As we grow older, the lens of our eye can gradually lose its clarity and become cloudy, which can obstruct vision. When this happens, it may be time to consider cataract surgery to restore your vision and your quality of life. Read on to learn what you need to know before, during and after the procedure.
Before Cataract Surgery
Your doctor will discuss your medical and family history with you to make sure you are in good health before surgery. Approximately a week prior to the procedure, your doctor will perform an ultrasound test to measure the shape and size of your eye in order to determine the right type of lens implant. You will be asked to stop taking any medication that may increase your risk of bleeding during surgery, and you will be instructed to forego eating or drinking anything 12 hours beforehand.
During cataract surgery
It is likely that you will be given a sedative to help you relax and may remain awake during the procedure. After putting dilating eye drops in your eye, your doctor will remove the clouded lens and, in most cases, implant a clear artificial lens in its place, known as an intraocular lens (IOL). An IOL, made of silicone, acrylic or plastic, requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye. You won’t be able to feel or see the lens. Sometimes a cataract is removed without IOL replacement. Afterwards, you can typically go home the same day as the procedure, but you will need someone to drive you. It’s also a good idea to arrange for someone to stay with you once you’re home to help with daily activities. You will be prescribed antibiotics to take after surgery and will likely be advised to wear an eye patch for the first week or so.
After Cataract Surgery
Following surgery, you can expect your vision to be blurry, but it will begin to improve within a few days. For a couple days after surgery, it’s not uncommon to feel mild discomfort and itching, but it’s important to avoid rubbing your eye. The discomfort usually subsides within a few days, and you should heal completely in eight weeks. As with any surgical procedure, cataract surgery carries some risks. Contact your doctor if you experience increased eye redness, persistent pain that doesn’t go away with medication, vision loss, nausea and vomiting, or flasher of floaters (spots) in front of your eye.
Could you benefit from cataract surgery? Contact Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser today for a consultation: or by calling 808.955.3937.