Optometrists play a pivotal role in the journey of the cataract patient

This month, Optometric Management focuses on cataract surgery in our “Practicing Medical Optometry” section (PMO). In the month when we observe Thanksgiving, cataract surgery is certainly a reason for which to give thanks. The procedure successfully restores vision in the majority of people who undergo the procedure, and it is one of the safest surgical procedures performed today. In addition, advances, such as new IOLs, can help better match a patient’s visual needs with the patient’s vision post-surgery.


Optometrists play a pivotal role in the journey of the cataract patient. As Emilio Balius, O.D., and Alberto Aran, M.D., write in their PMO introduction (p.16), patients expect their O.D.s to educate them on what to expect from the surgery. Addressing a patient’s specific questions and desires is one of the keys to having a happy patient.

In “Identify Issues Pre-Surgery,” (p.18), David Eldred, O.D., writes that excellent outcomes rely, in part, on an evaluation of the patient’s ocular findings, which “could have a negative impact on their post-operative vision.” Dr. Eldred shares a list of the diagnostic technology that should be employed in evaluating a candidate for cataract surgery.

While a post-operative drop regimen reduces the risks of inflammation and infection, there are barriers to patient compliance with drops, notes Michael R. McFarland, O.D., M.S. In the article, “Simplify Drop Use,” p.23., Dr. McFarland describes three steps his collaborative care practice uses to “improve the post-operative course of therapy.”

Stuart I. Kaplan, O.D., explains how to take an active role in managing dry eye disease (DED) in the pre-surgical patient (see “Make the Ocular Surface Healthy,” p.26). Why focus on DED? As Dr. Kaplan writes, untreated DED “can lead to poor and inconsistent refractions, thus leading to errors in IOL calculations, as well as delayed post-op recovery time.”


On behalf of the team at OM, let me take a me take a moment to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and thank you for your generous support throughout the year. We appreciate your feedback, and we look forward to continuing to serve you, whether in-print, at live events or online at . OM