Cataracts - what to ask your doctorWhat to ask your doctor about cataracts; Lens implants - what to ask your doctor
You are having a procedure to remove a cataract. A cataract occurs when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and starts to block vision. Removing the cataract can help improve your vision.
Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your eye after surgery.
What is a cataract?
How will cataract surgery help my vision?
- If I have cataracts in both eyes, can I have surgery on both eyes at the same time?
- How long after surgery before I notice my vision is better?
- Will I still need glasses after surgery? For distance? For reading?
How do I get ready for surgery?
- When do I need to stop eating and drinking before surgery?
- Should I have a checkup with my regular provider before surgery?
- Do I need to stop taking or change any of my medicines?
- What else do I need to bring with me on the day of surgery?
What happens during cataract surgery?
- How long will the surgery take?
- What type of anesthesia will I have? Will I feel any pain during the surgery?
- How do the doctors make sure I won't move during cataract surgery?
- Is the cataract removed with a laser?
- Will I need a lens implant?
- Are there different types of lens implants?
- What are the risks of cataract surgery?
What happens after cataract surgery?
- Will I have to spend the night in the hospital? How long will I need to spend at the surgical center?
- Will I have to wear an eye patch?
- Will I need to take eye drops?
- Can I shower or bathe at home?
- What activities can I do while I recover? When will I be able to drive? When can I be sexually active?
- Do I need to see the doctor for a follow-up visit? If so, when?
Boyd K, Mckinney JK, Turbert D. What are Cataracts? American Academy of Ophthalmology. www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts. Updated December 11, 2020. Accessed February 5, 2021.
Crouch ER, Crouch ER, Grant TR. Ophthalmology. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 17.
Howes FW. Patient workup for cataract surgery. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 5.4.
Wevill M. Epidemioloy, pathophysiology, causes, morphology, and visual effects of cataract. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 5.3.
Cataract - illustration
The lens of an eye is normally clear. If the lens becomes cloudy (opacified) it is called a cataract.
Review Date: 12/14/2020
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.