What Causes Cloudiness After Cataract Surgery? | SightMD Skip to main content

March 14, 2022

By: Jeffrey Martin, MD

What Causes Cloudiness After Cataract Surgery?

Older woman rubbing her eyes

It’s normal to experience blurry vision for several days after cataract removal. During this time, your eyes are healing and adjusting to the artificial lens placed during surgery. However, if things begin to look cloudy months or years after your procedure, something called posterior capsule opacification (PCO) is likely to blame. The ophthalmologists at SightMD are committed to your long-term satisfaction after cataract surgery. Below, you’ll find essential information about PCO, a treatable post-operative complication.

What is Posterior Capsule Opacification?

During cataract surgery, our ophthalmologists remove your clouded natural lens and replace it with an artificial one. They preserve the integrity of a transparent membrane called a lens capsule to support the new lens. In most cases, this capsule stays clear after the procedure.

Posterior capsule opacification occurs when certain residual cells grow on the back of the lens capsule. This cell growth causes the capsule to become somewhat opaque and hazy. As a result, light cannot travel through your eye properly.

PCO can present symptoms similar to a cataract, such as blurry or cloudy vision and light sensitivity. Because of the changes to your eyesight, PCO can make it seem like your cataract has come back. However, it’s important to remember that a cataract cannot return after it has been removed. When people talk about a secondary cataract, they are referring to PCO.

Laser Capsulotomy to Correct PCO

A quick and painless procedure known as a laser capsulotomy can correct PCO. It treats the problem by creating an opening in the cloudy capsule tissue. The opening restores clear vision by allowing light to travel through the eye again.

Your eye will be numbed before the laser procedure for your comfort. The quick process takes roughly five minutes to complete. Most people only require laser treatment for PCO once.

Recovery after a laser capsulotomy is very manageable. Post-operative discomfort is minimal, and there aren’t many activity restrictions to follow. Your vision should improve in approximately 24 hours.

Reasons to Choose SightMD

Board-certified ophthalmologists at SightMD together have performed over 25,000 cataract operations. They are nationally recognized for their work as a cataract surgeons. By using the latest technology, we offer our patients optimal results and a reduced risk of complications. Our highly-trained staff is committed to your vision ensuring that you are educated about your options and the potential considerations is something that comes standard at our practice. Our team will make sure you understand what cataract surgery can accomplish while providing information about PCO.

Get Answers to Your Cataract Surgery Questions

Whether you’re experiencing blurry vision after cataract surgery or you’re a prospective patient researching the procedure, our team is here to help. Contact SightMD today to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient offices located throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.