterior subcapsular cataracts)
- Cataracts you’re born with (congenital cataracts)
- Radiation cataract
- Traumatic cataract
- Secondary cataract-Cataracts can form after surgery for other eye problems, such as glaucoma.
A number of studies suggest certain nutrients and nutritional supplements may reduce your risk of cataracts. Dietary intakes of vitamin E and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin from food and supplements were linked with significantly reduced risks of cataract. Good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin include kale, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables.
Other studies suggest that antioxidant such as vitamin C and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids may reduce cataract risk. Another step you can take to reduce your risk of cataracts is to wear protective sunglasses that block the sun’s UV rays when you are outdoors.
How Cataract Detected?
Cataract is detected through a comprehensive eye exam that includes:
- Visual acuity test
- Dilated eye exam
Your eye care professional also may do other tests to learn more about the structure and health of your eye.
Treatment for Cataracts
When symptoms begin to appear, changing their glasses, using sunglasses to decrease glare and having better lighting to read can significantly alleviate their symptoms.
Many cataracts are not bothersome, In that situation, no surgical treatment is necessary. However, the only true treatment for cataract is surgical removal of the cloudy lens. Cataract surgery is very successful in restoring vision.
Cataracts – Home Treatment
- Avoiding glare on TV and computer screens, and keeping your eyeglass or contact lens prescription up to date.
- Using adequate lighting and adjusting carpets and furniture to avoid potential hazards.
- Video enlargement systems or speech software for computer systems can help impaired vision.
- Lifestyle changes such as not smoking and protecting your eyes from sunlight may help reduce the increase of cataracts.
Cataract Surgery Cost
There are many variables for cataract surgery cost – type of intraocular lens (IOL), geographic location (urban vs rural), type of preoperative testing (basic or basic plus refractive), and length of postoperative care.
The average basic cataract surgery cost in the US would roughly $3,500 per eye if you paid everything yourself, according to a survey of U.S. cataract and refractive surgeons. If you desire a superior technology lens which corrects astigmatism or presbyopia, require an additional $450 or $900 per eye.
Most people supporting cataract surgery qualify for Medicare or commercial health insurance to “cover” the procedure.
Laser Cataract Surgery Cost
Many of the steps of Laser Cataract Surgery are performed using handheld instruments. Now, the femtosecond laser technology that carried new levels of safety, accuracy including predictability to LASIK surgery is also advancing cataract surgery. Your doctor can use the laser to perform precise incisions, as well as the circular opening for accessing and removing the cataract. The opening is particularly accurate and results in a near perfect circle.
Refractive laser-assisted Laser cataract surgery costs approximately $300,000 to $500,000, and additional costs are associated with using and maintaining the device.
Laser cataract surgery cost is unlikely to be covered by Medicare or private health insurance.