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What Role Does Your Optometrist Play In Cataract Management?

What Role Does Your Optometrist Play In Cataract Management?

If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, you will need to see your optometrist regularly for cataract management and potentially for prescription updates. Cataracts are a clouding of the crystalline lens that can impact vision by making it appear as though you are looking through fog or a frosted window. Cataracts often develop gradually and do not require surgery until the later stages when vision impairment begins to limit you from participating in daily activities such as reading or driving. When you develop cataracts, your optometrist will discuss your options with you and will continue to monitor your cataracts, potentially referring you for cataract surgery.

The Role Of An Optometrist In Cataract Management

  • Discussion. When you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, it is important that your optometrist knows everything about your past eye health and any hereditary eye conditions in your family. Your optometrist will attempt to gather information about your eye health history and may ask you about any eye surgeries, previous diagnoses, or any radiation therapy to your head or neck. They will ask about any symptoms you’ve been experiencing as well as how long you’ve had those symptoms and if they are consistent or occasional. This, along with an eye exam, will help determine the severity of the cataracts and how you should proceed with cataract management.
  • Eye Exams. While eye exams are always important for your ocular health, they are especially important after you’ve received a diagnosis of cataracts. Since vision will progressively decline with cataracts, regular eye exams help to determine the rate of change within the affected lens as well as any changes in your prescription. The optometrist will perform a visual acuity test to determine your prescription, and they will also administer a tonometry test to check the pressure within your eye and a slit-lamp exam to see inside the eye for closer inspection. These exams are performed to check the overall health of your eye and ensure that other eye diseases, such as glaucoma, are not present.
  • Your Optometrist Will Refer You To An Ophthalmologist. Once your optometrist has determined the severity of your cataracts and what steps should be taken to mitigate or reduce symptoms, you may be referred to an ophthalmologist for cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is not always required and it will be recommended if your cataracts are severe enough to limit your daily life or if they are interfering with the optometrist’s ability to monitor other eye conditions. If your cataracts are mild, waiting for surgery will not harm your eye and if it is impacting your vision you may require a new prescription instead of surgery.

For Cataract Care In Calgary, Contact Market Mall Optometry

Before a person can have cataract surgery, they should first speak with a trained optometrist to confirm the presence and severity of their cataracts and to get a referral if necessary. Scheduling an eye exam with an optometrist will allow for a better understanding of your eye condition and will facilitate a discussion about cataract management. If you are concerned about cataracts, contact Market Mall Optometry in Calgary at 1-403-286-4884 or fill out the online contact form. The trained Calgary optometrists at Market Mall Optometry can easily diagnose and treat your cataracts, including pre and post-surgery cataract management and care.


Q: What is the most common type of cataract?
A: The most common type of cataracts are brought on by aging and are called nuclear cataracts. This is a fairly slow progressing form of cataracts that often causes a discolouration of the lens that leads to clouding. The area of the lens where cataracts develop will determine the severity and type of cataracts and will create different visual impairments.

Q: What are the risks of cataract surgery?
A: Although there are a few risks associated with cataract surgery, such as inflammation, swelling, bleeding, drooping eyelid, or a dislocation of the artificial lens post-surgery, most complications are mild. Cataract surgery is very common and often produces only desirable outcomes, but your optometrist will go over every possible scenario when you are discussing your cataract management with them.

Q: How can I prevent cataracts?
A: The key to cataract prevention is a healthy lifestyle; don’t smoke, eat well, manage other health issues, and visit Market Mall Optometry for regular eye exams to monitor your ocular health.

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