This is what to expect after cataract surgery


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According to Optometrist Davida van der Merwe, while cataract surgery is categorised as minor surgery, it is often a major cause of anxiety and concern.

Moreover, many people feel disappointed after cataract surgery because their vision is not as good as expected. “I often hear, I should never have gone for the cataract operation,” declares Davida

However, she states that a few invaluable facts must be kept in mind prior to venturing down this illuminating road. “Cataract operations are usually done one eye at a time. After the first eye’s operation, your current spectacles (if you had any) would not work as well as before. But they would still work for the unoperated eye.”

She further states that once both eyes have undergone surgery, your spectacles might not work at all. Unfortunately, and a reason for the article, this often creates the impression that the operation was unsuccessful. But, this is not the reality, as there is a sound reason for the initial difference in vision. 

To understand, “let me explain what was done during the surgery,” describes Davida. “A cataract is the lens inside your eye, just behind the pupil that becomes hazy/milky (much like a bathroom window).” Further noting that this lens provides one-third of your eye’s focussing power.

The hazy lens is removed during the operation, and an artificial lens is implanted. “Therefore, your eye’s lens is replaced with a different lens. This means that your eyes now focus/see differently.”

If your eyes are healthy with no other conditions like macular degeneration or diabetic eye disease—”one can expect a good outcome from cataract surgery. Afterwards, most people have good distance vision but battle to see nearby,” states Davida.

“One must remember that the eyes need a little time to heal after the surgery. To assist with the healing process, your surgeon will give you a set of instructions (“do’s and don’ts”), as well as eye drops. Following your surgeon’s instructions to the letter and taking the eye drops as instructed is imperative.”

Davida van der Merwe – Optometrist

Bearing this in mind, many patients experience dry eyes after their surgery. “If you have any symptoms of dry eyes – scratching, burning, tearing and/ or itching, mention it to your ophthalmologist or optometrist, and they can recommend suitable eye drops.”

Thereafter, Davida says that “once you had your last follow up examination with the ophthalmologist (about 4 to 6-weeks post-op), it is advised that you visit your optometrist for refraction and eye examination. The optometrist will now be able to check how your prescription has changed and which spectacles would be the most suitable.”

With your eyes healed and once you receive your new spectacles, “your eyes will feel like your own again, and you will see well, look well, and carry a smile!”

Concluding, it is crucial to remember that this minor surgery boasts a high success rate thanks to continued medical advancements over the years. 

To learn more about cataract surgery, click here.

The information given in this article is for information purposes and is not meant to replace the advice given by your eye care practitioner. Each patient’s eyes and vision are unique. This is a general guideline.

This post and content is sponsored and provided by Davida van der Merwe Optometrist.


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