What to Expect After Cataract Surgery

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A cataract refers to an eye condition when the normally clear lens of the eyes becomes opaque or cloudy, disrupting normal vision. Developing cataract is common among aging patients and can affect both eyes. There is no known explanation why cataracts develop but some tests show that the condition appears to be caused by changes in the lens protein structures. In rare cases, younger people develop cataract too.

Cataract surgery is a type of procedure that removes the lens of the eyes where the cataract developed and replacing it with artificial lenses to restore normal vision.

If you’re going through cataract surgery, it’s important to know what you can expect after operation. For example, don’t expect the surgery to improve your vision 100%. In some cases, surgery won’t result in restored vision because of underlying eye damage. That’s why it’s best to get a proper diagnosis first and learning everything there is to know about your condition and the surgery prior to booking a procedure.

If you’re wary about undergoing surgery because of the risks, there’s nothing wrong about waiting it out and weighing your options. For instance, if your vision is good despite the cataract, then you might not need surgery. However, if the cataract starts disrupting everyday tasks then consider getting cataract surgery. Overall, cataract surgery is very safe and fairly common so long as a licensed eye doctor should perform it. Below are things you can expect after undergoing cataract surgery:

Bruising/Redness

If you’re seeing bruises or redness in the whites of your eyes after surgery, don’t be alarmed. This is a normal occurrence after any surgery. There will also be stitches visible. The stitches will be removed six weeks to three months after the operation.

Do Not Rub Your Eyes

Rubbing or pressing out your eyes is strictly prohibited after cataract surgery. The surgery may result in minor discomforts like itching or tearing but resist the urge to lay a finger on your eyes. Instead, take Tylenol every four to six hours.

Light Sensitivity

It’s normal for patients to be sensitive to light a few hours after cataract surgery. This symptom will go away on its own after a day or two. You will be asked to wear a special eyewear to protect the eyes from irritants during the day. Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, the eyewear could be worn for weeks.

Don’t Bend Down

It might seem like an odd request but most patients are prohibited from bending over to pick heavy objects in the first few days. Bending down to pick up heavy objects could cause unnecessary strain on the eyes.

Grittiness/Headaches

Most cataract patients complain of feeling “grittiness” in the eye area. In some cases, it’s accompanied by mild headaches. These common symptoms should go away on their own within 24 hours or so. On the other hand, if such symptoms progressed beyond the 24-hour mark, call your eye doctor immediately and have it checked.

Temporary Blurred Vision

Normal vision won’t be restored the moment you step out of the hospital. It will take two days to see improvement in your vision, coupled with occasional blurring or misting in the eye. These symptoms should go away over the course of the day. But if you experience even more blurring that do not go away days after the operation, contact your hospital immediately.