Healthy Living

What Specialists Perform Cataract Surgery?

What Specialists Perform Cataract Surgery?

Key Takeaways

  • An ophthalmologist will help you understand the conditions of your eye and treatment procedures.
  • If you need contact lenses, your ophthalmologist will send you to an optician with a written prescription on the type to be given.
  • A nurse skillful in eye surgery and eye care will be tagging along with the surgeon during the surgery.

The Team at the Ophthalmologist

You will notice a number of professionals attending before, during and after your cataract surgery. These professionals generally perform different ophthalmic treatments, assessments and surgeries. Ophthalmic nurses attend and take care of you during the whole surgical process. Some of them attend to you before or after the surgical process. In one way or the other, these professionals are important to your cataract surgery and work as a team. The following is a list of professionals who make up a cataract surgery operation team. You will also be able to understand their general abilities, qualifications and their importance or relevance in a cataract surgery.

  • The Optometrist 

This is the person who will be testing and determining the type of lenses to be used in your surgery. Some of them always work independently while others are attached to hospitals. In the early years, the optometrists were known as ophthalmic opticians.

An optometrist can detect several complications and body health conditions in general when examining the eyes of a patient. Here is a list of health conditions the optometrist is likely to detect by carrying out a thorough examination of your eye.

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Diabetes
  3. Cataracts
  4. Other eye problems, infections and conditions

 

In the case of a cataract surgery or an intraocular implant, the optometrist can perform the following duties.

  • Assess your health and the condition of your eye.
  • Measure the size of your eye.
  • Measure the size and effect of the cataract.
  • Study the sharpness of your vision before and after the surgery.
  • Decide on the lenses you should be given to replace the natural lenses in your eye.
  • Offer you advice and prescriptions for any other eye complications apart from cataracts.

 In order to qualify as an optometrist, one is supposed to:

  1. Study at a professional level for a minimum of 4 years.
  2. Study 4 years further for an optometry degree.
  3. Participate in practicals and be assessed in a registered clinic.
  4. Be registered and undergo further training in the special optometric field.

 

  • The Ophthalmologist 

This is the person you will encounter first when referred to hospitals. Ophthalmologists are attached to hospitals and they will help you understand your eye conditions and treatment procedures. In general, they:

  1. Diagnose the condition of your eye.
  2. Give you a plan on how to manage the condition.
  3. Make you aware about all the available alternatives to the treatment.
  4. Prescribe medication for your eye disorder or complications.
  5. Perform microsurgery.
  6. Prescribe contact lenses.
  7. Carry out further studies and research associated to the conditions of the eyes.

In the case of a cataract surgery, the ophthalmologist will assist you in the following areas:

  • Diagnose your cataract.
  • Prescribe the most suitable types of medication you should be given.
  • Take you through the whole procedure and offer important advice on risks, management and alternatives of the surgery.
  • Perform eye microsurgeries on your cataract eye.
  • Decide which lenses you should be given.

Ophthalmology qualification requires the following:

  1. A minimum of 5 years training in the University.
  2. A minimum of 2 years medical practicals.
  3. Be registered and undergo further training.

 

  • The Orthoptist 

This professional will help to ensure that your eyes coordinate and collaborate. They will also check if your eye movement is normal and in any case of a double vision, will try to correct it.

When an orthoptist examines you, they will generally:

  1. Examine your vision and the need for glasses.
  2. Perform a glaucoma test.
  3. Measure the sharpness of the eye in detection of colors.
  4. Direct laser-aided surgeries.
  5. Measure the tenacity of the patient’s current contact lenses and consider replacing them if required.
  6. Examine the conditions of the cornea.
  7. Measure the size of the eye.
  8. Perform eye photography.
  9. Advise patients on eye surgeries.

 

In the case of cataract surgeries, the orthoptists will be very helpful in the following areas:

  • Measuring the size of the eye.
  • Measuring the pressure of the eye.
  • Recording the shape and size of the cornea.
  • Assisting in laser-aided surgeries.
  • Advising patients before and after their surgeries.
  • Measuring the sharpness of the eye before and after the surgeries.
  • Examining the condition of the retina.

Orthoptic qualification requires the following:

  1. At least a 3 year bachelor’s degree program
  2. 2 years medical practicals in the field of orthoptic studies
  3. Registration and certification 

 

  • The Optician

If you need contact lenses, your ophthalmologist will send you to an optician with a written prescription on the type to be given. The optician cannot and is not allowed to perform any examination on you.

In general, the opticians:

  1. Design contact lenses for patients.
  2. Fit artificial lenses to patients.
  3. Dispenses lenses to various ophthalmic clients.
  4. Manufacture lenses and sight protection appliances.
  5. Carry out further research on lens improvement.
  6. Educate customers on how to maintain their contact lenses.
  7. Keep customers eye-wear record.

 

In case of a cataract surgery, the optician will be helpful in:

  • Giving you a fitting intraocular lens.
  • Providing you with a prescribed contact lens after the surgery.

The following are the minimum requirements for one to be a qualified optician:

  1. High school diploma in optical studies or an equivalent of that
  2. Registration (varies with different states)
  3. Practicals supervised by qualified and experienced opticians

 

  • The Ophthalmic Nurse 

A nurse skillful in eye surgery and eye care will be tagging along with the surgeon during the surgery.

The general jobs of the ophthalmic nurses are as follows:

  1. Care for patients with conditions of the eye.
  2. They help the eye surgeons during surgical operations of the eye.
  3. They handle instruments of a surgery and eye treatment.
  4. They advise patients on practical surgery process and expectations.
  5. Asses patients’ conditions before a surgery.
  6. They put them in the right and safe posture and position for surgeries.
  7. Examining patients' vision by performing color tests.

In case of a cataract surgery, the ophthalmic nurse will:

  • Care for patients with cataracts.
  • During surgical operations of the eye, they help the eye surgeons.
  • They handle instruments of a surgery and eye treatment.
  • They advise patients on practical surgery process and expectations.
  • Asses patients’ conditions before a surgery.
  • They put them in the right and safe posture and position for surgeries.
  • Help and care for patients who develop complications after the cataract surgery.

The following are the minimum requirements to qualify as an ophthalmic nurse:

  1. First acquire a diploma or 4 year degree program
  2. Attend practicals in nursing
  3. Acquire a license from the National Council Examination Licensure for Registered Nurses

It is recommended to consult the above mentioned medical practitioners or your doctor if you suspect having cataracts.