what to do after cataract surgery melbourne

What to Do After Cataract Surgery? Follow These General Considerations

Managing and treating cataracts are common aspects of eye care. While cataract surgery can be a daunting prospect, cataract surgery in Australia is considered to be a safe, effective procedure. After having your cataracts removed, your eye specialist will give you guidelines on what to do after cataract surgery in order to minimise your risk of a complication or adverse event. Depending on your specific eye specialist, your post-operative instructions may differ slightly, but here are some general considerations. 

 

What to do After Cataract Surgery?

Practising good eye care after your cataract surgery will help to make your recovery as smooth and uneventful as possible. This being said, even if your cataract surgery was uncomplicated and you are considered to be a low risk for any adverse events, there is always a risk after any surgical procedure. To reduce your risk, it’s important to follow all post-operative instructions or talk to your eye care professional if you’re unsure about what to do after cataract surgery

 

Allow yourself to rest

Although typically a simple day procedure, cataract surgery can leave you feeling fatigued and worn out. Be sure to bring a driver with you to take you home after your procedure and if you’re still feeling uncomfortable driving the next day, arrange for someone to bring you to wherever you need to go. Post cataract surgery is a great opportunity to take a break from housework and chores, which include avoiding any heavy lifting like shopping bags. You may also want to take leave from your regular job for at least a few days, depending on your vocation. 

 

Keep your eye clean and protected

Immediately after cataract surgery and for the following few weeks, your eye will be at a heightened vulnerable state for infections. To minimise your risk of n infection, keep the eye area hygienic with clean water. Avoid any soaps, detergents, commercial facial cleansers, and makeup around the eye. Your eye specialist will also advise you to stay away from unsterile water sources as your eye heals over the first week or so – these include the beach, swimming pools, saunas and hot tubs. You can still shower (as personal hygiene is important!), but in the first few days, you may want to keep your eye out of the spray. As your eye continues to heal after cataract surgery, it’s a good idea to stay away from environments that increase your risk of catching debris in your eye. This can include the dusty storage areas of your house or even the park on a windy day. 

 

Finish your prescribed eye drops

care what to do after cataract surgery melbourneAfter your procedure, your eye specialist will prescribe you two to three bottles of eye drop medications. These include an antibiotic and one or two anti-inflammatory medications.

You’ll also be given dosing instructions, which may look something like “four times a day until the bottle is empty”, or “four times a day for the first week, tapering to three times a day for the following week, then twice a day for the week after”.

No matter what the dosing schedule is, it’s important to finish the full course of eye drops as prescribed by your specialist, even if your eye already feels better. 

 

Complete your review appointments

Typically, an eye specialist will want you to have a check-up a day or two after your cataract procedure, a week later, and then a month after that. As it can take 4 to 6 weeks for an eye to heal fully after a cataract procedure, these review consultations allow your eye specialist to ensure that everything is progressing as it should. It is not uncommon for these reviews to be conducted by another eye care practitioner, who will report back to the operating eye surgeon. Once it has been determined that your eye is healed and your vision has finished stabilising, your eye specialist will send you back to your family optometrist to check whether your prescription glasses or contact lenses need updating. 

 

Seek attention if anything is not right

Some discomfort in the short weeks following your eye operation is to be expected. You can expect to experience some increased glare sensitivity and grittiness in the eye, as well as the eye looking a little red and perhaps a bit watery. Also, while your vision will probably be much improved immediately after surgery, it may still take a few weeks for it to clear completely. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s important to contact your eye specialist immediately:

  • Deteriorating vision, including a decrease in clarity or areas of black/greyed out vision
  • Increased pain in the eye
  • Increased redness of the eye
  • Any pus or mucous discharge from the eye
  • Floaters or flashing lights in your vision
  • Unusual headaches or nausea

If you are unable to get hold of your usual eye specialist, you can contact your local optometrist, GP, or present at a hospital emergency department. 

If at any point you need further clarity about what to do after cataract surgery, be sure to ask someone, whether it’s your eye specialist, optometrist, or GP. It’s also important to continue getting regular eye check-ups even after your cataracts are gone, so remember to keep in touch with your local optometrist. 

 

Call us now on (03) 9070 3580 for a consultation.

 

 

 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

cataract signs and symptoms melbourne

Cataract Signs and Symptoms – What You Should Be Aware Of?

Cataract signs and symptoms are typically very slow to develop. Sometimes this results in people being surprised when they are first told they have a cataract and that cataract surgery is expected in the next several years. Quite often, cataract symptoms may also be blamed on something else, such as poor quality newspaper print making it difficult to read. Could you be experiencing cataract symptoms without even realising? Keep reading to learn about what cataract signs and symptoms you should be aware of.

 

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a loss of transparency of the crystalline lens inside your eye. This affects the way that light passes through the lens, resulting in all the common cataract signs and symptoms. Most cataracts are caused by increasing age, known as age-related or senile cataracts. However, cataracts can also arise from other causes, including trauma, systemic diseases, and even some medications.

Cataract surgery is effectively able to reverse the vision impairment directly due to a cataract. Often, this is able to restore your vision to the clarity you once enjoyed years ago. However, if your cataract is only part of the picture and your vision is affected by other factors, cataract surgery may only be able to restore part of your vision. For example, if an eye injury has resulted in both a cataract and a retinal detachment, cataract surgery will provide only a partial improvement.

 

Cataract Signs and Symptoms

Cataract symptoms can vary between different individuals and can even play a role when you feel ready to pursue cataract surgery. What you experience as your cataract develops can depend on a few different things, such as: things cataract signs and symptoms melbourne

  • Your sensitivity to changes to your vision
  • The location and type of cataract
  • The severity of your cataract
  • Even your hobbies and vocation

The most well-known cataract symptom that people expect is blurry vision. While blurry vision is certainly common, identifying that your deteriorating vision is due to a cataract can be more difficult than you think.

People with cataracts may also describe their vision as foggy, filmy, or cloudy. In fact, in the early days of a cataract, you may think that your glasses are just always dirty! 

Here are some other typical cataract symptoms

 

Deteriorating contrast sensitivity

With a cataract blocking part of the light trying to enter your eye to form vision, you may find increasing difficulty in seeing in low contrast situations. For example, where you were once able to read the fine print of a menu in a dimly lit restaurant, you may now need a bit of extra lighting. The same goes for realising you’re most comfortable in reading the newspaper in the natural light of the morning. Some people will first notice this symptom when driving in overcast or rainy conditions, or during dusk or dawn. 

 

Increasing glare sensitivity 

Everyone will feel some degree of discomfort to overly bright lights. However, with the development of a cataract, you may find yourself squinting in lights that once didn’t bother you. This is because the growing opacity of the cataract scatters light passing through the lens, which is what we perceive as glare. Moments where you find yourself unusually glare sensitive may include driving at night with oncoming car headlights or street lamps, or when trying to read LED signboards, such as at a sports ground. You may also find your backlit mobile phone or computer screen also becomes more uncomfortable to view. 

 

Frequent changes to your prescription

Your prescription is partly dictated by the refractive power of your eye. As a cataract develops in your crystalline lens, it can gradually change in its refractive power, thereby altering your prescription. You may find that the glasses you purchased only a year ago are no longer clear, or that your contact lens script changes at every check-up. Depending on the type of cataract, the power of your eye can move in either a short- or long-sighted direction. An interesting benefit of this is that it can cause you to be less dependent on your glasses, depending on your original prescription and in which direction it has shifted. A cataract may also cause changes to your astigmatism. 

An isolated cataract is never associated with pain or redness of the eye. Other eye conditions such as infections or injuries may share some cataract symptoms but if you are also experiencing discharge, pain, or redness, you can be sure it’s not a simple cataract. 

 

Deciding on Cataract Surgery

Fortunately for us, cataract surgery is easily accessible in Australia, whether through public or private medical systems. 

The main consideration of deciding whether you’re ready for cataract surgery is whether your vision is still adequate for your needs. This can vary widely from individual to individual, even those who have the same level of cataract. In the early to moderate stages, you may find you’re still quite satisfied with your vision, and cataract surgery can be comfortably delayed. Conversely, if your work or hobbies require you to have very sharp, accurate vision, you may be inclined to undergo cataract surgery sooner rather than later. For example, a truck driver doing long trips overnight may be significantly more impacted by the glare from a cataract compared to an office worker who drives infrequently at night. 

Ultimately, the timing of having your cataracts removed is largely up to you. However, you may want to discuss it with your optometrist, GP, or ophthalmologist, who will be able to guide you. Call us on  today for a consultation.

 

 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.