Common Problems after Cataract Surgery - SightMD Skip to main content

October 24, 2023

By: Allen Greenbaum, MD

Common Problems after Cataract Surgery

What are the most common problems after cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is a highly successful and commonly performed procedure that aims to restore clear vision by removing the clouded lens affected by cataracts. While the majority of patients experience improved vision and a smooth recovery, it is essential to be aware of potential issues that may arise after the surgery. In this blog post, we will explore the most common problems that can occur following cataract surgery and how they can be managed.

What to expect with discomfort and sensations after Cataract Surgery:

After cataract surgery, it is normal to experience some degree of discomfort or sensations during the initial stages of recovery. These commonly include:

  • Eye Irritation and Dryness: It is normal to feel mild irritation, grittiness, or a foreign body sensation in the operated eye. Dryness may also occur temporarily, and your surgeon may prescribe lubricating eye drops to alleviate this discomfort.
  • Light Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to light, glare, or halos around lights is common in the early stages after surgery. Wearing sunglasses or protective eyewear can help reduce these symptoms.

What to expect with inflammation and infection after Cataract Surgery:

While rare, inflammation or infection can occur after cataract surgery. It is important to be aware of the following signs and promptly seek medical attention if they occur:

  • Persistent Pain or Increasing Discomfort: While mild discomfort is expected during the healing process, severe or worsening pain may indicate a potential problem. Contact your surgeon immediately if you experience persistent or worsening pain.
  • Redness, Swelling, or Discharge: These symptoms can be indicative of inflammation or infection. If you notice any significant redness, swelling, or unusual discharge from the eye, consult your surgeon promptly.

What is Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO)?

Posterior Capsule Opacification, also known as secondary cataract, is a relatively common occurrence following cataract surgery. It happens when the clear capsule that holds the IOL becomes cloudy, causing vision to become blurred again. Blurred or hazy vision, similar to the initial cataract symptoms, may indicate PCO. Your surgeon can perform a simple and painless examination to diagnose this condition. PCO can be effectively treated using a non-invasive procedure called YAG laser capsulotomy. During the procedure, a laser is used to create a small opening in the cloudy capsule, restoring clear vision.

Discrepancies in Refractive Error after Cataract Surgery

Following cataract surgery, some patients may experience a refractive error, which affects their visual acuity. Common refractive errors include:

  • Near or Distance Vision Discrepancies: Some patients may notice a shift in their near or distance vision, requiring the use of corrective lenses. Glasses or contact lenses can effectively address these refractive errors and provide clear vision.
  • Astigmatism: In some cases, cataract surgery may not fully correct astigmatism. Patients with significant astigmatism may require additional procedures, such as limbal relaxing incisions or toric intraocular lenses, to address this issue.

Time to Discuss Cataract Surgery with your Doctor

While most individuals experience improved vision and a smooth recovery after cataract surgery, it’s important to be aware of the potential problems that may arise. Postoperative discomfort, inflammation, PCO, and refractive errors are among the most common issues. By closely following your surgeon’s postoperative instructions, attending follow-up appointments, and promptly reporting any concerns or changes in your vision, you can ensure. Contact SightMD today to set up an appointment to discuss any concerns you may have about Cataract Surgery.