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cataract surgery

What’s Your Optometrist Role in Cataract Surgery?

If you’re over the age of 60, there’s a good chance you’ll develop cataracts sometime in the next 20 or so years. While the only effective long-term treatment for cataracts is surgery, it can take years or even decades for a cataract to reach the point where it needs to be surgically removed.

In the meantime, your optometrist can monitor its progression, manage your symptoms and ensure you have the best vision possible. Once your cataract makes it difficult for you to function day-to-day, your eye doctor will refer you to an ophthalmologist who will perform eye surgery to replace your eye’s natural lens with a clear artificial lens.

Following your surgery, your optometrist will co-manage your post-op recovery in coordination with your eye surgeon.

Your Optometrist Will Discuss Cataract Treatment Options

A cataract, a clouding of the eye’s natural lens caused by the breakdown of proteins in the lens, leads to progressively blurry vision. So if you’ve been diagnosed with a cataract but aren’t yet ready for surgery, you’ll be having regular contact with your optometrist, who will explain the condition, discuss your treatment options and help manage your symptoms.

Once you’re diagnosed with cataracts, you may want to slow the progression of the condition. Working with an optometrist who knows your personal and family health history as well as your various options for cataract management and surgery is a massive advantage, as your optometrist can give you advice on dietary and lifestyle changes.

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams

Regular eye exams are important for everyone, and particularly if you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts. Because the cloudy areas on your eye lenses will worsen with time, your optometrist will carefully monitor your vision and upgrade your glasses or contact lens prescription as needed. Your optometrist will perform a visual acuity test and other tests to gauge increased sensitivity to light and glare, as well as deterioration in your contrast and color vision.

When’s It Time for Cataract Surgery?

At some point, your optometrist may determine that your cataracts are severe enough to require surgery. That’s typically when options to correct your vision — updated prescriptions and speciality filters that block glare and increase contrast vision — are no longer sufficient to give you the vision you need.

Your optometrist can recommend an ophthalmologist and provide information about what to expect during cataract surgery. You’ll see your eye surgeon for post-surgery check-ups, and your optometrist for long-term eye care.

If your vision is blurred or if you notice a cloudy patch forming on your eye, you may have developed cataracts. For optimal vision care and cataract management, make sure to schedule an appointment with our team of eye doctors at Wesson and Mothershed Eye Center in Tupelo today.

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Q&A With Our Eye Doctor in Tupelo, Mississippi

What’s the best treatment for cataracts?

Although many people use glasses to manage cataract symptoms and improve their deteriorating vision, the only way to really treat cataracts is via surgery. You may want to delay the procedure, but once your quality of life is affected to the degree that it’s difficult to drive or perform everyday tasks, it’s time to have cataract surgery.

Will cataracts return after surgery?

Generally, no. Because the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one during cataract surgery, a cataract can’t return to that eye. That said, there’s a possibility that a few years after the surgery, you may need a quick laser procedure if the proteins on the lens capsule — the layer that holds the artificial lens in place — becomes cloudy. 

Cataract Surgery

Over 50% of people aged 65 and older have a cataract in one or both eyes. As the cataract progresses, vision deteriorates, leading to a decreased quality of life.

Fortunately, cataract surgery can easily treat this condition. This common surgery has a high success rate, with over 95% of all cataract surgeries free of even mild complications.

Learn more about Surgical Services

Call Us 662-269-0996

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Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss in people aged 65 or older. This condition develops as the eye ages, meaning that by the time we reach 80, more than half of us will have developed a cataract or will have undergone cataract surgery.

Without cataract surgery, millions of people around the world would be unable to see clearly.

What Are Cataracts?


A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye which is normally transparent. The lens, located inside the eye, behind the iris and the pupil, focuses light onto the retina at the back of your eye, where it is converted to nerve signals that are passed to the brain, thus enabling you to see.

When your lens becomes cloudy, the images projected onto your retina become blurry and unfocused and therefore the signal to the brain is also unclear.

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What Causes Cataracts?


Cataracts are part of the natural aging process of the eye. While the majority of cases develop in old age, there are instances of congenital cataracts, present at birth. Further, secondary or traumatic cataracts can occur at any age as a result of eye injury, surgery, or disease.

Certain medical, genetic, and behavioral risk factors can also accelerate its development, such as diabetes, a family history of cataracts, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?


Symptoms of a cataract may develop slowly at first, or may not even be noticeable.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Sensitivity to glare
  • Colored halos around lights
  • Colors appearing more faded
  • Requiring brighter light for reading

Learn more about Surgical Services

Call Us 662-269-0996

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When To Consider Cataract Surgery?


Cataracts don’t suddenly develop overnight. They generally start off small and only begin to noticeably affect your vision as they grow. You should consider getting cataract surgery once the condition begins to seriously impair your vision and adversely affects your daily life, impacting your ability to:

  • Read
  • Drive
  • Play golf or tennis
  • Watch TV
  • Recognize faces

Surgery should also be considered if it’s preventing the treatment of another eye problem, such as glaucoma. The good news is that cataract surgery successfully restores vision in the vast majority of cases.

Cataract Surgery


Cataract surgery, a relatively quick and painless procedure, is one of the most common surgeries performed in North America.

This surgery involves removing the clouded natural lens and replacing it with a clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL) that becomes a permanent part of the eye.

IOLs are usually made of plastic and most of them are monofocal lenses or single power lenses to correct for distance vision. As technology advances, specialized IOLs continue to be developed. From multifocal IOLs to IOLs that block UV and blue light radiation, patients have greater options available to them now than ever before.

If you or a loved one has cataracts and would like more information on cataract surgery, please contact our team of eye care professionals today.

Learn more about Surgical Services

Call Us 662-269-0996

Wesson and Mothershed Eye Center serves patients from:

Tupelo | New Albany | Saltillo | Fulton | and throughout Mississippi

Lifestyle Lenses – Premium IOLs & Cataract Surgery

As much as eyeglasses and contact lenses have advanced in their versatility, cataract surgeons have promoted premium intraocular lenses to enhance the daily lifestyle choices of our cataract patients. During cataract surgery, your natural lens which is clouded by cataracts is replaced with a new, artificial lens. While patients may opt for the standard procedure, cataract surgeons highly recommend the usage of a premium IOL or artificial lens.

Not only do premium artificial lenses adapt to your eyes functionality, making them virtually unnoticeable overtime, but they can provide a number of benefits that make their added costs reasonable and an investment that immediately improves your overall quality of life. This is why - across the various practices that offer cataract surgery - premium lenses are classified as lifestyle lenses.

Advanced artificial lenses or premium IOLs address multiple zones of vision: near, far, and intermediate distances.

ReSTOR and Tecnis Multifocal Intraocular lenses (IOLs)

Presbyopic patients juggle between reading glasses and progressives whether they sit down to read, traveling by car, or going to an event. While some don't mind the switch up in eyewear or the inconveniences that can occur trying to focus on various distances, multifocal IOLs are an ideal solution to correct any nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Patients not only achieve clear vision from a multifocal IOL like ReSTOR or Tecnis multifocal lenses but eyeglasses and even reading glasses may no longer be needed. Multifocal IOLs can adapt to any lighting conditions and can improve the way you work on the computer or watch television to driving and enjoying the outdoors with clarity.

Accommodating Lenses for Distance and Intermediate Vision

Crystalen is a premium IOL manufacturer that offers accommodating lenses. Similar to a multifocal lens that corrects near, far, and mid-range vision, an accommodating lens will adapt to the eyes natural focus. The eye's muscles will relax or contract depending on what you're focusing on, and an accommodating lens will mimic these micro-movements. These lenses are an advanced premium IOL that outperform the standard multifocal contact lens or progressive glasses as they work harmoniously with your eye. Some patients with an accommodating IOL enjoy better night vision as well, which appeals to late night drivers.

Astigmatism and Toric Intraocular Lenses

Standard eyeglasses or contact lenses correct a refractive error by directing light to the retina. However, when the outermost layer of the eye or the cornea has an irregular curvature or shape, the light is bent or misdirected and can't reach the retina even through standard eyewear. Although patients with astigmatism can rely on specialty contact lenses to correct their vision, a toric IOL is another premium IOL that provides an immediate remedy for astigmatism.

Utilizing a toric intraocular lens in cataract surgery provides greater clarity to astigmatic patients as well as avoids the need of specialty contact lenses. Reading glasses might be needed for close-up tasks.