Eventually, everyone’s vision can be clouded by cataracts. They usually start as a slow, progressive clouding of your vision, often combined with noticable glare or halo around lights. While the first symptoms of cataracts are gradual, over time they become more and more serious, and if left untreated can lead to blindness.
The good news is that catract surgery is considered one of the most effective, and safest surgical procedures in all of medicine. In the United States, more than 3-million cataract procedures are performed every year. The average cataract surgery takes less than 20 minutes. And today, you have access to more advanced options for cataract care than ever before.
Are Cataracts Clouding Your Vision?
Do you think cataracts might be affecting your vision? Schedule an evaluation with our cataract surgeon today, to see if you could benefit from advanced cataract care.
Vision Clouded By Cataracts
Custom Cataract Options
When it comes to cataract surgery, you have options. We work with all of our patients to find the best option to treat their cataracts. For some patients, that means standard cataract surgery. For others, that means advanced custom lenses and procedures that can work to reduce your need for glasses after cataract surgery. Whatever option is right for you, we’ll help you find it.
Astigmatism Correcting Lenses
- Correct Astigmatism During Catract Surgery
- Reduce Your Need for Glasses & Contacts
- Can be Combined with Multi-Focal Lenses
Astigmatism correcting lenses, comonly called toric IOLs, are designed to correct astigmatism during your cataract surgery. Nearly 1/3 of candidates for cataract surgery have 1 diopter or more of astigmatism, enough to cause noticably blurry vision.
If you’ve worn glasses or contacts to correct significant astigmatism, a toric IOL has the potential to give you better uncorrected vision than you’ve ever had before.
Multi-Focal & Astigmatism Correction
In a Single Lens
In the past, patients had to choose between multi-focal custom cataract lenses, and astigmatism correcting custom cataract lenses. But the FDA recently approved a new lens technology, named the Symfony IOL, that combines both multi-focal and astigmatism correcting properties. Dr. Hoehn was one of the first surgeons in our area to implant a Symfony IOL, and we’re happy to be able to offer this as an option to our patients.
- See Clearly @ Both Near & Far Distances
- Reduce Your Need for Glasses & Contacts
Multi-focal cataract lenses are designed to reduce your need for glasses or contacts, by providing clear distance and near vision.
If a life without glasses or contacts is important to you, multi-focal lenses can be a great option.
Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery
- A Bladeless Procedure
- The Precision of a Robotic Laser
During laser-assisted cataract surgery, a precise laser makes the incision in your eye, and uses a laser to break up your cataract-clouded lens prior to removal.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery can be a good option for patients seeking a bladeless surgery, along with the precision offered by a laser.
Standard vs. Custom Cataract Surgery
With standard cataract surgery, the goal is to provide clear vision at distance. For close-up activities, like reading or using a smartphone, you’ll likely still need glasses. With custom cataract surgery, the goal is to reduce your dependance on glasses: either by helping you see more clearly at a range of distances, or by correcting other visual problems like astigmitism during the procedure.
Most insurance plans cover some or all of the costs of standard cataract surgery, but custom cataract surgery options often require an additional fee. At Moscow Family Eye care, you’ll work closely with Dr. Hoehn to find the option that’s right for your preferences, and your lifestyle.
at Moscow Family Eye Care
- A Local, Experienced Cataract Surgeon
- Continuous Care From a Dedicated Team
- A Completely Personalized Experience
- A Quick, Same-Day Outpatient Surgery
- Advanced UVA/UVB Blocking Replacement Lenses
- Personal, Direct Follow-up Care
At Moscow Family Eye Care, even our standard cataract surgery options are far from “basic”. Our patients work directly with our cataract surgeon, Dr. Hoehn, who works with you to develop a cataract lens replacement designed to give you the best vision possible.
Before your surgery, Dr. Hoehn will use an advanced optical scanner to calculate the ideal lens to replace your clouded lens, and to calculate its ideal placement in your eye.
During cataract surgery, Dr. Hoehn will make a micro-incision at or near your cornea. She’ll then use an ultrasonic tool to gently break up and remove your clouded lens. After removing your clouded lens, Dr. Hoehn will place a new synthetic lens in the front of your eye. These lenses are called Interocular Lenses, or IOLs.
Even with our standard cataract surgery, the IOLs we use are the latest generation of advanced monofocal lenses available, designed to deliver excellent visual clarity, natural light transmission and UVA/UVB filtering that combats glare and works to protect your retina.
After standard cataract surgery, your vision will be much clearer. But it’s likely that you’ll still need to wear glasses for reading, or other close-up activities. If you choose a custom cataract surgery option, you may be able to reduce your dependence on glasses or contacts.
Meet Our Cataract Surgeon
Alyssa Hoehn, M.D.
Dr. Hoehn is an experienced cataract surgeon, who performs hundreds of procedures annually in Moscow, Idaho. She received her surgical training at the Loma Linda University Medical Center’s ophthalmology residency.
She maintains a five-star rating with the CMS.gov’s physician comparison initiative for patient satisfaction with cataract surgery, improvement in visual function after cataract surgery, and refraction after cataract surgery.
Cataract Questions & Answers
Questions About Cataracts
How can I tell if I have cataracts?
The most common symptoms of cataracts are:
- Cloudy, blurry or dim vision
- Increasing difficulty with night vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing rings around lights
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Double vision in a single eye
If you’re experencing some of these symptoms, your best option is to make an appointment to get your cataracts assessed.
When is the right time to have cataract surgery?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has developed a list of four questions they recommend considering to help decide if you’re ready for cataract surgery.
#1 – Are your cataracts impacting your daily or occupational activities?
The most obvious symptoms of cataracts are typically dim, blurry or yellowed vision. Is this lack of clarity and contrast making it difficult for you to perform everyday tasks, enjoy your hobbies or negatively impacting your lifestyle?
#2 – Are your cataracts affecting your ability to drive safely at night?
Another common symptom of cataracts are halos around lights, and difficulty seeing at night or in low-light settings. 82% of cataract patients say that their surgery made it easier for them to drive.
#3 – Are your cataracts interfering with the outdoor activities you enjoy?
Another common symptom of cataracts is an increased sensitivity to glare. This can make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities, like skiing, hiking or golf. Cataracts can also cause visual differences between one eye and the other, which can affect distance vision and depth perception.
#4 – Can you manage your cataracts in other ways?
Up to a point, it may be possible to delay cataract surgery by compensating for your cataracts. For example, using a brighter light when reading, or polarized sunglasses that can help reduce glare.
Your answers to these questions can help you decide if it’s time to consider cataract surgery, and our experienced cataract surgeon is always happy to help you make that decision on your next visit to Moscow Family Eye Care.
Are nonsurgical options available for treating cataracts?
No. Up to a point, you may be able to compensate for cataracts by adjusting your lifestyle and surroundings. But cataract surgery is the only way to effectively treat cataracts.
What causes cataracts?
Age is far and away the most common cause of cataracts, and genetics definitely play a role, but there are other risk factors that increase your chances of getting cataracts earlier in life. These include:
- Excessive exposure to sunlight
- High blood pressure
- Previous eye injury or inflammation
- Previous eye surgery
- Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
What can I do to reduce my chances of getting cataracts?
Live long enough, and you’re essentially guaranteed to get cataracts. Genetics also play a role, but there are some things you can do to decrease your odds of getting cataracts early in life.
Quit Smoking — There are lots of good reasons to quit smoking, and cataracts are one more. Smoking increases your chances of getting cataracts early in life.
Stay Healthy — Maintaining a healthy weight, blood pressure and effectively managing diabetes will all help to reduce your chances of getting cataracts early in life.
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies — Mom really was right. There isn’t conclusive evidence that taking antioxidant pills has any effect on cataracts, but, large population studies have concluded that people who eat a healthy diet with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals had lower incidents of cataracts. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially colorful ones.
Wear UV Blocking Sunglasses — Ultraviolet light from the sun can speed up the development of cataracts. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses will help, and if you need a pair, our optical department would be happy to help.
Don’t Drink Too Much — Drinking too much alcohol can contribute to the early development of cataracts. There aren’t conclusive studies that show exactly how much is safe, however, general guidelines for healthy adults point to up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.
At what age do most people get cataracts?
Age-related cataracts can show up as early as age 40, and your chances of getting an age-related cataract increase as you get older. By age 80, nearly 70% of the population has cataracts.
Questions About Cataract Surgery
Where are Moscow Family Eye Care’s cataract surgeries performed?
Our cataract procedures are performed at the Palouse Surgery Center, in Moscow, Idaho.
How long does cataract surgery typically take?
The actual surgical procedure typically takes 10-30 minutes. However, you should plan 1-2 hours for your appointment, from start to finish.
Is cataract surgery painful?
It’s very unusual that patients experience any pain during surgery. We use a combination of topical anesthetic to remove pain, and a sedative to make sure you’re relaxed and comfortable throughout the entire process.
Can you do cataract surgery on both eyes at the same time?
Technically, yes, but it would expose you to unnecessary risk. It’s much safer to treat each eye separately, typically a week or two apart.
Is cataract surgery safe?
Every surgery has risks associated with it, and you need to understand those risks before undergoing surgery. But cataract surgery has one of the highest success and safety rates of any surgery performed today.
What can I expect after cataract surgery?
Right after cataract surgery, it’s normal for your eyes to feel itchy, scratchy or irritated. But it’s unusual to experience any sharp pain. You’ll need a ride home after your surgery, since you’ll still be feeling the effects of the sedative used during your surgery.
After surgery, many patients spend the rest of the day resting, but are able to resume normal actvities within a few days.
Usually the day after surgery, you’ll have a followup appointment in our office to make sure your eye is healing properly. Many patients experience a significant visual improvement the day after cataract surgery, but for others it can take longer.
It can take up to a month after cataract surgery for your vision to completely stabilize, and many patients continue to experience improvements over the course of that first month.
Cataract Surgery Costs
Does insurance cover the cost of cataract surgery?
Yes, most commercial insurance policies, as well as Medicare and Medicare supplement plans, will cover the cost of standard cataract surgery, subject to your plan’s deductable.
Custom cataract surgery is typically not covered by medicare or most commercial insurance plans, and often requires an out-of-pocket cost.
Is financing available for the out-of-pocket costs of custom cataract surgery?
Yes. We’ve partnered with CareCredit to offer low-interest payment plans, and make it easy to afford custom cataract surgery.
Learn About Cataracts
- Take the Quiz
- Schedule a Cataract Evaluation
- Custom Cataract Options
- Standard vs. Custom Cataract Surgery
- Cataract Surgery at Moscow Family Eye Care
- Cataract Questions & Answers