It is common for patients to suffer from deteriorating vision as they age. One of the most common causes of compromised vision in senior patients is cataracts. Cataracts refer to the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Cataracts develop when protein clusters accumulate within the eye’s lens. Without treatment, cataracts can cause a complete loss of vision. Fortunately, thanks to advances in laser eye surgery, patients can safely and effectively treat cataracts through cataract surgery. Cataract surgery removes the clouded lens and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL. An IOL acts as a permanent contact lens to provide patients with clearer, sharper vision. Here, we discuss what patients can expect during cataract surgery recovery following treatment at our Mandeville, LA vision center, EyeCare 20/20.
Cataract Surgery Side Effects
Our eye surgeons perform cataract surgery using an advanced femtosecond laser. Using this technology, our surgeons can create a three-dimensional map of the eye, which allows for the most personalized and precise cataract surgery procedure. Because we use this advanced technique, patients benefit from a safer procedure with minimal trauma to surrounding eye cells. This precision helps to minimize the most common side effects of cataract surgery. Although they may be minimal, patients should still expect to experience at least some of the following side effects:
- Blurry vision
- Irritation or discomfort
- Dry, itchy eyes
- Red, bloodshot eyes
Even though the eyes are likely to feel uncomfortable, it is important that patients resist scratching or rubbing at them. Patients will go home wearing a protective shield that will serve as a reminder not to touch the eye as it heals. This shield will also protect the eye from sun, dust, and other irritants. This shield is generally worn for the first day of recovery, and then over the next few weeks while a patient sleeps.
How Long Is Cataract Surgery Recovery?
The side effects of cataract surgery usually dissipate quickly. Most patients experience a dramatic improvement in vision within a few days after surgery. However, this varies from patient to patient. Some may notice improved vision in a matter of hours and others may continue to notice gradual improvement for several weeks following surgery. For the most part, patients can expect to be free of cataract surgery side effects within a week after their procedure.
While side effects of cataract surgery are short-lived, patients should understand that it takes some time for the eyes to completely recover. In general, we advise patients that it takes about eight weeks for the eyes to completely heal from cataract surgery. To protect the eyes during this time, patients should avoid any activities that put excess pressure on the eyes, including bending over and heavy lifting. Patients should also continue to avoid rubbing the eyes and be cautious about irritants such as dust, dirt, and wind. By practicing these precautions, patients can have a smooth cataract surgery recovery, free of complications.
Schedule an Appointment
Thanks to advances in vision treatment, cataracts no longer have to lead to a loss of vision. If you are concerned about the health of your eyes and would like to learn more about cataract surgery, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors at EyeCare 20/20.