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Health Information Center

Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Cataracts

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Cataracts

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with cataracts. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will make it simpler for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to provide more details to the doctor.
  • Write down your questions so do you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for help if you need it.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Cataracts

  • How do I know if I have a cataract?

About Your Risk of Getting Cataracts

  • Is there anything that puts me at higher risk? Can I lower this risk?
  • How often should I have my eyes checked for cataracts?
  • If I get a cataract in one eye, does that mean I will get a cataract in the other eye?

About Treatment Choices

  • If I get cataracts, should I have surgery right away?
  • Are there any steps I can take to manage symptoms?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • What steps can I take to delay cataracts or slow their growth?
  • What steps should I take after cataract surgery?

About Surgery and Outlook

  • Will eye surgery make my eyesight the way it was before cataracts?
  • Is my surgery an emergency?
  • What is the success rate for surgery?
  • How many times have you done this surgery?
  • How soon after surgery will I be able to see well enough to go back to work? Drive a car? Go back to full activity?
  • Should I have surgery now or can I wait?
  • What type of intraocular lens is best for me?


  • Cataract. American Optometric Association website. Available at: https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/eye-and-vision-conditions/cataract?sso=y. Accessed May 2, 2022.
  • Cataracts. National Eye Institute website. Available at: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/cataracts. Accessed May 2, 2022.
  • Cataracts in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/cataracts-in-adults. Accessed May 2, 2022.
  • Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  • What are cataracts? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts. Accessed May 2, 2022.


  • James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.