Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Cataracts: Care Instructions

Main Content

Cataracts: Care Instructions

Picture of a cataract in the eye


A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens focuses light on the retina at the back of the eye. Cataracts block some of the light and make it harder for you to see clearly. Cataracts often develop when you get older.

Most cataracts grow slowly. At first, you may just need stronger glasses to help you see better. Later, if the cataracts grow and begin to seriously impair your vision, you can have surgery to remove them.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Move room lights and use window shades to avoid glare.
  • Use more lighting or higher-watt bulbs.
  • Use a magnifying glass for reading. Look for large-print books and other reading material to make reading more enjoyable.
  • Have your eyes checked regularly, and update your glasses when needed.
  • Wear sunglasses to block out harmful sunlight. Buy sunglasses that screen out ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) rays.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking can make cataracts worse. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your vision is getting worse.
  • You have increasing trouble doing everyday tasks, like driving or reading the newspaper, because of your eyesight.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter P916 in the search box to learn more about "Cataracts: Care Instructions".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.