The cost of cataracts surgery is a worry that may be keeping you up at night. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the patients or you know a loved one. It can be expensive even with a comprehensive health plan. The out-of-pocket expenses for this eye-saving procedure can also be significant. When you have a good estimate and some alternatives, though, you can make a sound medical decision.
Cost of Cataracts Surgery | How Much Is It?
In this article:
The Basic Cost of Cataracts Surgery
Without insurance, the basic cost of cataracts surgery in the United States can be as much as about $6,000 per eye. The average cost of cataracts surgery without health insurance or Medicare is $3,500.
Many factors, though, can affect the total amount you need to pay. These include the deductibles and the type of product used. The quality of the eye surgeon and the length of recovery can also affect the cost.
The average cost of the cataract removal may be only $3,500 for a standard refractive surgery. It already includes the cost of the monofocal intraocular lens implant (IOL).
If you want to get more from the cataract extraction or need beyond the monofocal IOL, you also need to pay more. The cost of cataracts surgery if you like to use IOLs that can correct astigmatism is around $6,000. It is also the estimated price for a surgery with presbyopia-correcting IOL. The price goes up since the ophthalmologist/surgeon is going to use premium IOLs.
Out-of-Pocket Costs of Cataracts Surgery
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Medicare or private insurance may help protect your finances. It is particularly helpful if you’re already more than 65 years old. Out-of-pocket costs, though, are high if the cataract surgeon specializes in laser.
One of these is the femtosecond laser cataract surgery. This laser-assisted cataract surgery is already a common LASIK procedure. It improves visual acuity in a safer and more accurate approach. In spite of these benefits, it has a high cost to the tune of $500,000!
Medicare doesn’t cover wholly some essentials to multifocal lens implants surgery. These include a new eye exam, an EKG, anesthesia, and follow-up vision appointments. Even if you have Medicare, you foot 20 percent of the cataract procedure.
You also need to spend on the post-operative care, which may take a few weeks. You may also suffer from temporary loss of income due to absences. Worse, you may end up with surgeries that you don’t need.
Out-of-pocket expenses can run to thousands of dollars even if you have Medicare and other insurance.
Alternatives to Cataracts Surgery
Do you know you can consider refractive surgery as your last resort? It is also for a good reason.
Several lifestyle and alternative treatments exist. These may enable you to avoid the hefty cost of cataracts surgery for years. In fact, you may be able to avoid it completely! It often depends on the severity of the problem of your natural lens.
A patient prone to cataracts or is in the early stages of the disease may do the following:
1. Consider Corrective Eye Drops
Prescription eye drops that dissolve proteins may help. These proteins attach to one another to form cataracts.
This option is a new one. Ask your eye doctor about these new drops, known as lanosterol drops.
2. Treat Related Health Conditions
Some health problems lead to cataracts as a secondary complication. Seek treatment for suspected problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. It’s also possible your vision problem is due to other eye conditions.
These can be retinal detachment or age-related macular degeneration. If you have these diagnoses, manage these conditions.
3. Break Bad Habits
Did you know that smoking and excessive drinking can make cataracts worse? Neither is an easy habit to break. Your vision problems may be the “rock bottom” you needed to rid yourself of this risky behavior.
Obesity can also contribute to cataracts problems. Like smoking, overeating fatty foods can be a difficult habit to break. Protecting your eyesight can be the breakthrough motivation you’ve been waiting for!
Ultraviolet rays encourage cataracts development. That means sunbathing or working out without eye protection is a no-no. Always wear a hat and/or sunglasses when outside. When driving, use your car’s sun visor.
4. Develop Good Habits
Healthy lifestyle choices can slow the progression. It can also prevent you from worrying about the cost of cataracts surgery. They can even help prevent new cataracts formation.
Work out to boost circulation and prevent obesity and high blood pressure. Eat a “rainbow” of colorful veggies and fruits. These types of food provide your body with the vitamins that are crucial for eye health.
5. Maximize your Vision Aids
A prescription for reading glasses may improve your ability to read and drive. You can also enhance your ability to see distances. The same, of course, is true of contact lenses. As cataracts grow, you may need to make more frequent prescription adjustments.
Consider using a magnifying glass for reading or other close work. An ordinary handheld magnifier is effective for reading, looking at maps, and so forth. You’ll also find the large rectangular type that can fit over a book or computer screen. If you’re a crafter or artisan, a larger magnifier tool on a stand, or one with a telescoping arm, can also come in handy.
6. Brighten Up Your Environment
One visual aid so obvious that many patients overlook it? Lighting. Lamps near your desk at work, your couch, and your bedside table can make a world of difference. Consider improving brightness in work areas like the kitchen. Improved lighting is also important in places where there are risks of stumbling and tripping. These places include hallways, interior stairs, and exterior steps.
If you wish to know if the cost of cataracts surgery is worth it, watch this video from tropicalscot:
It’s normal to worry about the cost of cataracts surgery. These alternative options shall help reduce your anxiety. Don’t put it off if your ophthalmologist recommends it. It may be your best chance to save your vision.
Do you have other alternatives to reduce or avoid the cost of cataracts surgery? Share your experiences in the comments below!