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February 1971

Cataract Counseling

Arch Ophthalmol. 1971;85(2):132. doi:10.1001/archopht.1971.00990050134003

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FEAR OF BLINDNESS is almost universal among people who have eye disease. Nevertheless, it seems strange that the diagnosis of "cataract" often comes like a sentence of doom to a patient with this condition, especially when modern cataract surgery is so successful. Some people fear it inordinately, and the ophthalmologist should do everything possible to allay these fears. Too often not enough time is taken to explain things to the patient and to answer some of his seemingly ridiculous questions. There are many myths built up around the cataract operation. These myths are often firmly entrenched in the patient's mind. One wonders how they ever got there; but there they are, and time must be taken to eradicate them. A calm, confident patient is more likely to have successful surgery.

The following case illustrates what can happen. Some years ago, a middle-aged man came to the out-patient department of a

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