A cataract is a medical condition where protein builds up in the eye’s lens, making it progressively more opaque and cloudy. This complication creates a compromised and blurred vision that will worsen as the severity of the cataract increases.
Fortunately, this is a relatively common condition that cataract eye surgery can be treated quickly. Typically, it doesn’t take up to an hour before your surgeon completes the cataract eye surgery procedure.
Before the cataract eye surgery day arrives, your surgeon would have conducted a serious examination of your eyes and your entire body. If the eye infection condition has not reached the severe stage, your eye surgeon may suggest using prescribed eye drops to correct the vision. In other cases, your doctor may recommend contact lenses or eyeglasses to heal your cloudy vision.
Manual cataract eye surgery involves removing the natural lens where the eye infection is and replacing it with a clear artificial lens. The replacement lens will help correct the blurry vision and restore normal vision. The eye surgeon must have also examined the new artificial lens to know whether it suits your eyes.
Usually, the eye inspection comes up about a month before the surgery day. If the surgeon notices that the eye infection has serious complications, he must suggest cataract eye surgery as the ultimate corrective measure to give you clear vision.
Before you approach the doctor’s office, you must understand a few things about preparing for cataract surgery. That’s what you are about to learn in this article.
With over 3 million cataract surgeries being performed annually in Australia alone, it is one of the country’s safest and most frequently performed surgical procedures.
What to Expect With Cataract Eye Surgery
Cataract eye surgery is outpatient, meaning you don’t have to remain in the hospital after the lens surgery. The surgery usually takes an hour to perform and is conducted by a seasoned ophthalmologist. It is a painless procedure as you will receive anesthetics to numb the eye and will receive a sedative to help you relax.
Sedatives will help decrease your eye pressure during the surgery. However, most patients get anxious when the procedure is on, so it is a good idea to get numbing treatment to keep them off.
Immediately following the cataract eye surgery, you will need assistance driving home, and you may experience blurred vision initially before your eye heals. Usually, your vision should improve within the first seven days, but you may experience some itchiness or mild discomfort in the operated eye.
Mind you; your recovery time depends on how much you adhere to post-surgery treatment. For some, the recovery period would be only a few weeks, while for others may take about a month before the affected eye recovers.
You must be faithful to every follow-up appointment with your doctor to monitor the healing process and should expect to heal from the surgery around one month after the operation. While your vision will improve, most people will still need protective shields like eyeglasses after cataract eye surgery.
You can also do curative things to prevent infection or vision problems, like double vision after the surgery. In addition, your doctor may suggest laser-assisted cataract surgery to avoid side effects afterward.
Things to Do Before the day of Cataract Surgery
While cataract surgery is safe, there are several things that you should do to ensure a successful surgery:
- About a week before your surgery, your doctor will measure the size and shape of your eye with a painless ultrasound test. The purpose is to determine the correct type of lens implant to use during the surgery, as the lens will be chosen based on the curvature of the cornea and the length of the eye. In most cases, you can expect an intraocular lens to replace your natural lens and be a permanent vision solution.
- Suppose you have other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. In that case, your doctor may require you to get them to healthy levels before proceeding with the procedure, so ensure your general health is acceptable.
- To help reduce the risk of vision complications, you may be prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory eye drops to take in the days following your cataract surgery.
- Since you cannot drive immediately following the cataract surgery, plan to arrange a ride to take you home after the operation. You should also expect three days off to rest and hasten the healing process. Most patients return to normal activities after a couple of days.
- Follow the preoperative instructions provided to you by your cataract surgeon. That will include fasting for the 12 hours before the procedure (meaning do not eat or drink during that time).
- If there is anything you do not understand about the process and procedures around having cataract surgery, ask your doctor for clarification. It is essential to be on the same page to ensure a successful surgery and recovery.
Things to Avoid Before Cataract Surgery
In addition to the things that you should do before your cataract surgery, there are several things you should avoid before the surgery date:
- Because cataract surgery involves cutting the lens, some minimal bleeding can occur. While it is not usually significant, your ophthalmologist may still recommend that you stop taking aspirin or anti-clotting drugs ahead of your procedure to be safe. You should always ask your doctor who prescribed your medications before use.
- You should avoid contact lenses for at least three days before surgery and wear glasses instead. Contact lenses put you at a higher risk of irritating your eye, which could impact or delay the cataract surgery.
- On the day of cataract surgery, you should avoid wearing facial lotions, makeup, creams, or aftershave. Instead, wash your face with soap and water before your cataract surgery.
Can You Brush Before Cataract Surgery?
Yes, it is good to brush your teeth before cataract surgery. However, if you have been asked to fast before the surgery, you should use as little water as possible and try not to drink anything during or after brushing your teeth.
If you have developed cataracts, cataract surgery is the only way to remove them from the eye safely. Thankfully, cataract surgery is a safe eye care solution that can have life-changing results for those who have lost visual acuity due to cataracts
knowing how to prepare and what to avoid before the cataract surgery helps you have the best experience possible. Knowing how to aid in quick recovery after cataract surgery is also essential. Before leaving the center, you can ask your surgeon for post-cataract surgery care tips.