Cataracts are a common eye condition that causes a clouding of the lens of the eye, resulting in blurry vision. It is very common in people over the age of 50. Thankfully, cataracts can be treated, but it is important to properly prepare and take care of your eyes after receiving cataract surgery.
What should you not do before cataract surgery?
You may be instructed to avoid eating or drinking anything for the 12 hours preceding the operation. It is also advised to not wear any makeup, including lotions and perfumes. These cosmetic products should also be avoided until cleared by your optometrist. Also be sure to dress in comfortable clothing, as you want to be as comfortable as possible during the procedure.
What is the best practice of post-op care for cataract surgery?
Once cataract surgery has been completed, and the anesthesia has cleared from your system, you can return home. It is not safe to drive yourself home because your vision will be impacted immediately after surgery. It is important that you have someone you trust take you back home after the procedure. While this is usually an outpatient operation, it is still an operation, and you may experience discomfort, grogginess or pain for a few hours after the surgery. Typical side effects in the first days after surgery include:
- Watery eyes.
- Feeling like you have grit in your eyes.
- Blurry or double vision.
- A red or bloodshot eye.
You may receive medicated eye drops to treat the pain. You should also receive a pair of prescription sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun or lights, and it is important to wear these for the length of time recommended by your optometrist. You may also receive an eye patch or a protective visor to wear to bed to ensure the safety of your eyes overnight, so your eye is not hit or poked in your sleep. Although pain might persist after the surgery, it should subside after a few days. During this time, you will likely be prescribed medicated eye drops for the pain.
What are the do’s and don’ts after cataract surgery?
Use your prescribed eye drops — Your doctor will prescribe eye drops to keep your eye from getting infected after cataract surgery. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and use the drops as frequently as they tell you to, even though these may or may not be the same type of eyedrops you were given in preparation for surgery. As you will likely have to use the drops more and at different times, do not assume the regimen will be the same as it was before surgery.
Wear a protective shield when you sleep — It is important to keep your eyes protected, even during sleep. While you will be aware of what is near your eye during the day, at night it is a much different story. You could roll over and rub your eye against your pillow, which could get germs in your eye and lead to an infection. Your doctor will give you an eye shield to use at night, so don’t forget to use it!
Don’t get soap or water in your eyes — Although there will be no stitches used to keep the incision in your eye closed, it will heal naturally over time. It is crucial to protect your eyes as much as possible! It is a lot easier for bacteria and other particles to get in, because of the open incision. Keeping your eyes free of things like water and soap may be difficult when showering, but it is extremely important. You can take a bath instead if you do not think you can avoid getting any soap or water in your eyes in the shower.
Don’t rub or press on your eyes — Rubbing your eyes can cause bacteria or an infection to occur, and the pressure is also bad for the healing incision. If your eye becomes itchy, resist the urge! Rubbing it will only make things worse. Keeping your eyes as clean as possible and clear of contact will lead to faster healing.
Along with these, follow your doctor’s after care instructions, and your eyes should heal quickly and properly.
If you or someone you know recently had cataract surgery, or are about to, call Promontory Family Vision! We have a team of experts who regularly perform cataract surgery, and they know exactly how to prepare and take care of it afterwards! Contact our office today to speak with a specialist. To schedule an appointment, call us or visit us online!