If you have been diagnosed with cataracts and are preparing to have surgery, you’re probably wondering what to expect during the recovery process.
During cataract surgery, the clouded lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens implant. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, and you will be able to go home very soon after surgery.
Here are a few things you should expect during the recovery from cataract surgery.
There is a low risk of complications.Cataract surgery is safe, but as with any surgery, there is a small chance of complications. The most serious risk is infection, which occurs in one out of every 500-1000 cataract replacement procedures. To avoid complications: Follow your doctor’s instruction about using post-op medication; wear your glasses or sunglasses for protection for the first 10 days; avoid swimming or using a hot tub in the first 10 days after surgery; and do not rub your eye.
Mild pain is normal. Mild pain or irritation following cataract surgery is normal. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease your discomfort.
Eye drops will be prescribed to prevent infection. After surgery, you will be instructed to use eye drops to prevent infection and aid healing. Be sure to use eye drops as instructed by your doctor.
You should have few limitations on activity. Post-operative limitations are few and most patients can resume their normal activities immediately and care for themselves with little or no help from others.
Light sensitivity can be expected. In addition to mild pain, it is also normal to experience sensitivity to light and some mild tearing after cataract surgery. Wearing dark glasses, even indoors, can help prevent pain from light as your eyes heal.
UV protection is a must. It is also important to wear sunglasses when you go outside after your surgery. Look for sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV protection and have impact-resistant lenses. Wraparound sunglasses are ideal, as they will also block rays from entering from the side.
Perhaps the most important question you may have about what to expect after surgery is in regards to your post-surgery vision. Immediate results vary from patient to patient after cataract surgery. Some patients have some inflammation after surgery, but vision will continue to improve over the first two to three weeks. Traditional cataract surgery will not eliminate the need for glasses, although patients may elect to use a high technology lens, which may reduce the dependence on glasses after surgery.
During your cataract surgery visit, your eye doctor will discuss what to expect, including any specific risks you may face. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you have prior to surgery.
For more information on cataract surgery, click here.