Top 5 Q&A: Cataract Surgery Part 2 – Life After Surgery
By: Brian Ki
How long will I need to use drops after cataract surgery?
Typically, every patient will be on medicated eye drops for at least one month after surgery. This will be a combination of anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops to ensure the best recovery after cataract surgery. This is often supplemented with lubricating drops depending on the nature of dryness that may be accompanied post-operatively.
Why do the medicated drops sting when I use them?
This is a fairly common observation that patients experience. The preservatives used in the drops may cause dryness or irritation to the eyes, but do not cause any long-term health consequences. You may also experience slightly blurry vision with these drops until your eyes have fully recovered from surgery. Rarely do patients have an allergic response to these medications. The medicated drops do an excellent job of calming down inflammation and preventing infection so it is best to continue the medication as directed by your surgeon until your follow-up appointments. Please talk to your eye doctor about any concerns with using your drops.
What happens to my old glasses after cataract surgery?
After the first eye has undergone cataract surgery, there may be a brief period where you may find it more comfortable with or without your habitual glasses. This is because your prescription is still helpful for the eye with the cataract, but overcorrects for the eye with the new prescription lens implant. Ultimately, once both eyes have undergone cataract surgery, your habitual glasses prescription will need to be updated to complement your lens implants. At your cataract evaluation, your surgeon will discuss whether you will need glasses after cataract surgery.
How soon after the first eye can I have the other eye done?
The earliest we can schedule the cataract surgeries is one week apart. This ensures precise lens measurements for the second eye depending on how the first eye recovers from cataract surgery. We try to minimize the time between cataracts surgeries due to the transition period mentioned in the last question – however, there are no long-term health consequences for choosing to delay the surgery for longer than one week. Please consult with your eye doctor for any additional questions.
Will my prescription ever change again after cataract surgery?
The majority of patients have successful long-term vision after cataract surgery. The implantable lenses do not “age” like the human lens – meaning the material does not fog up, breakdown, or change prescription on their own. Changes to your vision could be a sign of other biological processes such as a film growing over the lenses, ocular surface disease, or other eye disease. If you are experiencing changes to or fluctuations of your vision, please contact us and schedule an appointment.
By: Trish Duffield
Am I a candidate for cataract surgery?
At Eye Care Associates of Nevada, we provide a comprehensive cataract surgery evaluation prior to scheduling the cataract surgery procedure. This is a time to meet with our cataract surgeons and to answer any questions you may have.
Will I need to wear glasses after cataract surgery?
While every patient case is different, there are many lens implants available that can be utilized to potentially eliminate the need for full-time glasses wear after cataract surgery. During your cataract surgery evaluation at Eye Care Associates of Nevada these lens options will be discussed in detail.
What is the cataract surgery recovery like?
If it is determined that both of your eyes need cataract surgery, you will be scheduled for one eye at a time with 1-2 weeks in between. Most patients experience blur and halos the first day after surgery, which gradually improves over the next week of healing.
What is the protocol for follow-up care?
At Eye Care Associates of Nevada we check your visual and healing progress at 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month after surgery for either eye. Proper instillation and usage of eye drop medication is the most important factor in reducing healing time. We keep our patients on a regimen of eye drops for 1 month total.
What are the possible complications of cataract surgery?
The lens implants placed inside your eyes will last forever and the surgery has an excellent success rate. The most common issues after cataract surgery are problems with glare and mild irritation as the ocular surface heals. If present, these minor issues improve with time. As with any surgical procedure, there are more serious complications that can occur but those are extremely rare.