What Are The Risks Of Cataract Surgery – Cataract surgery is the most commonly accepted medical treatment for cataracts—to restore clear vision and improve quality of life. According to the National Eye Institute, at least half of people in the United States will have their surgery by age 80.
In this blog, we will inform you about what to expect after cataract surgery and detail cataract surgery recovery time, what to expect and what to look out for.
What Are The Risks Of Cataract Surgery
Inside the eye, the lens consists of a clear lens that focuses on the retina, a layer of nerves that covers the back of the eye. Normally, the lens is clear and transparent. But if you have cataracts, the lens may be cloudy, like looking through a frosted window or glasses.
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Most cataracts develop slowly due to aging, affecting most people over the age of 50. However, in some cases, cataracts can develop in infants and children due to injury or medication.
This eye condition is common and reversible. At least 2.2 billion people suffer from near or farsightedness. Of those, 1 billion cases, including 94 million cataract cases, could be prevented with early intervention.
People who smoke, drink heavily, live in areas exposed to ultraviolet rays, and have a family history of cataracts are more likely to develop the condition. In addition, certain conditions or factors that lead to abuse can accelerate the development of cataracts. These include diabetes, steroid use, eye injury or surgery, radiation therapy to the upper body, phenothiazine use, and spending too much time in the sun without eye protection such as sunglasses.
Early detection and intervention are critical to prevent permanent vision loss. Cataract surgery is a day surgery procedure performed by an ophthalmologist.
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Corneal surgery, also known as lens replacement surgery, is performed to remove the cataract’s natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens. It is a safe day surgery that takes 20 to 30 minutes.
However, recovery and care after surgery is extremely important. Cataract surgery recovery period should be short and painless, as long as you follow all the instructions given by the doctor.
Although prudence is required during recovery, the time required for recovery is insignificant compared to the lifetime of clear vision. It is important to allow time for recovery while following the post-operative instructions given by your doctor.
To recover from cataract surgery as quickly as possible, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions.
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After the surgical procedure, don’t panic if your vision seems blurry or distorted. It takes some time for the visual system to adjust to cataract surgery. The eye also adapts to a new lens that replaces the eye’s natural lens. Immediately after the procedure, you are not allowed to drive, operate heavy machinery or equipment, or perform strenuous activities. Avoid bending over to prevent too much eye strain. Sneezing and vomiting can cause eye strain, so avoid these activities as much as possible.
Most people who have cataract surgery develop better vision within the first 24 hours. Make sure to take a break from work for about three days to a week. This way, you will have enough time to rest before resuming your normal activities.
However, you can do simple things like writing, reading, watching TV, and walking as soon as you feel comfortable after surgery.
During recovery days after the procedure, the cornea may swell slightly. You may experience waves, blindness and distorted vision. A doctor may prescribe eye drops to reduce inflammation and prevent infection.
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During the first day after surgery, it is recommended to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities. Avoid swimming or using hot tubs for the first week after cataract surgery to reduce infection. Avoid rubbing your eyes and keep them free from irritants including pollen, wind, dust and dirt.
During the first week, avoid irritation with eye makeup, face cream or lotion. When going out during the day, wear sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. In addition, you will receive a shield to protect the eyes during sleep, including sleep. The shield helps prevent rubbing your eyes while sleeping, which can lead to eye injuries. During sleep, it is recommended to lie on the non-active side to prevent additional pressure while the eye heals.
About 1 month after cataract surgery, most people feel better as long as they follow the doctor’s instructions. Doctors recommend follow-up tests to check the progress of recovery. Also, it allows the doctor to observe common complications that may occur.
Every surgery comes with risks. Adverse effects warrant urgent attention. You should watch for signs of complications.
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After surgery, call your doctor right away if you experience vision loss, very red eyes, severe pain that doesn’t go away, and flashing lights or black spots called floaters. These can be symptoms of serious complications that need to be addressed immediately.
Risks of cataract surgery include abnormal changes in eye pressure, double vision or vision loss, retinal detachment, swelling, bleeding, infection.
If detected early, these complications can be addressed and treated. Patients should be aware of these symptoms and seek medical attention when they occur.
While most patients notice significant improvement in their vision a few days after cataract surgery, it is important to follow the treatment regimen and doctor’s instructions to help the recovery process go smoothly. Following your doctor’s instructions after surgery can help you recover faster and prevent complications.
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It is wise not to compare your recovery to other patients. The recovery time and process may differ from one patient to another. Therefore, the patient’s recovery time after cataract surgery may vary slightly.
If you experience vision problems such as cataracts, consult your eye doctor immediately. Book a consultation with our team today and learn more about cataracts and cataract surgery.
JL Eye Specialists is an eye clinic in Singapore specializing in general vision, corneal, refractive surgery (LASIK), and cataract surgery.
To cover the expenses you may incur, we accept several corporate and international insurance policies. If you have any of the following insurance plans, please let us know when you make your appointment with us. For further queries, please contact us at +65 6258 8966.
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We understand that every patient comes with their own unique set of concerns. We tailor our approach to ensure we provide the right treatment for each patient. Cataract patients have many questions about their condition and cataract surgery after diagnosis or when surgery is recommended as treatment. All of your questions are important to us at Fort Worth Eye Associates, and we are ready to answer any questions you may have about your eye surgery or cataract surgery.
Reviewing some frequently asked questions about cataracts may be helpful, as well as address any concerns you may have.
Although existing cataracts cannot be reversed, wearing quality sunglasses with UV (ultraviolet) protection can slow the progression of cataracts. Eating a healthy, balanced diet with antioxidant vitamins is thought to help prevent cataracts. Ask our eye doctors more in-depth questions during your visit.
Cataracts do not always significantly interfere with vision. They start small and are almost imperceptible to the patient. When a cataract progresses to the point where vision becomes impaired or affects lifestyle, it should be removed. If it is stable, surgery is not necessary.
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Be sure to have regular comprehensive eye exams with your eye doctor to monitor cataract progression so that, together, the decision to undergo cataract surgery can be made.
A cataract is impossible to “grow back” because the lens that forms the cataract is removed and replaced. An intraocular lens (IOL) implant never needs maintenance or replacement. In some patients, a cloudy image forms on the inside of the vitreous, usually a few months after cataract surgery. This condition is known as posterior capsular opacification or secondary cataract (the cataract appears to have regressed).
While symptoms of “secondary cataracts” are similar to primary symptoms, treatment for this condition uses a simple laser outpatient procedure called YAG laser capsulotomy. By creating an opening in the capsule with a special laser, surgeons can safely and quickly restore vision. This recovery procedure takes only a few minutes, is painless and usually does not need to be repeated.
During cataract surgery, your surgeon uses a local anesthetic (numbing eye drops) so you don’t feel pain during your operation. You will also be given a mild sedative to help you relax. Depending on the patient and the type of procedure, additional medications may be used.
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When the drug wears off, you may feel a slight tingling sensation
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