Cataract and Lens Implant FAQ

Do cataracts come back?

No. With successful removal of the cataract, it is gone for good. Over time you may develop a cloudy film behind the lens implant that can blur the vision, like looking through a cloudy windshield. This is not a regrowth of the cataract but rather a posterior capsular opacity. During the original cataract procedure, a thin portion of the cataract is intentionally left behind to allow for a support system to position the intraocular lens implant. The capsule usually starts off crystal clear but may tend to cloud over with time. A specialized laser treatment performed in the office that takes 60 seconds or less is able to polish off this cloudy film and restore vision. Patients that develop blurry vision later should be evaluated for this condition.

Will insurance cover cataract surgery?

Yes. Medical insurance (including Medicare, Medicare supplements and private commercial carriers) covers treatment for visually significant cataract. They do not cover the additional expense for upgraded intraocular lens implants. This expense must be paid out of pocket, something for which there are financing options available.

What is presbyopia?

When your eyes were young, your natural lens was both transparent and flexible. Because of this, your vision was most likely stabilized until you reached your forties. Around that time, you may have noticed that you had to hold a menu or a book farther and farther away to read it, even with your best distance glasses prescription. Many people end up wearing a pair of reading glasses or bifocals to compensate for this aging process of the eye. This condition of not being able to focus up-close with one’s distance prescription is called “presbyopia”, and eventually affects everyone, including those who are nearsighted, farsighted, have cataracts, or had perfect vision most of their life. There are lens implant options during cataract surgery that will mitigate the effects of presbyopia after your surgery.

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