If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, you might anxiously wait for surgery to restore your vision. But what if there was a way to reduce that wait time and enjoy clear vision sooner? In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 tips to reduce waiting time for cataract surgery, from choosing the right surgeon to utilizing telemedicine consultations. Get ready to take control of your eye health and seize the day with better vision!

Key Takeaways

  • Various factors, including demographics and regional disparities, can influence wait times for cataract surgery.
  • Choosing the right surgeon is essential to minimize wait times and ensure successful outcomes.
  • Exploring private sector options, staying proactive with follow-up appointments, and considering alternative treatment options such as adjusting prescription glasses or utilizing low vision aids may help reduce waiting time for cataract surgery.

Understanding Cataract Surgery Wait Times

Cataract surgery wait times can be influenced by various factors, such as regional disparities, the availability of surgeons and resources, and the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare services. A clear grasp of these factors reduces wait times and promotes a smoother cataract surgery recovery.

We will investigate these factors and their effect on cataract surgery wait times.

Factors Influencing Wait Times

When determining wait times for cataract surgery, several factors come into play, such as:

  • The perceived threat to independent living or employment
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Education level
  • Marital status

Additionally, regional disparities, population density, availability of cataract surgeons, and patient demand can significantly affect wait times.

Awareness of these factors enhances our ability to navigate the process and make educated decisions regarding our eye care.

Regional Differences in Wait Times

Wait times for cataract surgery can vary depending on the region and available healthcare resources. Factors such as the number of surgeons in the area and the volume of patients seeking cataract surgery can impact wait times.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has further affected wait times as hospitals have had to reduce capacity due to safety concerns. Discussing your options and wait times with your eye doctor is vital for optimal decision-making regarding your eye health.

If you are willing to travel where the resource is available, then that can significantly reduce your wait time.

COVID-19 Impact on Wait Times

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected cataract surgery wait times, with a notable increase in the average wait times for elective procedures. Prolonged wait times can adversely affect patients’ quality of life, leading to more falls and depression cases.

Minimizing wait times in these challenging times may involve considering private sector options, maintaining proactive follow-up appointments, and exploring alternative treatment options.

Choosing the Right Surgeon

Minimizing wait times and ensuring the best possible outcome hinges on selecting the right cataract surgeon for your cataract surgery. A qualified surgeon can provide personalized care, successful outcomes, and proper post-operative care, which is essential for a smooth recovery.

We will now detail some useful resources and strategies that aid in choosing the right surgeon.

Specialist Directory in Saskatchewan

The Specialist Directory in Saskatchewan is a comprehensive resource that provides information on cataract surgeons, their qualifications, experience, and wait times. Utilizing this directory lets you identify a qualified surgeon optimally suited to perform your cataract operation and deliver top-tier care.

Keeping abreast of your options is instrumental in reducing wait times and receiving the best care for your eyes.

Comparing Surgeons’ Wait Times

The Specialist Directory allows access to current information on different surgeons’ waiting times for surgery.

The Specialist Directory in Saskatchewan can also help you compare wait times for different surgeons. This information allows you to make an informed decision and choose a surgeon with the shortest wait time.

Remember that factors such as availability of surgeons, patient demand, and regional differences can affect wait times. Staying informed and comparing options can expedite your care by reducing wait times.

Importance of Referrals

When selecting a surgeon, referrals are vital as they guide you toward a competent, experienced professional that fits your needs. Referrals from family, friends, or other healthcare professionals can provide valuable information about the quality of care a particular surgeon offers.

Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations and do thorough research to ensure you make the best choice for your eye health.

Preparing for Your Cataract Surgery Consultation

A productive consultation is pivotal in promoting the best cataract surgery recovery. To make the most of your consultation, gathering your medical records, being aware of your medications, and preparing a list of symptoms and questions for your surgeon is essential.

We will now delve into these steps in greater detail to aid in your consultation preparation.

Gathering Medical Records

Obtaining pertinent medical records like your eye health history is necessary for your cataract surgery consultation. These records provide your surgeon with necessary information about your health and medical history, allowing them to make informed decisions about your treatment.

Be sure to request your records from your doctor’s office, hospital, or other healthcare provider before your appointment.

In Saskatchewan, you can access your online health record through the MySaskHealthRecord website. This online service allows you to view your personal health information, such as lab results, medical imaging reports, and clinical visit history, from anywhere at any time. Register with a Saskatchewan Health Card and a valid email address. Once registered, you can log in to the MySaskHealthRecord website using your eHealth Saskatchewan username and password. This can be a valuable resource in managing your health and preparing for your cataract surgery consultation.

Knowing Your Medications

Before your cataract surgery consultation, you must be familiar with your current medications, encompassing any over-the-counter drugs. This information helps your surgeon understand any potential interactions or complications that may arise during your treatment.

Don’t forget to list all medications you are taking and discuss them with your surgeon during your consultation. This information can be obtained from your pharmacist or online at MySaskHealthRecord website .

Listing Symptoms and Questions

A productive consultation can be facilitated by preparing a list of symptoms you’re experiencing and questions for your surgeon. This allows your surgeon to address your concerns and provide personalized care tailored to your needs.

Be sure to take some time before your appointment to think about any issues or inquiries, and bring this list to your consultation.

Staying Flexible with Scheduling

Scheduling flexibility can considerably affect the speed at which you can access cataract surgery. By considering different locations, being open to last-minute appointments, and planning around your work and personal commitments, you can reduce your wait time and get the care you need sooner.

We will now delve into these strategies in greater depth.

Considering Different Locations

Exploring various locations for your cataract surgery, such as hospitals or outpatient clinics, can potentially reduce wait times. Openness to different locations may lead you to a facility with shorter wait times and hasten your access to care.

Remember to research your options and discuss them with your healthcare team to make the best decision.

Being Open to Last-Minute Appointments

Last-minute appointments may become available due to cancellations or schedule changes. Being open to these appointments can provide quicker access to surgery, reducing your waiting time.

Contact your healthcare team and express your willingness to accept last-minute appointments to enhance the likelihood of earlier treatment.

Planning Around Work and Personal Commitments

Balancing your work and personal commitments with your cataract surgery scheduling is crucial for minimizing disruptions. Consider your job, your current eyeglass prescription, and whether you require new glasses to help you plan your surgery effectively.

Proactive planning can help decrease wait times and promote a smoother healing process, ensuring a shorter recovery time in just a few weeks.

Utilizing Telemedicine Consultations

Telemedicine consultations can be a convenient and time-saving option for accessing specialists remotely. Leveraging digital communication technologies allows you to connect with your healthcare team without requiring travel or in-person visits.

This can save time and money while providing the expert advice you need for your cataract surgery and recovery.

Prioritizing Eye Health

Maintaining good eye health is crucial for preventing vision loss and ensuring the best possible outcomes from your cataract surgery. Prioritize your eye health and enjoy improved vision by practicing good eye care, managing chronic conditions, and avoiding activities that strain your eyes.

We will now delve into these eye care practices in greater depth.

Proper Eye Care

Maintaining good eye care habits before and after surgery involves:

  • Taking regular breaks to rest your eyes
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Scheduling regular eye exams
  • Employing sun protection measures like wearing sunglasses.

Ensuring adequate sleep and good eye hygiene are also important for optimal eye health.

Managing Chronic Conditions

Managing chronic conditions that could affect eye health and surgery outcomes is a requisite. Effective management of your chronic conditions and maintenance of your eye health can be achieved by adhering to your physician’s instructions, taking medications as instructed, and attending regular follow-up appointments.

Avoiding Activities That Strain the Eyes

Avoid activities that strain your eyes, such as excessive screen time or exposure to bright lights, as these may cause eye pain. Regular breaks, screen brightness adjustments, and anti-glare screens reduce eye strain and maintain eye health.

Remember to listen to your body and give your eyes the rest they need to stay healthy, especially if you wear eye makeup. Use an eye shield, wear sunglasses, anti-inflammatory eye drops if necessary, or even regular eye drops for added comfort.

Staying Proactive with Follow-up Appointments

Follow-up appointments are crucial in monitoring your recovery and addressing any concerns during the first few weeks after cataract surgery. Staying proactive with these appointments allows for prompt identification and addressing of potential issues, thereby minimizing complications and fostering a speedy cataract surgery recovery time.

Always keep your healthcare team informed about your progress and follow their recommendations for the best possible outcome.

Communicating with Your Healthcare Team

Effective communication with your healthcare team is vital for addressing wait time concerns and ensuring the best care and support throughout your cataract surgery journey. Navigating the waiting period and preparing for your surgery can be made easier by discussing your concerns, updating providers on symptom changes, and seeking support from family and friends.

We will now delve into these communication strategies in greater depth.

Discussing Wait Time Concerns

Exploring potential solutions and reducing the wait time for your surgery necessitates sharing your concerns about wait times with your healthcare team. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Be open and honest about your concerns.
  2. Ask your healthcare team for advice on how to minimize wait times.
  3. Access the care you need as soon as possible.

Being proactive in communicating your needs and expectations to your healthcare team is important. They

Updating Providers on Changes in Symptoms

To ensure your healthcare providers can offer the most suitable care and advice, it’s vital to keep them informed about any changes in your symptoms or condition. Make sure to communicate any new or altered symptoms and any modifications in activities or routines so your healthcare team can adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

Seeking Support from Family and Friends

Emotional support from family and friends proves invaluable during the waiting period for cataract surgery. Share your concerns and feelings with them, and ask for their help in managing your daily tasks and activities.

Remember that you don’t have to face this journey alone – your support network is there to help you every step of the way.

Considering Alternative Treatment Options

While waiting for cataract surgery, exploring alternative treatment options to improve your vision and quality of life may be helpful before considering cataract removal. Adjusting prescription glasses, utilizing low vision aids, and seeking second opinions are ways to manage your eye health and possibly cut down wait times for surgery.

We will now delve into these options in greater depth.

Adjusting Prescription Glasses

While waiting for surgery, adjusting your prescription glasses can improve your vision. A new prescription can correct vision issues and minimize the possibility of infection.

Be sure to have regular eye exams to ensure your glasses are properly adjusted for optimal vision.

Seeking Second Opinions

Seeking second opinions can provide you with:

  • Additional information about your cataract surgery options
  • Potentially reduce wait times
  • Ensure that the most suitable treatment choices are made
  • Ensure that the best available care is being received.

Don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion and explore all your options to make the most informed decision about your eye health.


In conclusion, reducing waiting time for cataract surgery is possible by understanding the factors affecting wait times, choosing the right surgeon, preparing for your consultation, staying flexible with scheduling, utilizing telemedicine, prioritizing eye health, exploring private sector options, staying proactive with follow-up appointments, and communicating effectively with your healthcare team. By implementing these strategies, you can take control of your eye health and enjoy a brighter future with clearer vision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I improve my vision while waiting for cataract surgery?

To improve your vision while waiting for cataract surgery, use blinds and net curtains to shield yourself from bright sunlight, get a new eyeglass or contact lens prescription, and put brighter lightbulbs in the lamps around your home. Position lights directly behind you to reduce glare and point them towards your task.

How long does it take for your brain to adjust to cataract surgery?

After cataract surgery generally takes a few weeks for the brain to adjust to the new lens, but it may take up to 6 months for maximum neural adaptation.

What do I wish I had known before cataract surgery?

It is important to inform the doctor of any medications you take, as they may interfere with cataract surgery. Dr. Conlon may need to advise a frequency change or stop taking them temporarily. Be sure to inform your doctor of any potential risks before surgery.

What factors influence cataract surgery wait times?

Regional disparities, availability of surgeons and resources, and the impact of COVID-19 all influence cataract surgery wait times.

How can I find a qualified cataract surgeon with shorter wait times?

Utilize the Specialist Directory in Saskatchewan to find a qualified cataract surgeon with shorter wait times and compare options to make an informed decision.


  1. Surgical Performance and Wait Times | Surgery – Government of Saskatchewan – Government of Saskatchewan
  2. Wait Times for Cataract Surgery – Government of Saskatchewan
  3. Wait times for priority procedures in Canada, 2022 | CIHI – Canadian Institute for Health Information
  4. Cataract Surgery – Mayo Clinic
  5. What You Can Do to Limit the Wait for Cataract Surgery – American Academy of Ophthalmology
  6. Cataract Surgery: Preparation, Procedure, and Recovery – Healthline
  7. Reducing wait times for cataract surgery – National Center for Biotechnology Information
  8. How to Prepare for Cataract Surgery – WebMD


Photo graph of Dr. Conlon operating with loops on.

Dr. M. Ronan Conlon started his career in the field of ophthalmology at the same time as the development of refractive eye surgery in Canada. In 1996, he brought laser technology to Canada from Germany, which allowed him to perform laser eye surgery before it was available in the United States. With the establishment of the Conlon Eye Institute, Dr. Conlon has performed more than 40,000 refractive procedures and has advanced his expertise in LASIK and refractive cataract surgery.

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