Problems After Cataract Surgery

Problems After Cataract Surgery With Effective Tips

Although cataract surgery is among the most widely performed and successful surgical processes, it also comes along with certain complications. However, they are rare. For instance, according to a recent study, it suggests that about 99.5% of more than 200,000patients who underwent cataract surgery in 1994-2006 did not show any severe postoperative complications. Also, it suggests that the use of advanced surgical techniques and tools have positively improved cataract surgery by decreasing the expected risks and problems after cataract surgery.

Usually, it may take a few days for you to experience a clear vision after a cataract surgery. Therefore, you can experience a cloudy vision immediately after cataract surgery and other minor side effects such as pain. Also, colors can look brighter than usual and double vision after cataract surgery is also possible.

Problems After Cataract Surgery

Poor outcomes in any surgery are usually distressing and disappointing for both the surgeons and the patients. Some complications are minor and can be managed with good care, while others can be severe and if not immediately looked into, they can cause severe consequences. Whether minor or serious, these complications are devastating and if possible, they should be avoided at all cost. Below are some common complications after a cataract surgery

  1. Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO) – It’s among the most common complication after a cataract surgery. During surgery, residual lens epithelial cells are usually inevitably left in the equatorial capsular bag. In case the lens epithelial cells migrate to the posterior capsule they can increase the opacity thereby impairing the vision of the patient with contrast sensitivity and a fall in vision.
  2. Endophthalmitis- It is caused by a bacterium called Staphylococcus Epidermidis that is found in the normal conjunctiva and the eyelid skin. This bacterium enters the eye during the surgical procedure. This condition, however, depends on the geographical location of the patients and only approximately 0.14% of the cataract surgery patients experience this condition.
  3. Raised Intraocular Pressure- This condition happens in cases where the viscoelastic materials used during the cataract surgery are incompletely removed from the eye. Studies also suggest that higher molecular weight viscoelastic are said to increase the postoperative IOP. Usually, this condition can be avoided by the use of oral acetazolamide or the use of topical pressure-lowering agents.
  4. Retinal Detachment- This condition mainly happens when there is a posterior vitreous detachment. A detachment may occur due to loss of the internal volume after removing the cataracts lens. Also it can happen if the normal lens is replaced with a thinner lens.
  5. Diabetic Retinopathy- Cataract surgery can worsen other health complications. For instance, cataract surgery can worsen macular oedema and diabetic retinopathy. This may be due to hemodynamic changes and inflammatory mechanisms.

Tips to Minimize Problems After Cataract Surgery

Since complications can and will always occur in various situations. It’s very crucial to follow your doctor’s recovery tips and instructions closely. Also, in cases where you experience any changes in your vision make sure you discuss them with the doctor. Below are certain ways on how you can minimize problems after cataract surgery

1. Follow Up With The Doctor  In order to avoid after-surgery complications and their unnecessary side effects it’s important to book regular follow-up appointments with your doctor. This way, you will be able to track your condition, progress, and the necessary techniques to manage the conditions.
2. Take Care of Your Eyes – For you to recover well and faster, it’s important to take good care of your eyes. Below are the dos and the don’ts of managing complications.

  • Avoid extreme exercises and lifting heavy objects- This can increase pressure in the eyes thereby lengthening the healing period.
  • Wear sunglasses when walking in the sun in order to avoid overexposure to extreme light. Also, limit your exposure to the sun since your eyes tend to be sensitive a few days after surgery.
  • Keep a protective shield while sleeping to avoid rubbing the eyes especially when sleeping.
  • Apply anti-inflammation and antibiotic eye drops as directed by your doctor to prevent internal inflammation and infections.
  • Do not bend over especially immediately after the surgery to avoid exerting pressure on the eyes.
  • Do not drive for a few days after the surgery
  • Don’t expose your eyes to dust, dirt, wind, and grime. You can wear protective eyewear to avoid these unnecessary problems.
  • Do not use a hot tub and don’t swim for a few weeks after surgery
  • Watch less television and computer
  • Avoid eye contact with soaps and shampoos
  • Make sure you talk to your doctor before talking to your doctor

Symptoms To Look Out for Cataract Surgery

It’s important to talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms

  • Vision loss
  • Vomiting, nausea or excessive coughing
  • Excessive pain
  • Multiple spots or light flashes in front of your eyes.

Before and after cataract surgery, ensure that you are adequately prepared to deal effectively with any possible side-effects. If we manage these complications well, we will be able to reduce problems after cataract surgery blurred vision and other poor visual outcomes. This way, you will be able to manage any complications related to cataract surgery.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad

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