The 10 most common questions after cataract surgery

A lot of questions revolve in the patient’s mind after having cataract surgery.

“What are the things that I shouldn’t do after the surgery? Will I still use spectacles after surgery? When to perform the operation for the other eye? What is after cataract?” These are a few of the questions and concerns that we will try to address in this article, so let’s begin.

  1. What are the things that I shouldn’t do after the surgery?

This might be the most frequently asked question. In fact you can resume your normal life a few days after the cataract surgery, but with taking a few things into consideration:

  • Don’t rub or squeeze your eye.
  • Avoid dust, smoke, and perfumes.
  • Avoid swimming or introducing water into your eye during face or hair washing.
  • Don’t introduce anything in your eye other than your eye drops.
  • Don’t perform any vigorous activities until approved by your ophthalmologist.
  1. Would I need to change the intraocular lens a few years later?

No. In most cases you won’t need to. Modern intraocular lenses are made from highly durable materials. These materials are inert, and their chemical or physical composition will not change with the passage of the years. These intraocular lenses will serve you for life!

  1. I can’t tolerate being in sunny places, why?

After the surgery, the eye becomes more sensitive to light. It is advisable to wear dark sunglasses as this will make your eye more comfortable in areas with bright light.

This is a temporary manifestation that will last for just a few days. Contact your ophthalmologist if these manifestations last for a longer period.

  1. My vision is somewhat strange and blurry after the surgery?

Don’t be afraid, this is quite normal. Before operation, mydriatic eye drops are instilled into your eye to dilate your pupil during surgery. These manifestations usually last for a few days up to one week. Contact your ophthalmologist if these manifestations last for a longer period.

  1. I have had a cataract surgery in one eye, when can I have the other eye done?

The current recommendations are to operate on the other eye within four to six months after the first operation. This waiting period allows for proper follow up and optimal healing of the eye after the surgery. It allows for accurate assessment of the response of the eye to the new intraocular lens.

  1. Is it true that the cataract might return again after surgery? (What is after cataract?)

No. Cataract does not return after surgery (although it’s also important to increase or maintain a high level of physical health). A few months after the surgery, patients may notice a gradual decrease in the crispness and clarity of their vision. The patient then believes that the cataract has returned back again. In fact, this is a very common complaint following cataract surgery and is called posterior capsular opacity (PCO).

The lens is enclosed inside a transparent capsule. Following the surgery the posterior capsule might become gradually opacified, giving the patient a false sensation that the cataract has returned back.

The treatment is very simple, requiring only a session of YAG laser that only lasts for 5 minutes and the patient regains the crispness and clarity of their vision again.

  1. Will I still use spectacles after surgery?

The standard IOLs used in cataract surgery are monofocal, meaning that they will enable you to see clearly either for far or for near, because they have fixed focal distance.

If you choose to have a monofocal IOL implanted in your eye, you will see clearly during walking but you will need reading glasses to be able to perform activities requiring near vision demands.

  1. What are premium lenses?

These are most advanced treatment option available for cataract patients. They are many types available. Different technologies are used in their manufacturing but all aim at decreasing the need to wear glasses after cataract surgery.

  1. Can I have a premium lens implanted in my eye after cataract surgery?

This depends on the original state of the patient’s eye, whether having another concomitant disease or having cataract only.

The degree of hardness of the cataract plays an important role in deciding whether to use an accommodative lens or a standard monofocal lens.

Lastly, the nature of the patient’s visual demands is the main factor in deciding whether to use a premium lens of not. Patients who have high visual demands such as night drivers, will benefit the most from monofocal lenses.

On the other hand, patients who just want to enjoy their life and perform their usual activities and hobbies without the need to wear glasses will surely benefit from premium lenses.

10. When can I return back to work?

You will often return to your home at the same day of the operation. It is strongly advised to rest for one week on average, before going back to work. This period of rest allows for optimal healing and adaptation to the new lens, thus minimizing the incidence of complications.

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