What Causes Blurred Vision After Cataract Surgery and How to Treat It?

Nearly 25 million Americans were diagnosed with cataracts in 2010, and cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed medical procedures. Thankfully, cataract surgery care is not a complex undertaking.

Studies have shown that 95% of cataract surgeries occur without any complications. Although cataract surgery may seem daunting, it is incredibly safe.

Each year, three million cataract surgeries take place within the United States. According to the National Eye Institute, patients have less than a 2% chance of experiencing complications that could threaten their sight after cataract surgery.

Blurry vision after cataract surgery

Side effects are rare, but as with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved. The most common side effect of cataract surgery is blurred vision.

Immediately after the surgery, it is completely normal for patients to experience some blurriness. Even though the cloudy lens within the eye has been removed, the eye will take time to heal, and the patient’s vision will likely be hazy during this time.

Although many cataract surgery patients can return to light activity within 24 hours of the operation, it typically takes a little longer for the patient’s vision to return to the level of clarity required for driving.

In some cases, blurred vision can persist past the initial 24 hours after surgery. While this can be normal, there are several other possible causes. Some require additional treatment — others, immediate intervention.

  • Dry eyes

Many cataract surgery patients find that dryness in their eyes impacts their vision after cataract surgery. The ophthalmologist who performs the operation will likely recommend artificial tears or eye drops to treat this issue.

  • Post-surgical retinal swelling

Swelling of the retina may occur several weeks after cataract surgery, though it is uncommon. Patients who experience persistent blurred vision after the procedure should follow up with their ophthalmologist for further monitoring.

  • Dislocated intraocular lens (IOL)

During cataract surgery, the doctor places an artificial lens into the eye. If this lens shifts out of place, it is highly likely the patient’s vision will become blurry. A dislocated IOL is a serious complication and should be treated as a matter of urgency.

Most ophthalmologists recommend follow-up examinations take place one day, one week, and one month after cataract surgery. It is essential to follow all the advice you are given during these visits and disclose any side effects you may have noticed.

Final words

As advances in medical care allow people to live longer, cataracts are going to become more prevalent. It’s estimated there will be over 50 million people with cataracts by the year 2050. Proper cataract surgery care before and after the procedure can make the recovery process quicker and easier.

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