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If your vision has been changing, it’s probably a good time to schedule an appointment with your doctor to get your eyes checked for cataracts and discuss your options. Because appointments can be brief, and there’s a lot to talk about, you can make the most of your time by coming as prepared as possible. 

How can I prepare for my cataract appointment?

  • Make a list of all the symptoms you’re experiencing, even any that seem unrelated.
  • Make a list of all the medications you’re currently taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, including vitamins and supplements.
  • Plan to bring a family member or friend along, as there’s a lot to digest.

Although cataract surgery is very common, it’s still important to fully understand the procedure before working with your doctor to make a decision. Coming prepared with a list of questions you’d like your doctor to answer can help set you up for a successful and informative visit, and an overall satisfying procedure, with an outcome that is tailored to your lifestyle and needs.

What questions should I ask my cataract doctor?

General questions

  • Are cataracts causing my vision problems?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • If I don’t want surgery right now, what else can I do to cope with my vision changes?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

About the cataract surgery procedure

  • What is the surgical procedure like?
  • Will I be getting manual or laser-assisted surgery?
  • What are the benefits of laser-assisted surgery?
  • How long will it take?
  • What are the risks?
  • Will I need to take any new  medications after my surgery?
  • How long will I need to take off from work?
  • Can I drive after my surgery?
  • Can I go out in the sun?
  • Can I swim or take a shower?
  • What are that things I cannot do?
  • What should I do to ensure a smooth recovery?
  • How long after surgery will it take for my vision to be better?

About intraocular lens (IOL) options

  • What are the different kinds of lenses available?
  • Which one will best suit my vision and lifestyle needs?
  • I like the idea of wearing glasses less. Am I a candidate for a lens that improves my near vision along with addressing my cataract?
  • Is there a lens that allows me to function in dimly lit situations?
  • Do I have astigmatism? Am I a candidate for a toric lens?
  • Will the surgery be different if we choose to go with a lens that addresses my astigmatism or presbyopia (or both)?
  • Will my recovery be different if we choose to go with a lens that addresses my astigmatism or presbyopia (or both)?

About payment options

  • What will cataract surgery cost?
  • Will my insurance cover some or all of the costs?
  • If I use Medicare, will it cover the cost of cataract surgery? Does Medicare cover the cost of new glasses after surgery?