Monday, May 18, 2009

Multifocal lens options for Cataract Surgery

The New York Times (5/15, Jaret) updated its Times Essentials: Reporter's File section on cataracts, which can "occur when the eye's natural lens becomes cloudy with age." While "cataracts don't harm the eye," they "can progressively impair vision." During cataract replacement surgery, "cloudy lenses can be removed and replaced with artificial lenses designed to correct a range of vision problems." Currently, "patients can now choose from a wide range of artificial lenses." While "monofocal lenses, which have long been in use and are covered by insurance, remain the most common choice of replacement lens," now "multifocal lenses are growing in popularity." But, "because these so-called premium lenses are not considered medically necessary, they aren't covered by Medicare or private insurance," and "the additional cost can run up to $3,000 per eye." Yet "another new artificial lens design, called a toric lens, corrects astigmatism, which is caused by an abnormal curvature of the cornea." They too "are considered premium lenses and aren't covered by most insurance plans."(courtesy AOA)

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