Your eyes have clear lenses that focus light on your retina. As you get older, proteins in your eye break down and clump together in the lens.

A buildup of proteins leads to cataract formation and makes your lens cloudy. In the early stages, cataracts often don’t cause noticeable vision problems.

But with time, cataracts grow, making it more difficult for you to see. Some of the symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Glare
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Colors appearing faded

As a result, you may have trouble reading, driving, and performing other routine activities. Cataracts eventually cause vision loss if not removed.

While they don’t spread from one eye to the other, cataracts can develop in both eyes. Fortunately, they’re successfully treated with cataract surgery. 

Cataract surgery is a standard and straightforward procedure. It removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial one, restoring clear vision.

It is an outpatient procedure and typically takes 10 to 15 minutes for each eye. Keep reading to learn what to expect when you have cataract surgery.

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?

Happy Good Vibes GIF by HBO Max

To begin, your surgeon will apply numbing drops so you won’t feel anything during the procedure. If necessary, they can also give you medication to help calm your nerves and relax.

You will remain awake during the procedure, but you won’t see what the surgeon is doing inside your eye or feel pain. Your surgeon will create a small incision close to the edge of your cornea to reach your lens.

Next, they’ll use ultrasound pulses to break the lens into tiny pieces before using gentle suction to remove the fragments from your eye. Then, your surgeon will implant a new and clear synthetic lens.

The tiny incision won’t need stitches. It can heal on its own. After that, you get sent home to rest and relax for the rest of the day.

What Happens After Cataract Surgery?

But before you go home, you will go to a recovery room where you’ll rest for a short time. There, the medical staff will watch you for any complications.

They will also give you special drops to control your eye pressure, prevent infection, and reduce inflammation. A majority of patients go home after about thirty minutes. But you’ll return the next day for a follow-up appointment. 

Once you’re at home, you should take a nap and rest your eyes. Also, take it easy for at least two or three days.

You may experience some temporary side effects. These include red eyes, light sensitivity, a gritty feeling, headache, and watery eyes.

Your eye may also feel a bit itchy, but it’s important to avoid rubbing it to keep infections at bay. Additionally, you might feel slight discomfort for a few days.

The discomfort and slight side effects should disappear after a couple of days. It’s not unusual to have blurry vision for a couple of hours after the procedure, so be sure to have someone drive you home.

This happens because your eyes take time adjusting to the new lens that replaced your cloudy one. There is a chance you could have crisp vision with a day or two of your procedure. But it is not uncommon for it to take several weeks before your eyes fully adjust.

How Do You Take Care of Your Eyes After Cataract Surgery?

Some helpful tips to remember as you recover include:

Animated GIF
  • Apply your eye drops exactly as prescribed to ensure proper healing
  • Avoid heavy lifting, bending, exercising, and any activity that could get dust in your eyes
  • Don’t drive. Your eye doctor will tell you when it’s safe to drive again
  • As your eye heals, don’t get water in it, as this could cause an infection
  • Avoid the hot tub and swimming pool for at last two weeks after cataract surgery
  • Keep your eyes shut when taking a shower
  • Do not touch or rub your eyes during the day or while you’re sleeping
  • Wear sunglasses whenever you go outside to protect your eyes from the sun as they recover

Overall, downtime after cataract surgery is minimal. Most patients resume many normal activities like watching TV and reading within a week. In a month, you should be able to return to all your normal activities like swimming and other strenuous activities.

Potential Complications to Watch Out for After Cataract Surgery

An overwhelming majority of cataract surgery patients have no complications. But, even though the procedure is very safe, complications can occur, as with any medical procedure.

Issues are more likely to arise after cataract surgery if you have underlying medical conditions or other eye issues. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your eye doctor right away:

  • Excessive coughing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vision loss
  • Persistent pain that doesn’t go away even with over-the-counter drugs

If cataracts affect your daily life, the only effective treatment is surgery. Cataract surgery is virtually painless and life-changing.

The board-certified ophthalmologists at Joshi Retina Institute are experts at performing cataract surgery. With a reputation for outstanding surgical outcomes, you can rest assured your vision is in capable hands.

Want to see again without limitations? Schedule a cataract screening at Joshi Eye Institute in Boynton Beach, FL today!

Don’t let cataracts hold you back from your life any longer. Get the clear eyesight you deserve!