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.
- Fill out and bring along this lifestyle quiz, so you and your doctor can get a better understanding of your vision goals. Try our Vision & Lifestyle Questionnaire
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?
- 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 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 restored?
About cataract lens options
- What are the different kinds of lenses available?
- Which one will best suit my vision and lifestyle needs? [Make sure to share those needs with your doctor, whether you print out the results summary from the Patient Lifestyle Quiz or just write a list of the activities and hobbies that matter to you]
- 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?
- Is there a payment plan or financing to cover any additional costs?