Cataracts commonly affect men and women over the age of 65. Left untreated, cataracts will lead to blindness, but cataract surgery is a successful, safe, and nearly painless procedure. In most cases, cataract surgery will be paid for, in whole or in part, by health insurance.
This page contains some background information about cataract surgery, but evaluation of your cataracts requires a medical evaluation by an ophthalmologist. To schedule an appointment at our Beverly Hills or Rancho Cucamonga location, please call 888-514-2020 or email Armin Vishteh, MD today.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are any opacities or clouding that appear in the eye’s crystalline lens. This is not the same structure that is treated in LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures—called the cornea—this lens is located behind the colored part of the eye, called the iris, and is responsible for your eye’s ability to focus on objects at different distances.
Cataracts form naturally with age, but there are many factors that may influence the age at which you experience cataracts:
- Medical conditions
- Other causes
If you know the age at which your parents or grandparents experienced cataracts, you should look for them about that age. Otherwise, you can watch for symptoms of cataracts.
Cataracts influence your ability to see objects clearly. Before your vision is significantly impacted, you may notice some signs cataracts are beginning to form, such as:
- Night vision problems (glare, halos, and starbursts around lights)
- Diminished color sensitivity
- Diminished contrast sensitivity
These symptoms can warn you about cataracts long before you require surgery.
When to Have Cataract Surgery
In the past, doctors would advise you to wait until cataracts were “ripe” before getting cataract surgery. With modern techniques, we can perform cataract surgery at any time you notice difficulty performing your regular activities such as driving, reading, or watching TV.
However, if you want insurance to cover the cost of the procedure, they will most often require that you have significant vision impairment before covering the procedure. Typically, this means your best corrected vision with glasses or contacts must drop to worse than 20/40. Once this occurs, insurance will cover the cost of cataract surgery (but not the cost of advanced replacement lenses).
For more information, please see Cataract Surgery Questions.
If you suspect you may have cataracts and want to learn more about cataract surgery, please contact Armin Vishteh, MD today for an appointment.