You might ask, “What are possible temporary side effects after cataract surgery?” To answer this question and to help you prepare when you talk with your surgeon, here are frequent questions and concerns patients ask about after surgery.
BLURRED VISION: what are common causes of blurred vision after cataract surgery?
- Dropless cataract surgery is routinely performed at The Harman Eye Clinic, and causes black dots in the vision for at least day or two after surgery. Patients are instructed to sit upright for at least a few hours when the get home to help the medicine settle to the bottom of the eye, like a snow globe.
- Dilation lasts for at least a day or two after cataract surgery and commonly causes blurred vision.
- PCO or posterior capsular opacification occurs 10-20% after routine cataract surgery. It causes glare at night, but is curable by a simple YAG laser procedure that takes 2 minutes to perform, but an hour and a half for the paperwork!
- CME or cystoid macular edema occurs about 1% of the time after routine cataract surgery. It causes difficulty reading and even distance vision. Risk factors include diabetes, ERM (epiretinal membrane), prior retinal surgery and possibly cigarette smoking. It often can be cured with topical steroid and anti-inflammatory eye drops.
- Residual refractive error may cause blur until new spectacles are prescribed. If a monofocal lens is chosen for best distance vision, then near vision will be blurred (so called presbyopia) until readers are used.
- Dry Eye syndrome is a life long condition, that may cause fluctuating vision, and may be worse at least temporarily after cataract surgery. It is often exacerbated by prescription eye drops (especially generic drops such as ketorolac), but we are seeing much less dry eye problems since switching to dropless surgery.
- ARMD (age related macular degeneration) or ERM may also limit vision due to aging changes in the retina.
DYSPHOTOPSIAS are unwanted visual phenomena occurring after routine cataract surgery.
- Negative dysphotopsia are likened to “horse blinders” with a shadow or dark crescent on the side and usually subside within days or weeks. They are thought to be more common in square edged lens implants, but have been reported in all types of lens implants, however they are not dangerous.
- Positive dysphotopsia are less common, and are often described as an arc of light under certain lighting conditions.
REBOUND IRITIS IS INFLAMMATION that occurs usually 2 to 3 weeks after cataract surgery.
- It is thought to be a result of the dropless medicine wearing off, especially found in darkly pigmented patients. It happens in less than 10% of patients who have dropless surgery and is treated with topical steroids. This is the best reason for patients to keep their 3-week postoperative appointment after surgery.
For more information. download a free copy of our Cataract Surgery Patient Workbook, here.
Or take time to read, A Patient’s Journal – Cataract Surgery