- Cataract Surgery
- After Cataract Surgery
When Is The Right Time To Have Surgery?
Annual visits to your eye care professional are important to detect cataracts and monitor vision changes caused by them.
Most routine comprehensive eye exams in the U.S. are performed by optometrists. An optometrist is a licensed doctor of optometry (OD) who is trained to evaluate the health of your eyes and correct your vision with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Optometrists also can treat certain eye conditions medically.
But optometrists are not trained or licensed to perform cataract surgery. Only an ophthalmologist a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in eye care can perform cataract surgery.
So if your optometrist (or a general ophthalmologist who does not perform cataract surgery) determines during a comprehensive eye exam that you have cataracts, he or she will refer you to an ophthalmologist who specializes in cataract surgery when the cataract starts to cause significant vision impairment that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Whether you see an optometrist or a general ophthalmologist for your routine eye exams, be sure to mention if you are noticing problems with your vision in real-life activities like driving at night, reading road signs, watching television and recognizing people across the room.
The severity of vision problems caused by cataracts is sometimes difficult to predict in an eye exam, where you are only asked to look at an eye chart and identify black letters on a white background. Your visual acuity may seem pretty good during the exam, but in the real world, things are not as clear as you need them to be.
During your eye exam, be sure to discuss any vision problems you are having. This will help your optometrist or general ophthalmologist have a better understanding about when it may be time to refer you to a cataract surgeon to improve your eyesight.