You may not think of cataract surgery as a vision correction surgery, but with modern cataract surgery many patients can achieve freedom from glasses. A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye right behind the pupil. Surgery is done to remove the cloudiness and replace the natural lens with an artificial man‐made lens (made of silicone or acrylic‐a type of plastic). The vision does not have to be severely impaired to qualify for cataract removal. If daily activities are being affected by the cataract, the procedure is usually covered by medical insurance.

Measurements of the eye are done about a week before surgery, as well as discussing what vision is most important to the patient‐ near, far, or intermediate. The surgeon can then choose what intraocular lens implant will best achieve the desired outcome. Sometimes patients choose to have one eye set for distance and one set for near (known as monovision) to be more independent of glasses. Others choose to have good near or far vision in both eyes for better binocularity and wear glasses for driving or reading only. Patients can also choose to have specialized lenses implanted after cataract removal that may give them more freedom from glasses (known as toric, multifocal, or accommodating lenses), but these lenses are not covered by Medicare or medical insurance. They cost from $ 800‐2000 per eye.