Healthy Lifestyle Arena


Need Cataract Surgery? Read This First!!!

February 23
14:53 2018

Image result for cataract surgery

As we age, the clear lenses in our eyes tend to turn slightly yellowish, but it is so slow and gradual that very few even realize it. This is just part of aging.

However, due to a variety of reasons, some of which are still not clearly understood, the lens of the eye may turn cloudy, causing vision to blur. This often happens slowly over time, but can happen quickly, again, for reasons unknown and is referred to as a cataract.

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. About 25 million Americans age 40 or more develops cataracts. That’s about 1 out of every 6 people. By the time a person reaches 80, they stand a greater than 50% chance of developing cataracts. Sorry ladies, but you seem to be slightly more susceptible to developing cataracts than men are.

When I was in my late 30s, I had an eye examine and everything seemed fine, except that I needed an updated change to my eyeglasses. Only 9 months later, I went back to the eye doctor because the vision in my left eye was blurry. He did a double take and then told me I had a cataract in the lens. He explained that the degree of clouding is normally what would be found after about 10-15 years of slow clouding, but mine occurred within only 9 months, which totally baffled him.

The solution? Cataract surgery. That’s where the doctor surgically removes the clouded lens and replaces it with a clear artificial lens. I had the procedure and it was a snap, except I noticed a distinct difference in colors, especially blues and whites, between the eye with the new artificial lens and my other eye with the slightly yellowed natural lens. My wife would find me looking at things with one and then the other and so on. I never realized just how much of a difference the natural yellowing made in being able to see true colors.

Some years later, I eventually developed a cataract in my other eye and had it surgically repaired as well and I not only see more clearly, but I see truer colors with both eyes. Blues and bluer and whites and whiter.

Both times I had my cataract surgery, there was a second doctor or someone, who monitored the anesthesia, while the eye doctor worked his magic.

However, if you need to have cataract surgery now, check with your insurance company to see what their procedural requirements are!!!

The reason for the warning is that Anthem has released a new clinical guideline saying that it is not medically necessary to have an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthesiologist on hand during cataract surgery. The believe the doctor can both monitor any anesthesia necessary and perform the surgery at the same time.

A number of doctors are upset and concerned over the new clinical guideline from Anthem, saying it endangers the safety and health of patients.

Dr. David Glasser, an ophthalmologist in Columbia, Md., who is secretary for federal affairs at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a professional group for eye physicians and surgeons, commented about the new guideline, saying:

“The presence of anesthesia personnel is one of the key ingredients in the patient safety and effectiveness of cataract surgery today. An ophthalmologist cannot administer conscious sedation and monitor the patient and do cataract surgery at the same time.”

Anthem is one of the nation’s larger health insurance companies and they appear to care more about the bottom line of cost than they do about patient safety, health and vision. One has to wonder how many Americans will lose their vision due to the new guideline before Anthem understands that what they did was wrong and reverse it.

In the meantime, regardless if you have Anthem or any other healthcare insurance, check into what procedural guidelines they have before having cataract surgery. It may make the difference of being able to see or not.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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