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Cataract surgeries have increased

Mayo Clinic Rochester researchers say cataract surgeries are increasing due to aging baby boomers.

They're seeking surgeries "at younger ages and having both eyes repaired within a few months, rather than only treating one eye."

Demand shows "no sign of leveling off," meaning cost management and access to treatment is needed, says study description. Findings are inthe Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery .

People in their 70s and 80s are seeking surgeries "so that they can remain independent, remain active, continue to work," said senior author Dr. Jay Erie, a Mayo ophthalmologist.

Cataracts can worsen blur and glare from lights, making it hard "to drive safely, perform household tasks and maintain a normal level of independence," according to Mayo.

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Surgeons can remove the eye lens and replace it with an artificial lens, usually without hospitalization.

Cataract surgery on a Medicare patient costs roughly $3,000 per eye, the clinic noted.

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