At around age 40, the proteins in your eye’s lens begins to break down. By 60, the symptoms typically become more obvious, often manifesting as cataracts. In fact, statistics show that one in five adults aged 65 or older have cataracts (according to HealthyAging). Sometimes, a person with cataracts can make do by adjusting the prescription on their glasses and protecting their eyes from harsh sunlight. Other times, surgery is needed.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Symptoms may include:
- Double vision.
- Difficulty seeing at night.
- Cloudy or blurry vision.
- Colors are blurry or faded.
- Sunlight and other lights seem overly bright.
- A visible halo around lights.
- Your prescription on glasses or contacts keeps changing.
- You need a brighter light to read.
What causes cataracts?
According to Cleveland Clinic, there are many risk factors for cataracts, and those fall into three main categories: genetic, environmental, and medical.
Genetic Risk Factors
While cataracts are a common age-related condition, genetics may play a role in their development. Specifically, if a loved one has cataracts, you may be more likely to develop them (according to MedicalNewsToday).
Environmental Risk Factors
What is an environmental risk factor? Simply put, they’re things in our environment that put us at risk for developing certain conditions. Some of the most common environmental risk factors for cataracts include:
- Excessive exposure to sunlight
- Radiation treatments, specifically around the upper body
- Eye injuries
- Toxic industrial chemicals
Medical Risk Factors
Certain conditions, such as diabetes or glaucoma, may put you at a greater risk. Even medications, like corticosteroids, can raise the risk, as well. Additionally, high blood sugar may also put you into a higher risk category, so it’s important to take care of yourself!
What about cataract surgery?
So, does Medicare cover cataract surgery in 2023? I’ve got good news for you: Yes! Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, covered under Medicare Part B. However, that doesn’t mean it’s free! Please note that you may pay up to 20% of the cost yourself. However, I have more good news: if you buy a Medigap policy, you’ll have full or partial coverage for the 20 percent Part B coinsurance (according to AARP).
Read Next: The Golden Rule of Medicare Part B You NEED to Know
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