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Old 12-10-2018, 08:31 AM
 
Location: plano
6,569 posts, read 8,103,218 times
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My wife and I both have cataracts. They are not severe yet but are a hinderance.


I understand Medicare pays for the surgery and a basic lens. But to get the preferred lens costs me three to four thousand out of pocket.


Can someone describe for me the difference in vision the more expensive lens makes vs the medicare paid version?
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:40 AM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,665 posts, read 8,577,038 times
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Huge difference for me, but I had 20/400 vision. Couldn't find my glasses without my glasses.
Now I have 20/20 and use cheap readers.
Had mine done about 10 years ago.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:48 AM
 
6,253 posts, read 4,731,924 times
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The extra cost lenses are supposed to work by restoring some ability of the eyes to focus at different distances. With the standard implants, the eyes will focus at a specific distance and you are very likely to need reading glasses.


Before you start to worry about the possibility of the extra cost, you need to discuss this with your eye doctor. My doctor did not want me to use the newer lenses. He stated I was not a good candidate and I did not push the issue any further. I have a neighbor who did try them and is very unhappy with the results.


I think my results with standard lenses are fairly typical. Whether by intent or accidentally, I see clearest at about 20-30 feet. My overall vision is acceptable between about 5 feet and infinity. For reading I use 2.0 diopter reading glasses I bought at Costco for a few dollars. For computer use, the distance is a bit longer and I use 1.75 diopter reading glasses. Without glasses, I can use a computer but it is a strain and I definitely lose some clarity. Without glasses, I can barely read newspaper sized print. I can read larger print such as a menu, but cannot come close to reading small print such as a label on a prescription bottle.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:31 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,202 posts, read 1,346,551 times
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John:
What did the doctor say about the "preferred lens?" Did he describe what it would do for you that the standard would not? What was it called (so I can google it)?

I am also contemplating cataract surgery. If there is a better lens out there I would gladly pay for it.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:34 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,227 posts, read 6,331,374 times
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I want the lens that I can read my iPad or computer without glasses. That’s what I do now. For drinking is when I have to use glasses.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:34 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,202 posts, read 1,346,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
The extra cost lenses are supposed to work by restoring some ability of the eyes to focus at different distances. With the standard implants, the eyes will focus at a specific distance and you are very likely to need reading glasses.


Before you start to worry about the possibility of the extra cost, you need to discuss this with your eye doctor. My doctor did not want me to use the newer lenses. He stated I was not a good candidate and I did not push the issue any further. I have a neighbor who did try them and is very unhappy with the results.


I think my results with standard lenses are fairly typical. Whether by intent or accidentally, I see clearest at about 20-30 feet. My overall vision is acceptable between about 5 feet and infinity. For reading I use 2.0 diopter reading glasses I bought at Costco for a few dollars. For computer use, the distance is a bit longer and I use 1.75 diopter reading glasses. Without glasses, I can use a computer but it is a strain and I definitely lose some clarity. Without glasses, I can barely read newspaper sized print. I can read larger print such as a menu, but cannot come close to reading small print such as a label on a prescription bottle.
Can you be more specific? Why didn't your doctor think they were right for you? And what exactly did your neighbor say was her problem?

Do you know what these newer lenses are called? Are they flexible? Or are they something like the progressive lenses in eyeglasses?
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:49 AM
 
Location: San Diego
3,394 posts, read 5,198,020 times
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This is where Medicare + Supplement and Medicare Advantage makes a difference. Medicare Advantage will tell you that you don't need it. Your full Medicare doctor will get the job done.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,365 posts, read 3,700,708 times
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At a younger age I know a person with very poor eyesight (needed thick glasses) had cataracts removed and lenses put in. Could now see and read without glasses. Still used glasses but could get a long without them if they had too.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Denver area
157 posts, read 48,411 times
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My wife just had this procedure in both eyes using the preferred (ie: more expensive) lenses...cost about 5 grand total out the door with insurance (BCBS). She is overjoyed with the results and has perfect vision again. 20/20 and 20/15. She went with the distance vision and uses readers for close up. They can put a distance lens in one eye and a near in the other which supposedly reduces the need for readers, but I suggested she not do that. I tried that trick w/ regular contact lenses once and hated the results with nothing being very clear. I'd much rather see the world in clarity and use cheapo over the counter readers when I need to read. She agreed and like I said...very happy.


As far as the difference between the standard vs. premium I cannot answer. Her doc told her the standard were not even an option. She had an astigmatism in addition to cataracts.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:03 PM
 
1,649 posts, read 567,483 times
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During my last eye exam I asked my opthalmologist about cataracts because a friend of mine of the same age had recently had the surgery due to hers being "very bad." He explained that it's an individual thing and some people get them earlier than others but that "everyone gets cataracts if they live long enough."

I asked him about my eyes and he shocked me by saying that yes I do have "small" ones but that most people don't bother to do anything about them until they begin to interfere with things like night driving and seeing halos around light sources. I hardly ever drive at night and so I cannot even recall a time when light sources were 'clear' ... which I assume they once were but I never paid attention either way, LOL.

Of more concern to me is how inaccurately I may eventually see colors; that is important to me. The discussion didn't go any further and so I had no idea that there are different kinds of lenses. I have regular Medicare.

I've been nearsighted all my life (about 20/200 uncorrected, I think) but only wear my glasses when I drive or watch television or vacuum the floor. Tried progressive lenses three times and failed miserably at all of them, even the newest ones, because I have a slight 'tracking' disparity that such eyeglass lenses make very noticeable and nausea-inducing because they magnify the effect . Don't use reading glasses because I've always held books close up, out of habit. No idea how a cataract lens would affect any of these conditions but my gut feeling is that if the new cataract lenses act like the progressive eyeglass lenses do, they would cause more problems than they'd solve.
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