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The Do’s & Don’ts After Cataract Surgery

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Is your vision starting to get blurry as you age? If it is, there’s no need to worry! Cataracts can result in symptoms like hazy vision, faded colour vision, or poor night vision, and are a completely normal part of ageing. 

If these symptoms sound familiar, book an appointment with your optometrist today! Only your optometrist can diagnose you with cataracts and get you the treatment you need. 

Cataracts can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, but the only way to permanently treat cataracts is cataract surgery. If you’re interested in cataract surgery, you may be wondering what you can expect from beginning to end. 

Keep reading this post to learn more about cataract surgery and what to expect from the procedure. 

What are Cataracts?

The lens in your eye is usually clear. When you have a cataract, this clear lens will become clouded over or hardened. Depending on the type and severity of your cataract, this clouding can range from small areas to large areas, which can affect how severe your symptoms are. 

Cataracts happen to almost everyone as they age, and usually begin to develop around age 60.

How Do I Know If I Need Cataract Surgery?

If you have a cataract, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Cloudy, blurry, or hazy vision
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Seeing double 
  • Frequent changes in vision  
  • Faded colour vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night 

If a cataract makes it difficult for you to carry out your normal daily activities, your doctor may suggest cataract surgery.

What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure where an opthamologist will remove the clouded lens in your eye and replace it with an artificial lens. 

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll be able to go home after your surgery.

Two surgeons performing cataract surgery

What to Expect During Your Surgery

Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your cataract surgery. 

Before the Procedure

Before your surgery, your eye doctor will perform a series of measurements to determine the right type of lens implant you’ll need. 

Typically, patients are given intraocular lenses, or IOLs, which are lenses designed to improve your vision by focusing light on the back of your eye. There are a variety of IOLs available and your doctor can help you find the best type for your vision needs and lifestyle. 

During the Procedure

Cataract surgery usually takes about an hour from start to finish, with the preparation usually taking more time than the surgery itself.

To begin the procedure, your opthamologist will place eye drops and local anesthetics in your eye to dilate your pupil and numb the area. In some cases, your doctor may give you a mild sedative to help you relax. 

Once this is done, your eye doctor will remove the clouded lens and replace it with a clear artificial lens. 

After the Procedure

After cataract surgery, most patients experience an improvement in their vision within a few days. You may experience side effects such as blurry vision, but it should go away as your eye continues to heal. 

Your doctor will schedule three follow-up appointments, spaced at one day, two weeks, and 6-8 weeks after your procedure, although this may vary with the surgeon. These follow-up appointments allow your doctor to ensure your eyes are healing correctly. 

To promote healing, your doctor may ask you to wear an eye patch, prescribe eye drops, or give your other medications. 

In most cases, you can expect to be completely healed within eight weeks.

The Do’s & Don’ts After Cataract Surgery

Now that you know what to expect before, during, and after your surgery, you may be wondering what you can do to keep your eyes healthy after your procedure. 

Here are 6 tips to protect your eyes after your surgery:

  • Always follow your doctor’s after-care instructions
  • Avoid rubbing, pushing on, or touching your eye
  • Keep digital screen use to a minimum 
  • Avoid physical activity for at least a week
  • Wear protective eyewear & sunglasses whenever possible
  • Don’t drive until your doctor has given you the go ahead 

Book a Consultation at Red Deer Eye Care 

Are you interested in what cataract surgery can do for you? Book a consultation at Red Deer Eye Care to see if it’s the right treatment for you. Have more questions before you book your appointment? Please feel free to give us a call!

Written by Dr. Daryl Berger

Dr. Berger was born and raised in Red Deer. After studying at Red Deer College and the U of A, he graduated with honours from the optometry program at Waterloo in 2007. Daryl enjoys music, cars, biking, hiking, snowboarding and travel. He and his wife, Pamela, have twin boys and a dog named Gus.
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