8 Cataract Surgery Side Effects and What to Do About Them

Being told you may need cataract surgery can be overwhelming. You may not know what to expect and you may be concerned with any possible side effects. Fortunately, side effects are rare with this type of surgery and discomfort is mild, but it’s still wise to know and understand what could happen. If you do experience these side effects, they are typically not serious in nature, but it is best to be informed.

Here are the top side effects that could happen after your cataract surgery in Austin.

1. Blurry Vision
It’s not uncommon to experience blurry or unclear vision after surgery, sometimes lasting days or even weeks. This is due to normal swelling in the eye that happens with this type of surgery.

Your surgeon can prescribe you some anti-inflammatory eye drops that will help decrease the swelling and clear up your vision. If you are still having blurry vision after a week, call your ophthalmologist.

2. Dry Eyes
Most patients experience dry eyes after undergoing cataract surgery. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, small nerves on your eye’s surface are cut when incisions are made by the surgeon to access your lens. These nerves are responsible for telling your eye to produce tears in order to provide lubrication. Until those nerves heal, your eyes will decrease tear production and feel dry, which can lead to discomfort, light sensitivity, or blurry vision.

Pick up some over-the-counter artificial tears to find relief in the interim.

3. Feeling Like Something is in Your Eye
After surgery, it may feel as though you have sand caught in your eye, which can lead to a scratchy sensation. This is totally normal and is caused by the incision made in your eye. It should go away within a week, but it can last up to three months if you also have dry eyes along with it.

4. Glare and Halos
You may experience unwanted visual images after your cataract surgery, known as dyphotopsia. These images include halos, glare, and streaks of light, usually at night or in dim lighting – cause by a variety of things such as residual refractive error. If these images persist, ask your ophthalmologist for drops you can take at night.

5. Light Sensitivity
This is common, and is usually due to dryness in the eye. However, if you find yourself reflexively squinting with light exposure, inflammation in the iritis could be to blame. Your ophthalmologist can prescribe a steroid drop to help with this, coupled with the wearing of sunglasses, until the condition goes away.

6. Nausea or Disorientation
Feeling nauseated after your cataract surgery is normal and is usually due to the IV anesthesia used to sedate you. This nausea could last for a day or two, so just stay plenty hydrated and eat something when you get home. Ocular hypertension, or elevated eye pressure, can also lead to nausea due to the gels used during surgery or if you have glaucoma. Ask your ophthalmologist to check your ocular pressure one day post-op if this is a concern.

7. Bloodshot or Red Eyes
A common side effect, this is caused by inflammation or broken blood vessels. It may look scary but it’s harmless and will heal on its own. If you have pain, changes in vision, or light sensitivity in addition to the bloodshot eyes, call your ophthalmologist.

8. Floaters or Flashes of Light
Floaters are the shadows of vitreous gel in your eye and are not serious. They will go away on their own. However, if you see bursts of floaters or intense flashes of light, call your ophthalmologist. This could be caused by retinal detachment, which is a very rare complication of cataract surgery.

Book Your Cataract Surgery Consultation With Broberg Eye Care

Got more concerns about possible side effects from cataract surgery? We can discuss all of those concerns during your initial consultation with our team. Just schedule an appointment to get started at (512) 447-6096. Our hours are Monday through Friday, with a convenient location at 4207 James Casey St #305 in Austin, TX.

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