Cataract Eye Surgery: What To Expect, Dos & Don’ts, Dry Eye Syndrome

Cataract Eye Surgery- the term may seem intimidating but with the help of thorough knowledge of what it entails, the patient finds himself in a comfortable position with the ongoing procedure. Cataract Eye Surgeries are nothing to be scared of and these surgeries have become quite common today. To understand what to expect from such a surgery we first need to understand what is cataract?

Cataract is the clouding of the lens in the eyes which can lead to worsening vision. This problem usually develops slowly with age and has common symptoms like blurry vision, decreased brightness in vision, halos around light and night blindness. In some cases patients with cataract do not even require any surgery; however, if this issue is causing excessive trouble then it needs to be treated through surgery.

Cataract Eye Surgery

What To Expect From A Cataract Eye Surgery?

For most people, just the word “surgery” is terrifying, but the surgery in action does not let the patient feel any discomfort and is quite safe. Cataract Eye Surgery takes under an hour to get completed and the patient is awake through the complete procedure; however, the eye being acted upon is numbed with medicine to avoid pain. In cataract eye surgery, the surgeon makes the tiniest cut in the front of the eye and through this cut inserts a small tool into the eye to break up the cataract. Once shattered, the cataract is then gently suctioned out of the eye, and a new lens is inserted in its place (which is usually made of plastic, silicon or acrylic). Then, this cut is closed.

Being a simple procedure with the technology today, cataract eye surgery does not even require the patient to stay overnight at the hospital. After discharge, the patient needs someone to drive home.

Once the cataract surgery has been successfully completed, the patient becomes a part of the action and requires practicing in a number of do’s and don’ts to ensure healthy healing of the eye after a cataract surgery.

“Dos” After The Cataract Eye Surgery

  • Do diligently use the eye drops prescribed by the ophthalmologist should be used as per schedule to complete the process of recovery post cataract eye surgery in the stipulated time and at its best.
  • Simple activities which do not require much stress can be done like reading, writing and watching television, to ensure there is no excessive pressure on the eye after the cataract surgery.
  • Do wear a protective eye covering given by the practitioner to ensure no harm to the ailed eye. Especially while sleeping, this protective covering should be in place. The patient should also try to sleep on the side of the unaffected eye.
  • The only time that this protective covering should be removed is during bathing or showering and during this time the patient should keep the eyes closed to avoid any complication of post cataract surgery.

“Don’ts” After The Cataract Eye Surgery

  • Do not rub the operated eye after the cataract surgery. The slightest of external particles can cause an infection in the recently treated eye and therefore complete precaution should be undertaken.
  • Do not drive for at least 24 hours after the cataract surgery owing to the obstruction in the vision because of the surgery.
  • Do not perform any strenuous activity or any activity requiring bending and lifting of weights above 15 pounds. Such an activity can disrupt the speedy recovery of the eye after cataract surgery and therefore should be avoided.
  • Do not swim or expose your operated eye to the water. Since the treated eye should not be exposed to water, swimming and hot tub baths are a complete no-no for the patient until complete recovery has been achieved after the cataract eye surgery.
  • Don’t wearing any eye make-up. Since the eye is in a delicate balance after the cataract surgery, the patient should avoid exposing the areas near the eye to chemicals like cosmetics; at least no eye makeup should be done without consulting with your ophthalmologist first.

The Dry Eye Syndrome

When it comes to improving eyesight issues in old age, cataract surgery works miraculously except in the cases where the patient is suffering from a dry eye syndrome. Quite common in Americans, a dry eye can worsen if treated with a cataract surgery and lead to unpleasant outcomes like itching and burning instead of improving the quality of vision. Not only is a cataract surgery unhealthy for dry eye syndrome patient, but it can also induce a dry eye in patients with healthy corneas, and such a postoperative dry eye can worsen visual outcomes and even the recovery time.

A dry eye is more common in people with increased or advance age, and since cataract is also a problem that surfaces with age, it is common that the patient is suffering from this syndrome without even being aware of it. Dry eye is a symptom which should not be ignored by the surgeons, but at times the surgeons get too caught up in preparing for the cataract surgery, that they give this important detail amiss and the result is worsening eye condition for the patient.

If the patient being treated upon is found to have moderate to acute dry eye, then this condition should be addressed before operation to avoid any damage to the eye. As a solution to this problem, the patient can either be administered with eye drops of Artificial Tears, or be given medication for a specified period of time to recover from the dry eye syndrome. But a patient must never be operated with a dry eye syndrome and without the necessary rectifications to the same.

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