Most people will qualify for free cataract surgery on the NHS. Your local Integrated Care Board (ICB) sets out the criteria you need to meet to qualify for free NHS cataract surgery. This can vary between regions, so it’s best to consult your optician to find out whether you meet the criteria – this will depend on the results of your eye test and how your eyesight is affecting your day-to-day life.
Alternatively, you can choose to pay for cataract surgery as a private patient. The cost of surgery will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
Where you live – for example, prices are generally higher in London than they are in the north.
The clinic you choose to have your treatment at – some clinics charge more than others, so it’s worth doing your research to see which clinics have the best reputation while still offering good value for money.
The type of lens you choose – as a private patient, you’ll have access to more lens choices than you would as an NHS patient.
Standard lens implants have a single focal point, optimising vision for either short or long distance (but not both). This type of lens provides you with excellent vision, but you’re still likely to need to wear glasses for either long or short distance vision.
Multifocal lenses have multiple focus points, so you’ll be able to see well close-up and at a distance, reducing the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Extended Depth of Focus (EDOF) lenses are a recent development in optical technology, allowing the wearer’s eyes to focus, as needed, for clear vision both at distance and intermediately.
The type of surgery offered – cataract surgery can be carried out using different techniques. Refractive Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (ReLACS) surgery is usually more expensive than standard cataract surgery because of the equipment involved.
Taking all of these factors into account, you can typically expect to pay between £2,000 – £4,000 per eye.
To find out more about private cataract surgery, visit Freedom Vision – Private Eye Surgery (freedom-vision.co.uk)
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