What Is Cataract Surgery?
How much time your eyes need to heal after surgery? Well, you only need a day to go back to your normal life. Immediately after cataract surgery, you only need to rest for an hour to neutralize the effect of anaesthesia but there are things you still need to avoid till your eyes fully recover. Things like heavy lifting, driving, exposing your eyes to harsh lights, cooking, etc. can affect your recovery rate and further complicate it. However, don’t get anxious if you can’t see clearly right after surgery. Take the necessary precautions after the cataract operation. Keep calm and give it some time to heal.
A cataract is a common eye problem that develops as we grow older. There are 25% chances of growing cataracts after you’re 40, whereas the chances increase up to 40% after you’re 80. The presence of a cloudy substance between your pupil and lens and its growth over years, eventually turning into blindness is a cataract. If the disease is examined at an early stage then precautions like wearing sunglasses during the daytime, eye drops, and prescribed anti-glare eyeglasses can help improve your vision for some time.
Right Time For Cataract Surgery
If the symptoms are worse like, you can’t even see across the room, standing in sunlight is painful, you’re having double vision, then your cataract has fully developed and can get operated on right away. The most effective and permanent way to get rid of cataracts is operation. Operation sounds like a big word but doesn’t worry, the procedure is short and painless. Ask your doctor to give a date for the cataract surgery.
This operation just takes 10- 15 minutes if there are no other complications. The lens with a cataract is extracted and replaced with an artificial lens. A cataract operation is performed on one eye at a time, so if you can’t see clearly after the first surgery then it’s nothing to worry about, give your eyes some time to adjust. Also, wait until your other eye gets operated on. With advanced technology, the success rate of surgery is over 90%. You stay awake during surgery; just some anaesthesia is given to numb the pain in your eyes. The bandage can be removed after just 3-4 hours.
Precautions Before Cataract Surgery
You’ll be advised to take extra precautions after the cataract surgery but there are some things you should take care of before the surgery.
- Don’t eat or drink anything at least before 12 hours except water.
- Don’t wear any makeup on the day of surgery especially on the face because a single particle of your makeup can cause infection in your eyes if came in contact.
- Wear comfortable clothes in which you can lie down without any irritation for the whole day.
- Bring sunglasses, so you can cover your eyes while going home after the surgery.
- Come with one of your family members for convenience after the surgery. As you’ll be tired and dizzy from the anaesthesia.
- Tell your doctor if you’re on any kind of medicine, for a successful surgery.
- Before you leave the operation room you’ll be given some eye drops, use them after washing your hands, squeeze the right amount of drop in your eye without letting the bottle touch your eye.
Precautions After Cataract Surgery
You need to follow up with your surgeon for some days after your operation. Your doctor will tell you about all the precautions you need to take. One of the most common issues you will face is itchy-ness in your eyes. Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes at all costs. Don’t panic, and follow these steps after surgery to protect your eyes from any complications.
Here are some important precautions after cataract operation that you must take:
Avoid any kind of housework that includes bending. Bending puts pressure on your eyes and can cause complications. You are advised to keep your house clean and dirt-free in the initial weeks of the surgery but avoid cleaning it yourself. Ask your family members or a maid for it.
As your eyes are adjusting to a new vision, provide them with all the required nutrients to heal faster and naturally. Avoid any processed food and junk food. Include protein and fibre-rich food on your plate. For example- green vegetables, eggs, and fruits. You need to keep a look at your blood sugar level, by avoiding food that is high in sugar like pasta; snacks like chips; bread, and any junk food. Increased blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in your eyes and further delay your healing process.
Wear Eye Shields While Sleeping
One of the precautions after a cataract operation to take is to wear eye patches while you’re sleeping for some days to protect your eyes from any infection. Aside from wearing this shield, ensure to avoid sleeping on the side of the eye operated.
Avoid Heavy Exercises
Avoid any activity that can put extra pressure on your eyes like lifting heavyweights. Your eyes need a full month’s recovery and sometimes even more.
Showering And Hair Wash
You are allowed to shower after a cataract operation but with utmost precautions. The first week after your surgery is critical for your eyes. Do not use polluted water to bathe as no matter how careful you are just one particle of pollutant or soap can infect your eyes. Hair-wash takes help from one of your family members and advises them to proceed with caution. Cover your eyes well and keep hygienic clothes nearby for wiping.
Don’t Avoid Post-Operation Appointments
This is one important step in your recovery. It’s a good thing to get to see the world again, but don’t forget to schedule a post-operation appointment with your doctor. After the surgery, your doctor will prescribe you some eye-drops and medicines, your doctor will analyze your recovery rate and tell you what you should do and avoid.
Don’t Wear Any Accessories & Make-up
For 2-3 weeks after your operation; instead, use sunglasses to avoid any direct bright light entering your eyes.
Minimum Screen Time
Keep minimum use of a screen post-operation. If it’s important then use anti-glare glasses prescribed by your doctor. You can watch TV after a day but keep it short. You should not look at the screen continuously for long hours until the doctor permits you.
Healing Time & Process
Precautions post cataract operation are important but how fast you recover depends on the size of your cataract. 4-6 weeks is the maximum time your eyes need to recover fully. It’s normal to have watering, sore eyes after surgery.
Complications You Might Experience During Cataract Surgery
During 1st week of your operation, your eye is a vulnerable part of your body. Although the success rate of operation is pretty high, you still might face some of these symptoms like pain, nausea, vision loss. If you suffer from any of these problems, go and see your surgeon right away. If you experience any sudden increase in pain on redness in your eyes, seek help. Also, reanalyze your daily routine.
The most important thing you need for your recovery phase is patience. Don’t get too excited right after your cataract surgery, you need to slowly phase into your normal daily life. While the list of precautions after a cataract operation can keep exceeding, the outcome and your recovery rate depend on how your daily routine is affecting it. Handle it with care and common sense. Avoid gatherings and places with pollution and pollen.
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