Beauty & Wellness

Seniors Cataract Surgery - Did you do the basic testing or advanced testing?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 6th, 2017 7:34 pm
Jr. Member
Sep 19, 2010
104 posts
1 upvote

Seniors Cataract Surgery - Did you do the basic testing or advanced testing?


I have an option of doing the basic testing (OHIP) covered or the advanced testing for my mom's cataract surgery.

Also, the basic lenses are covered by OHIP and other upgrades are not covered by OHIP (Starting at $150 per eye)

Did any of you'll go through this with your parents?

What option did you pick (testing and the type of lens) and how was the result?

Will the basic the testing and lens provide good results for a 72 yr old person?

I don't mind on spending the money just want to make sure it's worth it.

1 reply
Deal Addict
Oct 6, 2015
1300 posts
The main/key difference is that OHIP covers a basic spherical lens implant. The 'add-ons' lens-wise are usually for lenses that have zones of different optical power. Nearly all cataract patients suffer what is known as "presbyopia", which is a medical term referring to an inability to 'accomodate'. In a nutshell, the need for reading glasses.

Multifocal lenses are great for those who read a lot, but want freedom from glasses. But there is a tradeoff in terms of the quality of night vision.

Another option is known as 'monovision', where one eye is deliberately under-corrected (the non-dominant eye typically), while one is corrected for full distance vision. The theory being, the brain will process information from the 'better' eye depending upon the situation. This works well for many people, but not for all.

My suggestion would be to have the patient (ie: your mom) make the decision because a lot of it is going to be lifestyle-driven. If your mom currently wears glasses, she needs to be properly counselled, by an eyecare professional, on the fact that both the cataract is treated, as well as some elements of refractive error (ie: her eyeglass prescription) in the procedure. In some cases, trial contact lenses can be provided by an optometrist to evaluate the suitability of treatment approaches such as monovision or multifocal lenses. Some procedures also involve some elements of correction for astigmatism.

My (limited) understanding of cataract surgery in Ontario is that one can pay extra to have the procedure performed privately, in order to skip a long line-up if going on an OHIP waiting list. In addition to the up-spec'ed lens implants. There are also variations on the procedure, some involving incision and lens ablation with a femtosecond laser, which involve an up-charge.