Typical Side Effects Of Cataract Surgery And When To See Your Doctor

Cataract surgery can offer a quick and relatively risk-free way to regain sharper vision. Uncomplicated surgery typically takes a few minutes, but recovery time can range from a few days to a month depending on how you care for yourself. If you are planning to get cataract surgery, read on to learn what recovery may entail as well as signs that you may have developed complications.

What you are likely to experience after surgery

For individuals with no other major eye problems and whose health is good, recovery from cataract surgery is usually short and uneventful. There are however some normal post-operative side effect that you may experience.

In many cases, you may be able to remove the protective eye shield over your eyes within a few hours of the surgery, although you are often required to put it back on during naps for the first few days of recovery. Don't be shocked if your vision seems blurry or distorted for an hour or so when you first take off the eye shield, as it takes time for your visual system to adjust to the artificial lens inserted in your eyes.

Other side effects that you may experience for a short time after the surgery may include itchiness around the eyes and sensitivity to bright light. In cases where you received an injection of anesthesia through the skin, you may develop some slight bruising on the lower part of the operated eye similar to a black eye, which should fade in a few days. Some individuals may also develop red and bloodshot eyes after the surgery, a phenomenal often caused by damage to blood vessels during the surgery and that typically dissipates within a few days of healing.

When should you see your doctor?

Typically, you are required to return to the hospital for an eye exam within a few days of the surgery and to schedule follow-up appointments throughout your recovery process. It is very important to keep those appointments even if your eyes feel fine, as there is always a risk of the onset of injury or infection during recovery.

There are some symptoms that should alert you that your recovery may not be going according to plan, and that it is time to schedule an emergency appointment with your doctor.

Pain that isn't relieved by medication, or excessive discharge from the operated eye could indicate injury or infection, which would call for an immediate visit to your eye doctor. You may also have developed complications if you experience deteriorating vision or the onset of flashes or floaters in the days after the cataract surgery.