Good vision is not only a pleasure—it is key to maintaining an independent life. From cataracts to eyelid surgery, advancements in technology are enabling us to see well in our later years, letting us read comfortably, and drive safely longer than ever before.
While most of us will experience cataracts as an inevitable part of aging, surgery can successfully restore vision. Today, cataract surgery is nearly pain free, and requires just a couple of hours and a single, tiny incision.
There are no needles, no stitches. Ultrasound is used to soften and break up the cloudy, natural lens. It is then removed and replaced with a permanent, artificial lens, called an intraocular lens or IOL. There are several brand-name multifocal IOLs available, and advertising abounds. Many brands tout total freedom from glasses, even for reading. While multifocal IOLs may give you independence from wearing glasses, there are pros and cons. It is important to talk with your eye surgeon to determine which IOL is best tailored to your individual needs.
With some multifocal IOLs, you may trade independence from glasses for distance and near vision for halos, glare and decreased contrast sensitivity, especially with night driving.
Don’t resign yourself to increasingly heavy lids that impede vision. Our eyelids are the thinnest skin we have and over time, our eyelids stretch and sag. The excess skin can eventually interfere with side vision. This condition is called ptosis, and can be easily corrected with eye surgery called blepharoplasty.
The surgery takes just an hour or two. Scarring is minimal, and swelling, bruising and dry eye symptoms pass within a few weeks or months. While cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance, Medicare may pay for blepharoplasty for functional vision improvement on a case-by-case basis.
To other news stories...