Cataracts are quite common and develop due to age. More than half of all Americans over the age of 80 have cataracts and require cataract surgery. Cataracts form when protein builds up over the lens of a normally clear eye causing cloudiness or blurry vision. Light passes through the lens located behind the iris (colored part of the eye) sending a signal to your brain of the image you are trying to see. When cataracts cover the lens, the image is distorted because the eye cannot focus light as it should. Vision changes depending on the cataract’s location and size. Cataracts also form due to diabetes, steroid use, radiation treatment and other eye conditions and injuries to the eyes.
Once it is determined by your doctor that cataract surgery is necessary for the quality of your vision, you may wonder how long it will take for the eye to heal after cataract surgery. Thankfully cataract healing time is mild with most patients seeing well within 1-3 days; however, it can take up to 3 months for full healing. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes and recovery time, pain and discomfort are minimal. As with most surgeries, recovery time will vary depending on many factors, namely the patient following all the appropriate recovery tips and detailed instructions provided by their surgeon.
After cataract surgery, resting and ensuring you do not put any pressure on the eye is the best way to promote healing. You will likely be sent home with a protective shield over your eyes that you should continue to wear for a week post-surgery to prevent an injury to the eye. You should also wear sunglasses on the drive home and someone will need to drive you. Avoiding strenuous activity including heavy lifting or bending over is necessary to recovery. You should also avoid rubbing or touching your eyes. Be sure to take any medication or eye drops prescribed by your doctor. Apply your eye drop medications as instructed to control inflammation and reduce the risk of infection.
Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most performed surgical procedures in the United States. More than 3 million cataract surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year, and most people have excellent outcomes with no cataract surgery complications.
Don’t delay on treating your cataract symptoms. Experts estimate that visual disability associated with cataracts accounts for over 8 million physician office visits a year in the United States. Rosenbaum Eye and Laser Center offers testing and treatment options to get you underway to better vision today. Contact our office by 517-393-2020 or website for your comprehensive examination.