Cataracts are a common issue associated with the natural aging process. The condition involves the clouding of the naturally clear lens of the eyes. According an estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30.1 million Americans age 40 and older will have cataracts in one or both eyes by next year. Thankfully a routine cataract removal procedure can take care of the problem.
Dr. Walter Choate receives a number of questions from patients in the Nashville, TN area about cataract treatments. Right now, we want to consider what patients experience after cataract surgery as they are recovering. This will give you an idea of what the healing process involves.
You may need to take a day or two off from work to give yourself a chance to recuperate after cataract surgery. More time off may be necessary if you have a physically demanding job or work in a field that increases your risk of experiencing post-op complications.
An eye surgeon can discuss how much time off you’ll need during the consultation process. The cataract surgeon can also go over modifications to your job duties if necessary to give you enough time to fully recover.
In terms of seeing clearly again after surgery, that can be as little as a few hours, yet it can take a week or two before your vision becomes its clearest. Full recovery and a return to all the activities you did prior to surgery can take a month. Each patient heals at their own rate, so keep that in mind.
In the first few days after surgery, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience light sensitivity and dry eye. Some eye discomfort is also common as you are recovering. This is normal. Cataract surgery patients should rest their eyes and use medicated eye drops as directed to help reduce inflammation during the first few days after surgery.
To prevent discomfort, cataract surgery patients should wear sunglasses whenever they are outdoors to protect their eyes from the sun. Lubricating eye drops can be used to help alleviate itchiness, scratchiness, redness, and dryness of the eyes after surgery. Keep these liquid tears with you for the next several weeks.
By the end of the first week, patients will return to their Nashville vision surgery center for a follow-up visit. This will allow the surgeon to evaluate the recovery process and address any issues should they arise. Patients should attend all of these follow-up visits as scheduled.
Over the course of the next few weeks, patients should notice improvements in their initial post-op side effects. Vision quality should hit its peak within the month, and patients will be able to return to normal physical activities.
If a cataract surgery patient notices worsening side effects, they should contact their surgeon as soon as possible. Worsening side effects are typically the sign of a serious post-op complication.
In the months following cataract surgery, patients will notice improved vision quality that they may not have experienced for a long time. With clear vision, cataract surgery offers a whole new outlook on life.
If you live in Nashville and would like more information on cataracts and cataract removal, be sure to contact a trusted vision care expert. Choate Eye Associates can be reached by phone at (615) 805-0712.