When you are diagnosed with cataracts, your eye doctor will typically tell you that you'll need surgery to correct them at some point. But when? Well, this all depends. Usually, your eye doctor wants you to wait until the cataracts are actually interfering with your vision to a significant degree before performing surgery. However, that guideline is still vague, and really, it's up to you to decide when you're ready to have this procedure. Here are three tips for scheduling your cataract surgery.
1. Don't wait until you're too impaired.
Most patients schedule their cataract surgery when their cataracts start interfering with their daily life. Maybe you're struggling to drive at night because you can't read the road signs anymore. Or perhaps you only listen to audiobooks now because you can't see words on a page. When you start to notice these issues, schedule your surgery relatively soon—within a few months. You don't want to wait until you're completely unable to read, drive, or otherwise function. It's harder to go back to doing these things once you've stopped completely.
2. Check with your insurance company.
Most health insurance policies do cover cataract surgery. However, if you have a deductible on your plan, you may want to schedule the surgery during a year you've already met or will meet your deductible, since this means you'll have to pay less out-of-pocket. Call your insurance company, and see what it would cost you to have cataract surgery this year, versus how much it would cost next year. If your cost will be significantly less this year, then it's worth scheduling the surgery sooner.
3. Plan for a week off.
It can take up to two months to completely heal from cataract surgery. But most people only need to spend about a week really resting and taking it easy. After this, you can do most things as long as you wear a protective eye patch or sunglasses, and give your eyes a break. So, schedule your cataract surgery at a time when you can afford to take a week off afterward. If you need to have both eyes done, keep in mind you'll need to schedule two surgeries. Most eye doctors like to do them 3 or 6 months apart.
Cataract surgery is a relatively simple surgery, and the recovery is quite straightforward. For many patients, scheduling the surgery is the hardest part! Once you're over that hurdle, it's smooth sailing ahead.