Follow Up After Cataract Surgery
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Cataract surgery is a common procedure that is performed to correct vision in people who have developed cataracts. Cataracts are a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, making it difficult to see clearly. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear artificial lens. The surgery is usually safe and effective, and it can help improve vision in people who have cataracts.
There are two main types of cataract surgery: phacoemulsification and extracapsular surgery. Phacoemulsification is the most common type of cataract surgery. It involves using ultrasonic waves to break up the cloudy lens so that it can be removed through a small incision. Extracapsular surgery is a less common type of cataract surgery. It involves making a larger incision in the eye so that the cloudy lens can be removed in one piece.
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General Aftercare Measures
- It is better to avoid driving or watching television or reading on the day of cataract surgery, and it is preferable to rest at home.
- For the first seven days following cataract surgery, a protective eye wear like a goggle or transparent wrap-around glasses is advised to be worn for all waking hours.
- To minimize any stress on the freshly operated eye, an eye shield should be used over the operated eye at night while sleeping for a week.
- To prevent water or dust and mud from entering the eye, take the body bath below the chin and dry the face with a clean wet towel for the first 2-3 weeks. For women, careful washing of hair is required during this time. In the first few weeks, dirty water or soap/ shampoo from hair washing should not enter your eyes.
- After cataract surgery, eye drops must be used as directed.
- Avoid bending or heavy weight lifting for a week if you experience significant pain.
- Refrain from stroking or touching your eye immediately after the cataract surgery in the first month.
Post Surgery Activities
Returning Back to Work
The majority of patients experience a good recovery and have sufficient vision the next day after cataract surgery. Vision is adequate enough to perform daily activities. For some individuals, returning to work may necessitate hectic schedules with insufficient time for the operated eyes and the administration of eye drops. If you fall into this category, it’s best to take a few days off from work. For women working in professions, applying makeup is not suggested for 2-3 weeks following cataract surgery.
Outdoor activities and traveling by air
Avoiding crowded and dusty locations while doing outdoor activities like shopping, traveling, or seeing friends is perfectly fine. Taking a flight following cataract surgery is not an issue, and it may be planned within a few days after the operation. Keep eye drops in your handbag so that they can be used during flight after cataract surgery as well. It’s essential to remember that prolonged exposure to sunlight might cause dry eye, therefore wearing sun glasses whenever you’re outside is recommended.
It’s a good idea to avoid overdoing things like bending over, carrying significant loads, or doing strenuous exercises for the first two weeks after cataract surgery. For the next few months, let sleeping dogs lie and take a break from transporting the grandchildren for 2 to 3 weeks!
Showering and Head Wash
It’s better to avoid soap water in your eye for the first month after cataract surgery. It is recommended that you do not take a swim, use a hot tub, or visit a sauna or spa. Because there is a tiny incision in the eye following cataract surgery, it should not be exposed to contamination.
Driving after cataract surgery is possible even the next day. However, after cataract surgery, it’s crucial to ensure that both eyes have appropriate balance. The recovery period might be a few weeks in some cases, and restoring equilibrium takes time. Second, it’s critical to ensure that your vision is clear enough for driving. If you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, it’s safer to let someone else drive you about. While operating a vehicle with direct wind or AC air into your eyes, protect your eyes from eye damage by avoiding contact between the two surfaces.
Use of Eye Drops
A month’s worth of eye drops is given to prevent infection and decrease swelling. If you must go out, carry hand-washing facilities with you so that you can clean your hands before putting in your eye medicine. Lubricating drops are sometimes used for 3-4 months as an aftercare measure to relieve the scratchiness associated with cataract surgery.
After the cataract operation, you may discover that your old glasses aren’t suitable any longer. This is due to the fact that your eyesight has improved following surgery. It also depends on the kind of lens inserted into your eye. A single-focus lens, on the other hand, reduces your dependence on distance strength. A multifocal lens may also help you save both time and power for reading glasses as well as distance specs. Trifocal lenses are a type of new lens that has several focal points (distance, near, and far vision). After cataract surgery, extra eye power for glasses might be given if needed.
Follow Up Visits
After a cataract operation, only a few follow-ups are required. The majority of cataracts surgeons will call you two to three times in the first month after surgery. A final examination and glass power determination are performed at one month following cataract surgery. If you experience any of the above problems, you should see your doctor right away:
- Vision loss that comes on suddenly.
- Excessive redness or discharge from the operated eye
- After cataract surgery, there is a sudden occurrence of flashes or floaters.
- Severe eye pain or headache that is not relieved by medication.