Did you know that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide? Cataracts are a common condition that develops with age and interferes with vision. This eye disorder leads to blurred or hazy vision, making it difficult to read or see details in objects. Luckily, cataract surgery is an effective treatment that can restore the clarity of your eyesight. Here at ICT Eye in Wichita, KS, we provide this safe and effective treatment option.
How Long Does It Take to Recover After Cataract Surgery?
What Is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye that obscures vision. Cataracts can develop due to aging, trauma or injury, and genetic factors like diabetes and hypertension. This eye disorder often starts out small and gradually grows larger over time. If left untreated, cataracts could lead to complete blindness within a few years.
Recovery Period After Cataract Surgery
After surgery, it is normal to have some vision loss for the first few days. This may be more noticeable when looking at lights or bright colors. However, your eye will gradually adjust within a week of your procedure, and full recovery can take between four to six weeks.
However, the recovery period may vary depending on individual factors such as age, sleeping habits, drinking water intake, and stress levels. In general, most patients are able to return to their usual activities within three weeks of treatment, while others need more extensive recovery time.
Speed Up Recovery Process
Our ophthalmologists can recommend ways you can speed up this process, such as:
Taking Care of Yourself with Proper Diet
Nutrition is important for speeding up healing. We recommend eating fruits and vegetables with healthy vitamins like A, C, E, and K to improve eyesight.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping at least eight hours every night is essential in order to speed up your body’s natural healing process.
Staying hydrated is important for general eye health. Drinking lots of water reduces the risk of dry eyes, which can slow down your recovery time.
Use Eye Drops As Instructed
Eye drops prescribed by our Wichita ophthalmologists can help keep your eyes moist and clean. It also helps prevent infection, which could slow down the recovery process.
Wear Eye Shield When Washing Your Hair
When washing your hair, wear an eye shield to protect your eyes from accidental splashes of water. Getting water or shampoo directly into your eyes can slow down recovery time and damage vision.
Use Your Shield, Old Glasses, or Sunglasses Outdoors
It is important to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. If you are outside, use sunglasses or a hat with an eye shield for protection against bright sunlight that can cause eye fatigue and slow down healing time.
Read, Watch TV, and Use A Computer At Low Brightness
Reading, watching TV, and using a computer at low brightness can help reduce eye strain. The bright light from these devices often causes fatigue and makes it harder to focus on small details. Try placing your screen further away or watch shows in standard quality rather than HD for the first few days after surgery since it takes time to adjust to better clarity without straining your eyes.
Preparing for the Surgery
When you schedule a consultation with one of our Wichita ophthalmologists, we will discuss the surgery in detail and explain what to expect during recovery. We also provide written instructions before your treatment that include information on how to prepare for this procedure.
Patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart conditions may not undergo surgery because their health makes it too risky. However, these patients can still benefit from having an evaluation done by our eye doctors so they know if there are any other treatments available.
We will need your complete cooperation to have a successful surgery. You should avoid taking blood thinners or aspirin before treatment since they increase bleeding and could cause complications during surgery. Also, it would help if you stopped smoking at least two weeks prior because patients who smoke are more likely to develop eye infections after cataract extraction.
We also ask that you not wear any makeup on the day of your appointment so we can give full attention to preparing you for the procedure itself. Proper preparation includes removing all traces of eye color contacts as well as artificial lashes in advance.
What Cataract Surgery Is Like
This surgery is a common procedure that our ophthalmologists often perform. After administering numbing eye drops, the doctor makes a very small incision in front of your cornea to fold back the tissues covering it. Then, we insert special surgical instruments through the opening to break apart the cloudy natural lens into smaller pieces before removing them completely from your eye. Once these fragments have been removed, the artificial lens is inserted and folded back in place.
Recovery and Post-Surgery Care
We will provide detailed instructions on how to care for your eyes after the procedure. You should start taking antibiotics and steroid drops as prescribed by our doctors since these medications can help reduce swelling and prevent infection from developing.
You may also receive eye patches meant to promote optimum healing time by keeping light away from your cornea as it is still sensitive during recovery. At night, rest with both of your eyes closed so they do not dry out or become irritated overnight when exposed to air currents around the bed.
Cataract Surgery FAQs:
How Long Does Surgery Take?
Typically, the surgery takes about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. However, we will need additional time to prepare you beforehand and provide post-surgery care afterward.
How Painful Is the Surgery?
The surgery is a painless procedure, and most patients report that they did not feel any discomfort during treatment.
What Can I Not Do After Surgery?
Driving is not allowed for the first few days until your doctor says it’s okay because vision may still be cloudy even if your eyesight has improved significantly. In addition, you should never rub or press on your eye during recovery time since this can cause serious damage like corneal scratches that affect the clarity of sight.
Do I Need a Second Surgery?
You may need to return for a follow-up appointment depending on your eye health and vision needs. However, this does not always mean additional surgery will be required; the doctor may simply recommend certain at-home care solutions instead.
What Happens If Cataracts Are Left Untreated?
Cataracts can lead to other serious health concerns, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. These conditions are very difficult to treat once they have occurred so your best option is to catch them early on through regular eye exams with our doctors. Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve and can lead to permanent blindness. This occurs because the pressure inside of your eye builds up over time, causing irreparable damage to this crucial part of your central nervous system.
Macular degeneration is a chronic condition in which cells within the retina begin to die off one by one due to age or exposure to ultraviolet light, or an injury. As these cells are lost, vision becomes progressively worse since this disorder affects essential parts of our eyes responsible for proper sight function.
At What Age Do Cataracts Usually Start?
Cataracts usually begin to develop in your 50s or 60s, but they can happen at any age. If they appear earlier than expected, there is a greater chance that other eye diseases could be present as well.
Does Cataract Surgery Give You 20/20 Vision?
Most patients can achieve 20/20 vision following the procedure, but it depends on many factors, such as how long they have had cataracts and their overall eye health.
Do Cataracts Go Away on Their Own?
No, cataracts do not go away on their own. If you want to restore your sight, then they must be treated immediately since this condition becomes progressively worse with time and can lead to blindness if left untreated.
Schedule An Appointment Today!
Cataract surgery is a very safe procedure that improves your eyesight for the short and long term. While it is true that you will need to take certain precautions during your recovery time, the benefits of restoring your vision far outweigh any negative outcomes. Visit us at ICT Eye in Wichita, KS, and let us help you get your vision back and prevent further eye ailments from developing in the future.