When Should I See an Optometrist After Cataract Surgery?

When cataracts form on the eye lens, they make the lens cloudy, affecting vision. Cataract surgery is a procedure that involves the removal of the cloudy eye lens. Eye doctors perform the surgery in an outpatient procedure.


You need to take care of your eyes after the surgery. Here is more information on when you should see an optometrist after cataract surgery.


When to Get Cataract Surgery


Waiting to have surgery will not necessarily cause harm—many people live for years with cataracts. When they are small, they may not cause problems. If your cataracts are causing blurry vision and making it difficult to see clearly, you should get surgery.


Cataracts can make it difficult to perform your normal activities and cause increased glare from lights. They can also make it difficult for doctors to examine the eye properly. At this stage, your eye doctor is likely to suggest that you get surgery.


What to Expect Before Surgery


Before the surgery, the eye specialist will conduct an ultrasound test and measure the shape and size of your eye. It will help determine the lens implant right for your eyes. Most people who undergo cataract surgery get intraocular lenses (IOLs) that help improve vision. The doctor inserts an IOL permanently, so it does not require additional care.


You will not be able to feel or see it. The doctor will talk to you about the lens options available, and you can choose the best one for your needs. IOLs have different features and functions.


During Cataract Surgery


Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure usually completed in one hour or less. Surgeons use eye drops to dilate the pupil, local anesthesia to numb the area, and a sedative to relax the patient. The patient remains awake during the surgery.


The surgeon will remove the clouded lens in one piece through an incision before implanting the artificial lens. Alternatively, the doctor may use an ultrasound probe to break up the lens before removing it. 


After Cataract Surgery


The vision may be blurry immediately after, but it should begin to improve a few days after the surgery. You can expect to see colors looking brighter as you look through the clear lens. You will visit the doctor one or two days after surgery.


The next appointment will be after a week and the next one after a month. This will help monitor the healing process. Some mild discomfort or itching is normal after the surgery. You may need to wear a protective shield or eye patch for a few days, particularly during sleep.


Seeing an Optometrist After Cataract Surgery


Complete recovery from cataract surgery will usually take eight weeks. You should contact the optometrist immediately if you experience severe or persistent pain, vision loss, and eyelid swelling. You should also be wary of extreme eye redness and floaters or light flashes in front of the eye.


You may require eyeglasses for a while after the surgery. The doctor will let you know when your eyes are completely healed for the final prescription. It can take two to three months after the surgery.


If both your eyes have cataracts, the doctor may schedule surgery for the second eye after the first one has healed.


For more on seeing an optometrist after cataract surgery, call Norwood Family Eye Care at 901-617-8095 to reach our office in Bartlett, Tennessee.

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