Have you done Cataract Surgery?

Read about after surgery management

If you are over 40 and start to seeing floaters in your field of vision, you are not the only one. Aged Eyes are less flexible and less clear than your twenties and thirties. For otherwise healthy adults, the first signs of aging may reveal right in the eyes. It is a gradual and natural process which is generally harmless and requires no treatment. However, you don’t want to take any chances: schedule your appointment with an ophthalmologist for comprehensive dilated eye examination now to reduce the risks of various eye diseases that come with aging. In particular, you should watch out for cataract which is the most prevalent age-related ophthalmologic disease. By the time we are turning 80s, more than half of us have ‘cloudy eyes’ which is a layman’s term for the cataract. Not surprisingly, cataract surgery is the most common operation so much so that about 3 million cataract procedures are performed annually in this country.

A cataract is a disorder in which the intraocular lens becomes cloudy, resulting in various visual impairments such as blurred vision, poor night vision, sudden vision change to vision loss. As a matter of fact, cataract is the most common cause of blindness among elderly people in this country. The lens once affected won’t go back to normal vision but getting worse to seriously impair your vision further down the road. In the early stage of cataract, your eye doctor may prescribe stronger, bifocal glasses to slow down the progression to the extent.

When it passes certain stages though, surgical treatment may be the only option to remove cataract by replacing with the artificial lens. In recent years, cataract surgery using advanced laser equipment has become common and widely accepted in the field since this type of cataract surgery has been greatly improved in terms of safety, accuracy, and predictability over traditional procedure.

Patients with cataracts who have experienced great discomfort in daily life show great improvement in the clarity and comfort of their eyes after surgery. As baby boomers who are now approaching or over ages 70 exceed in average life expectancy to any previous generations, the importance of quality of eyesight is increasing more than ever.

It is important to maintain a proper lifestyle after cataract surgery to protect newly acquired vision. Please pay close attention to dry eye syndrome and the inflammation of eyelids(blepharitis) which are common issues after the surgery. Even if the cataract surgery is successful, the dryness of the eyes can cause a foreign body sensation, burning, redness, fatigue and pain, which can adversely affect the quality of vision.

Most cataract patients over 40 have dry eye syndrome, which is most likely caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Meibomian Glands in the tip of eyelids are responsible to supply oil substance so that eye’s tear films do not dry out, fending off dry eyes andblepharitis. After the operation, warm compresses to the closed eyelids, eyelid cleansing, and artificial tears should be used to prevent Meibomian Gland dysfunction from recurring or worsening. Omega-3 and an antioxidant regimen including astaxanthin, vitamin A, Vitamin C, etc, may relieve dryness and help protective tear film stable by reducing free radical.

You should also be careful with Ultraviolet rays from Sunlight. Because cataract surgery removes the natural lens which filters out harmful UV lights, bands of ultraviolet light directly hit the retina, increasing the risk of macular degeneration

So, here are general rules to protect your eyes after cataract surgery.

Please take a note that this is not medical advice. Before you proceed any steps, consult your eye doctor first about the management protocol. Your doctor may disagree, correct, modify or accept the information presented in this article. Read medical disclaimer.

  1. Style yourself by wearing  UV40 or 100% UV protection sunglasses and hats when going out, as there is no sunscreen over eyes.
  2. Take plenty of fruits, vegetables(list of  antioxidants.rich foods), fish or omega 3 supplements 
  3. warm compresses over eyes before sleep
  4. thorough cleansing of eyelids
  5. install apps like f.lux to regulate  lights on display(laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc)
  6. don’t forget using artificial tear drops when you work with a computer.

Cataract surgery is not the end of therapy, but a new starting point for eye care. As a wise man said, you will never be old with a twinkle in your eyes. Let’s get ready for the second life after cataract with proper lifestyle, good nutrition, and regular eye examination.

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