Vision impairment can develop at any stage of a person’s life. However, vision loss is a particular risk for senior patients. There are several age-related eye diseases that can cause vision impairment or complete vision loss. A cataracts is one of the most common causes of vision loss for senior patients. Cataracts, which refer to a clouding over of the eye’s crystalline lens, make it difficult for light to focus on the retina at the back of the eye. When the eyes develop cataracts, a patient may suffer from blurry vision, light sensitivity, and other visual abnormalities. Fortunately, cataract surgery can improve vision by removing the lens affected by cataracts, and replacing it with an intraocular lens.

Here we prepare patients for what can be expected during cataract surgery recovery following treatment at our Austin, TX practice, Broberg Eye Care.

Cataract Surgery Side Effects

Cataract surgery is just like any other surgical procedure in that it will cause side effects. These side effects are a normal part of the recovery process and should not be cause for alarm. Below are the most common side effects of cataract surgery:

  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to lights
  • A dry, gritty, or sticky feeling in the eye
  • Mild eye pain or irritation
  • Headache

Many patients are relieved to find that the eyes recovery fairly quickly from cataract surgery. In most cases, cataract surgery side effects begin to dissipate within the first week of recovery. Patients may use over-the-counter pain medication as directed to control any discomfort. It is also recommended that patients wear dark sunglasses any time that they are outside within the first several days after cataract surgery. This will minimize light sensitivity.

If severe side effects develop, such as throbbing pain or a sudden deterioration of vision, these should be reported to one our experienced eye doctors as soon as possible so that surgical complications can be ruled out.

Post-surgical Care

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, so patients will return home the day of surgery. Although cataract surgery is typically performed using just local anesthetic, patients will need to arrange to have a family member drive them home. The treated eye will be covered with a shield, and vision will be blurry.

Patients can remove the shield the day after surgery, but it should continue to be worn at night for the first week of recovery to avoid inadvertently rubbing or scratching the eye. Patients will be provided specific post-surgical care instructions, but below are some general guidelines for the cataract surgery recovery period:

  • Use prescription eye drops as directed for four weeks following surgery
  • Maintain all recommended follow-up appointments
  • Avoid touching or scratching the eyes
  • Refrain from strenuous activities, including heavy lifting, for at least the first week of recovery
  • Avoid make-up for one week
  • Swimming and contact sports should be avoided for two to four weeks

By following these recommendations, patients can ensure a smooth and successful recovery from cataract surgery.

Schedule an Appointment

Cataract surgery removes a clouded lens and enables patients to enjoy clearer vision. If you are concerned with vision loss due to cataracts, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to learn more about cataract surgery at Broberg Eye Care.