The most obvious effect of cataract surgery is seeing better, but did you know it also can help you in other unexpected ways?
Why? Because, even if you don’t know you have cataracts, you may gradually make life changes over time to compensate for the vision loss.
Maybe it’s subtle — you notice that you need more light for reading. Or maybe it’s more obvious — you have to give up driving at night. Either way, these changes impact your overall quality of life.
In fact, vision loss has been directly linked to depression and anxiety. You may no longer feel like doing your favourite things when you have cataracts, even if you are still physically able.
Here are three benefits of surgery that go beyond improvements in your vision:
1. Improve your quality of life
Cataracts can prevent you from being able to do everyday tasks such as reading or driving, as well as the things you do for fun. You may feel less independent and more socially withdrawn.
A 2013 study found that quality of life for those who had cataract surgery improved by 36 percent after surgery when comparing those patients to people who didn’t have the surgery.
2. Decrease your risk of falls and fractures
As we age, falls become more dangerous (and even deadly).
Vision loss is a major contributing factor. A study published in 2012 evaluated Medicare beneficiaries (age 65 and over) diagnosed with cataracts. Overall, the findings associated cataract surgery with a 16 percent decrease in the odds of hip fracture one year after the procedure. For those with severe cataracts, surgery decreased the odds of a hip fracture by 23 percent.
3. Improve your chances of living longer
Results of a long-term study published in 2013 associated cataract surgery with significantly better long-term survival of older people.
The study showed a 40 percent reduction in mortality risk for people who had cataract surgery, when comparing them with those who didn’t have it — which simply means you improve your odds of living longer if you have the surgery.
During this consultation, we aim to determine your candidacy for cataract surgery. You will be assessed by our team. We will;
A retrospective review of our last 200 cases revealed the following:
The benefits of your own cataract procedure will depend on many personal factors. Your age, general and eye health and degree of refractive error will all affect the results of your procedure.
There are many variables in the cost of cataract surgery: whether or not you are covered by your private health fund for cataract surgery, type of intraocular lens (IOL), type of preoperative testing (basic or basic plus refractive), and length of postoperative care.
For insured patients, there is an out of pocket expense (excess) payable to the day surgery, a small fee payable to the anaesthetist, and a known gap (no more than $500) payable to the surgeon.
For uninsured patients, the average, most basic cataract surgery in Australia costs approximately $3,450 per eye if you pay for everything yourself. This includes the hospital fee, anaesthetist fee and surgeons fee. If you want an advanced technology lens which corrects astigmatism or complete freedom from glasses for distance and near, expect to pay an additional $450 to $900 per eye, respectively.
Contact Vision Clinic Sydney so we can provide you with a customised quote for your case.
There is no one method that suits each and every patient. We value your individuality and want to cater the best option for you after a comprehensive assessment.
Dr Kumar is an Ophthalmic Surgeon with specific and extensive training in conventional and Laser Cataract Surgery, Laser Vision Correction, alternatives to laser surgery, Cornea Transplantation Surgery, the management of Keratoconus and Pterygium Surgery. Dr Kumar is also committed to the management of glaucoma and retina conditions.
Dr Kumar chose ophthalmology because he was fascinated by the complexity of the eye and vision. He is enabled by superior technology and surgical techniques available within ophthalmology to improve vision for patients.
Dr Kumar graduated in Medicine from the University of Newcastle in 1998 and earned a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of New South Wales. He worked at the Sydney Retina Clinic with Dr Andrew Chang prior to completing his Ophthalmology Fellowship training at the Sydney Eye Hospital.
Thereafter, Dr Kumar was awarded the Sydney Eye Hospital Alumni Travelling Fellowship to pursue further training in Cornea and Refractive Surgery.
This component of his training occurred under the guidance of Professors David Rootman and Allan Slomovic at the Toronto Western Hospital and the Yonge Eglinton Laser Centre at the University of Toronto in Canada.
Subsequently he has undertaken a Masters in Cataract and Refractive Surgery from the University of Sydney as part of his ongoing commitment to self education.
Committed to education in the field of ophthalmology, Dr. Kumar is a clinical senior lecturer at the Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University. He is a regular reviewer for articles submitted for publication in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the British Journal of Ophthalmology and Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. He has published numerous peer reviewed papers and book chapters involving his specialty interests. He is a member of the Australian, American and European Societies of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
Dr Kumar has extensive experience using the femtosecond laser to perform LASIK and cornea transplantations. Given this background, he was amongst the first surgeons in Australia to perform femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery.
Dr. Kumar is committed to the preservation and improvement of quality of vision. He is dedicated to maintaining the highest standard of ophthalmic medical and surgical care.
Straight after surgery, patients will usually see in soft focus. The following day vision should be clearer. Some patients see the improvement in several hours, though most take 24-48 hours. It can occasionally take 1-2 weeks for vision to settle while the eye adapts to the new intraocular lens implant (IOL).
In most cases, cataracts will continue to worsen over time, causing continual reduction of vision. Many people become legally blind from untreated cataracts, and cataracts can even cause total blindness if left untreated for long periods.
All surgery involves some risk and it is important for patients to understand their risk/benefit analysis, which can only be provided at the time of consultation. For best results from cataract surgery it is recommended to have surgery performed before the cataract causes low vision or legal blindness. Advanced cataracts that cause severe vision loss are more difficult to remove and may increase the risk of cataract surgery complications.
Yes, it’s possible to have cataract surgery if you have glaucoma. In fact, in some cases, cataract surgery can lower high eye pressure, reduce the number of medications you need to manage your glaucoma, or possibly eliminate your need for glaucoma medication altogether.
Cataract surgery is not at all painful. Most patients describe a mild sensation of pressure around the eye. In some cases, we may use local anaesthesia (administered via eye drops) or perform a small anaesthetic block around the eye.
We also have the option to offer patients a general anaesthetic if they prefer to be asleep during the procedure or if there are other medical issues that need to be taken into account (e.g. patients with tremors who cannot lie flat for ten minutes).
Some patients see very well the day after cataract surgery. Other patients see well a few days after surgery, and still others may need a full month to reach their maximum vision improvement.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, you probably been told that surgery is the only treatment option to permanently improve your vision, and that’s true. Cataracts cannot heal by themselves, or with any sort of medication. Surgery is required to permanently correct your vision loss.
Early cataract symptoms often include cloudy or blurred vision impacting a limited portion of the patient’s sight. In the initial stages, cataracts may not have a substantial impact on your vision. Over time, however, symptoms inevitably get worse, usually producing double vision, light sensitivity, halos, glare and a sense of seeing the world through a brown or yellow film. When these symptoms begin negatively impacting your quality of life, it’s time for cataract surgery.
In most cases, shortsightedness, longsightedness and astigmatism can be corrected with cataract surgery. This depends on your eye health and previous history of eye surgery. It is also possible to minimise dependence on glasses for reading. Your candidacy for such a procedure can only be confirmed during your assessment by the surgeon.
Cataract surgery is only partly covered by Medicare. According to Medibank data, many of those going through the private system are met with out-of-pocket costs. These costs depend on a number of factors, including your excess, which hospital you are admitted to and how much you are charged. This depends on the complexity of your case, and the desired outcome (whether or not you wish to be completely free of glasses after surgery). If you’re going through the private system, be sure to contact your health insurer to confirm that you are covered for cataract surgery. If you are not covered, then you may go through as an uninsured private patient and will need to cover the costs of the day surgery, the anaesthetist and the surgeon.
Have you got more questions? Each patient has unique circumstances; book a complimentary assessment today to discuss the details of your case and learn more about treatment options for you.