What You Should Know before considering a Cataract Surgery

What You Should Know before considering a Cataract Surgery

A cataract is an opacity or clouding of the lens (natural lens of the eye) that generates blurred-cloudy-opaque vision, being the most frequent cause of reversible blindness.

The lens is a natural intraocular lens that people have inside the eye, which over time loses its transparency, becoming thicker and less flexible. This phenomenon is called a cataract. The affected person notices a decrease in visual acuity that cannot be treated with glasses. The light that enters the ocular system is absorbed or diverted and does not reach the retina under the right conditions, for this reason, the resulting image is not sharp. Surgery is the only solution to remove a cataract. 

The causes of the appearance of cataracts are several. They can exist congenitally (at birth), with age or secondary due to other factors, such as eye disease, trauma, or overexposure to ultraviolet rays. The most common is that it occurs after a process of natural degeneration of the lens with age.

For a cataract to be diagnosed, a complete visual examination with a slit lamp is necessary. The amount of visual and transparency loss should be assessed.

Symptoms of cataracts

People affected by cataracts have the following symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased intensity of colors
  • Changes in ocular refraction
  • Poor night vision
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Halos
  • Double vision
  • Poor visual quality (low detail perception)

Typical recovery duration for cataract surgery

According to JLR eye hospital the patient should not be alarmed if their vision appears cloudy, blurry, or distorted after removing the eye shield for the first time. It may take some time for your visual system to recover from the removal of the cataract.

Due to the normal handling of surgery, the patient may also develop temporary reddening of the blood vessels located on the surface of the sclera (the “white” part of the eye) in the operated eye during cataract surgery. As the eye heals, the redness should dissipate.

When the treating physician deems it necessary, the patient could receive an anesthetic injection through the skin in the lower part of the eye, if this happens you may notice some bruises similar to those of a blow. This too should go away in a few days.

Each person heals differently, and some people may need up to a week or two before seeing clear images.

If you do not notice any improvement in blurred vision, eye pain, or significant discomfort in the days following your post operative consultation, you should immediately contact your physician.


It’s clear that cataract surgery can restore your vision, but there are always some risks to consider.

Cataracts refer to the condition in which the lens of the eye becomes opaque, thus preventing the correct flow of light. For this reason, cataract surgery consists of removing the opaque lens and replacing it with a completely transparent artificial one.

Although in most cases, surgery waterfalls. It is performed without inconvenience, there are exceptions in which certain problems derived from the operation may arise. It is important to be attentive to any symptoms that may arise and to maintain open channels of communication with the ophthalmologist in question during the first week after possible risks after cataract surgery.

Here is the list of possible risks after cataract surgery:

  • Infection – Germs that can get into your eye during surgery (or after surgery) can cause an infection. This will manifest as pain, redness, blurred vision, and discharge. To treat the infection, antibiotics will be injected into the eye.
  • Swelling – If the swelling is too uncomfortable or worsens over the days, you should turn to your ophthalmologist.
  • Retinal detachment occurs when the retina moves from its original location. This problem can cause total vision loss if not corrected and you should see an ophthalmologist immediately if part of your field of vision is black, if you see dark spots in your field of vision, or if you see flashes of light.
  • Lens fragments: When the cloudy lens is removed from your eye, small pieces of the lens can remain in the lens, which if too large can cause inflammation. Surgery will be needed to remove them.
  • Accumulation of liquids in the retina: After surgery, the capillaries of the eye can break and flood the eye, preventing correct vision. An eye drop prescribed by your doctor is usually enough to remedy the problem.
  • Intraocular lens dislocation: The artificial lens placed during surgery may shift slightly, causing blurred or double vision. New surgery is needed to solve this problem.
  • Capsular opacification: The posterior capsule of the lens is left in place for the purpose of placing the intraocular lens. 
  • Inflammation of the cornea: The cornea is the front, transparent part of the eye. It can become swollen and cloudy after surgery, making it difficult to see. It is treated with eye drops.
  • Bleeding – This is unlikely, but sometimes the blood vessels supplying the eye begin to bleed. The accumulation of blood can end in a total loss of vision. It can be solved with drops, and if it doesn’t work, you would have to resort to surgery.
  • High eye pressure: Surgery can increase the pressure in the eye, which is called ocular hypertension. It can be treated with eye drops, injections, or pills.
  • Dysphotopsia: It can occur in a negative state, the main effect of which is a shadow at the edges of the field of vision, and in the positive state, in which the patient sees flashes of light. It usually goes away on its own, though if it doesn’t, eye drops and surgery will ultimately be needed.
  • Droopy eyelid: Also called ptosis, it is a relatively common condition after surgery and consists of the eyelid not opening as wide as possible, but remaining halfway up. It usually goes away, although if it doesn’t, surgery will be needed.

If you are considering having cataract surgery, it is important to know the possible details about the operation. If you need cataract surgery on both eyes, the surgeon will usually wait a few days to two weeks for the first eye to recover before performing the procedure on the second eye. Although it is also important that you consider that the main benefit is to recover your vision, and that is priceless.

About the Author

Animesh Rai is a postgraduate in health and hospital management from the Indian Institute of Health Management Research, currently working as a Deputy Administrator at the Association for the Prevention of Blindness, a non-profit society, operating 200-bedded JL Rohatgi Memorial Eye Hospital. Hospital also has a training institute that offers full-time optometry courses in Kanpur

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