What to Expect After Cataract Surgery

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By the age of 80, more than 50 percent of all Americans either have a cataract or have previously had one removed, according to the National Eye Institute. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye that makes it difficult to see, and typically require surgical removal.

Features

  • You will likely go home the same day as your surgery, and will probably be given an eye patch to wear. Your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to examine the progress of your healing, usually one to two days after the procedure.

Self-Care

  • Your doctor will give you prescription eye drops to administer several times per day to help with healing and limit the pressure in your eye. It is likely that you will also have a shield to protect your eyes at night.

Common Side Effects

  • Common side effects of cataract surgery experience itching, slight pain, watery discharge, light sensitivity, and tenderness to the touch, according to the National Eye Institute.

Time Frame

  • Most symptoms diminish one to two days after your cataract surgery. The healing process typically takes six weeks to complete, according to Dr. Murray McFadden.

Risks

  • Though rare, there are some risks associated with cataract surgery, including inflammation, bleeding, swelling, retinal detachment and glaucoma, cautions the Mayo Clinic.

Warning

  • If you experience a loss of vision, pain that is not relieved by over-the-counter medications, light flashes in your vision field, nausea, vomiting or excessive coughing, contact your doctor immediately as these are signs of complications from cataract surgery, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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