Cataract surgery is a common surgical procedure performed in Australia to treat cataracts, which are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. As the population in Australia ages, cataracts have become an increasingly common health concern.
The procedure involves the removal of the clouded lens and replacement with an artificial lens to improve vision. Cataract surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis and has a high success rate.
Benefits of cataract surgery
While cataracts can be treated with glasses or contact lenses, the most effective way to restore clear vision is through cataract surgery. This procedure has become increasingly common in Australia, and can provide significant benefits for seniors who are struggling with cataracts.
One of the main benefits of cataract surgery is improved vision. Many seniors who undergo the procedure are able to see clearly for the first time in years, and are able to resume their normal activities without the need for glasses or contact lenses. This can be particularly important for those who enjoy hobbies like reading, driving, or playing sports, as it can greatly improve their quality of life.
Another benefit of cataract surgery is a reduced risk of falls and other accidents. Cataracts can make it difficult to see clearly, particularly in low-light conditions, which can increase the risk of trips and falls.
A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 2022 revealed that for added effectiveness in preventing slip and falls, one cataract operation noted a decline in slip-and-fall incidents by 31 percent, which can increase by 50 percent if the other eye was operated on. The data was based on results of cataract surgeries at eight Australian public hospitals from 2013 to 2016.
By improving vision, cataract surgery can help to reduce this risk, and can help seniors to stay active and independent for longer.
While cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure, it does come with some risks. In rare cases, patients may experience complications like infection, bleeding, or damage to the eye. However, these risks are relatively low, and most patients are able to undergo the surgery without any problems.
Even with the potential to return home after the surgery, the preparation for it is also at a premium. Some eye surgery practices recommend that if you’re up for cataract removals, you must be careful of potential infection in the ten days prior to the operation, including not wearing contact lenses during that period. Special eye drops must be administered to prevent dry eye.
The recovery period can be uncomfortable, with patients often experiencing dryness, itching, and mild pain in the eyes. However, these symptoms typically only last a few days, and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief medication.
Another potential downside is that cataract surgery is not a permanent solution. While the artificial lens is designed to last for many years, it is not uncommon for cataracts to develop in the remaining portion of the natural lens. However, it is typically a slow process, and most patients are able to enjoy clear vision for many years after the surgery.
Despite these potential downsides, the benefits of cataract surgery for seniors are clear. Improved vision, reduced risk of falls, and a relatively low cost make it an attractive option for many Australians. For those who are struggling with cataracts, it may be worth considering this simple and effective procedure as a way to regain their quality of life and independence.
If you are considering cataract surgery, it’s important to choose a reputable surgeon with a proven track record of success. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can help you to find a surgeon who is experienced in the procedure, and who can provide you with the care and support you need before, during, and after the surgery.
The cost of cataract surgery in Australia can vary depending on several factors, including the type of procedure, the location of the surgery, and whether the surgery is performed in a private or public hospital. Generally, cataract surgery in Australia can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,500 per eye.
Medicare covers some of the cost of cataract surgery in Australia, but there may be additional out-of-pocket expenses. Patients who undergo cataract surgery in a private hospital may also have additional costs such as surgeon fees, anaesthetist fees, and hospital accommodation fees.
Patients who undergo cataract surgery in a public hospital may have less out-of-pocket expenses, but they may also have between six to 18 months waiting time. A NiceRx survey already tagged Australia as No.2 in the OECD’s longest wait time for cataract surgeries, at 84 median days, with Poland on top at 246 days.
The ASAG Reverse Mortgage
Regular visits to an eye doctor are crucial to maintaining good eye health, particularly if you experience any vision impairment. If you do not have health insurance or cannot afford eye surgeries to improve your vision, there is an alternative option available to you through the ASAG Reverse Mortgage. By utilising the equity in your home, you may be able to receive financial assistance for Medical Expenses, including those related to your eyesight.
Do not hesitate to contact the ASAG team at 1300 002 724 or email@example.com for more information on how our reverse mortgage program operates. We are always happy to help and address any questions or concerns you may have regarding our equity release solutions.
Our equity assessment tool below can also be used to begin the process of determining your available equity.