After Cataract Surgery
As you age, it’s not very surprising to hear that you have cataracts. However, the word “surgery” may sound intimidating to you. Cataract surgery is common, relatively simple, and extremely safe. Even the post-operative care is minimal compared to other procedures. Keep reading to learn more.
Cataract Removal and IOLs
Cataract removal surgery is a simple procedure in which the doctor uses a microscope to see the details necessary to make small incisions and remove the hazy lens. Once the hazy lens is removed, a permanent implant is put in its place. The implant is an intraocular lens (IOL) and can be varied based on what you and the doctor decide best suits your vision needs. As technology advances, there are more IOL options to choose from, some of which could actually help you see better than you did even before you developed cataracts. For specific options, talk to the cataract removal specialists at Delaware Eye Institute.
What to Expect After Cataract Surgery
Once the short, inpatient procedure is complete, you’ll need someone else to drive you home. The doctor will give you a protective shield to wear over the eye that underwent surgery and instructions about when you can remove it and when to change it out for another one. Your vision may be blurry when you first remove the shield as the cornea clears. That’s nothing to be concerned about. It’s not unlike the adjustment you make when you switch eyes while reading the eye chart during your visual acuity test.
Cataract Surgery Recovery Time
Cataract surgery patients are usually able resume their normal routine within a day or two of the procedure. Most are asked to wear the protective guard over their eye while they sleep for at least a week afterward. Patients can expect a full recovery and adjusted vision within three to four weeks post-op. Not until then will your doctor adjust your glasses prescription if that’s deemed necessary. If you need cataract removal on the second eye, doctors usually wait a couple of weeks after the initial procedure to perform the second in order to ensure an adequate amount of healing has happened and you’re not left with two vulnerable eyes.
Dos and Don’ts After Cataract Surgery
During your recovery time, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Do not drive on the day of your cataract surgery
- Be careful not to bump into anything
- Avoid activities that put pressure on the eye (lifting heavy objects, bending down, strenuous activity, sneezing, vomiting, intense sports)
- Don’t rub your eye
- Avoid encounters with wind, dust, smoke, or other eye irritants
- Do not swim or use a hot tub the first week after eye surgery
- Wear the protective shield as instructed by your doctor
Pain After Cataract Surgery
Some minor discomfort is to be expected while your incisions heal. The incisions necessary to remove the hazy lens are small and rarely require sutures, but they can feel like having an eyelash in your eye or a scratch on your cornea while they heal. If the pain you experience is more severe than that, please contact your Delaware Eye Institute doctor immediately.
Floaters After Cataract Surgery
While floaters occur for any number of reasons, only rarely are they a cause for concern. Some cataract surgery patients talk about noticing more floaters during their recovery time. This could be because the patient’s hazy vision is clearer so the floaters seem more noticeable, or it could simply be part of the healing process. Talk to your doctor about the floaters if you’re concerned. If the floaters are large or you experience a great deal of pain along with the floaters, please contact your doctor as soon as possible.
How Cataract Surgery Improves Vision
The most exciting aspect of having cataract surgery is the improvement to vision patients experience. Many comment on how much more clearly they see and how they didn’t realize how hazy their vision had become until the cataract was removed. Colors are brighter and details are crisper.
In addition to no longer trying to view life through a hazy lens, the technological advances in intraocular lenses (IOLs) make it possible for cataract surgery patients to see better than they did even before developing cataracts.
Depending on your specific vision needs and the IOL best suited for you as determined by your Delaware Eye Institute doctor, the IOL could improve both your distance and near-field vision. It’s possible that you recover from the procedure only needing to wear reading glasses moving forward.
Post-operative cataract surgery care is relatively simple and only disrupts your daily life briefly and in minor ways. If you have more questions about cataracts, cataract treatment, or what to expect after cataract surgery, please don’t hesitate to give the vision experts at Delaware Eye Institute a call. We’re here to help you see things clearly.