Cataract Surgery - Side effects

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How has cataract surgery affected your vision?

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What are potential complications of cataract surgery?

While cataract surgery is one of the safest procedures available with a high rate of success, rare complications can arise. Your ophthalmologist will discuss the specific potential complications of the procedures that are unique to your eye prior to having you sign a consent form. The most common difficulties arising after surgery are persistent inflammation, changes in eye pressure, infection, or swelling of the retina at the back of the eye (cystoid macular edema), and retinal detachment. If the delicate bag the lens sits in is injured, then the artificial lens may need to be placed in a different location. In some cases, the intraocular lens moves or does not function properly and may need to be repositioned, exchanged, or removed. All of these complications are rare but can lead to significant visual loss; thus, close follow-up is required after surgery. If you have pre-existing macular degeneration or floaters, these will not be made better by cataract surgery.

In some cases, within months to years after surgery, the thin lens capsule may become cloudy, causing blurred vision after cataract surgery. You may have the sensation that the cataract is returning because your vision is becoming blurry again. This process is termed posterior capsular opacification, or a "secondary cataract." To restore vision, a laser is used in the office to painlessly create a hole in the cloudy bag. This procedure takes only a few minutes in the office, and vision usually improves rapidly.

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Comment from: peggy camper, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I had cataract surgery on my left eye in August 2015 and it went fine, everything clearer, no problems. The ophthalmologist performed the cataract surgery on my right eye a month later, September 2015, and it was a catastrophe. When the bandage was taken off, there was a film over my eye. This eventually went away, but I still have blurriness of vision in this right eye, as well as the eye itself feeling like there is something is in it. There is itching, dryness, soreness, etc. I could probably deal with the vision irregularity, but the way my eye actually feels is bothersome. The doctor said I have cystoid macular degeneration in this right eye. I am not sure if this is from the surgery or not. I have been on eye drops since this surgery in September 2015. This ophthalmologist told me before the surgery that I had an astigmatism in the right eye and that he would try to correct this. I am thinking that all of the problems I am having in this eye is because of the lens he used. He also had to cut my eye more and there were stitches in it that had to be removed 3 months later. Anyway, after months of eye drops and follow-up visits, he referred me to another ophthalmologist in his own practice. This second ophthalmologist is giving me eye drops as well. But, the thing that is strange is that before I went to the second ophthalmologist, I went to an optometrist to have my vision tested and get eyeglasses (which did not help the blurriness), and the optometrist told me that I had 2 lenses in my right eye. I had never heard of that before. However, after that, when I was referred to the 2nd ophthalmologist in the same practice, he told me that I did not have 2 lenses. I am getting a lot of conflicting information on exactly what was done to my eye. I want to get a second opinion from an ophthalmologist outside this practice.

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Comment from: Pat C, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 03

I had cataract surgery on my left eye in September 2015 and on right eye in April 2016. My left eye went excellent. I have had glare and bright light problems with my right eye. When I say glare and bright light, I am talking about overcast days, and not sunny days. I am fine on sunny days wearing sunglasses. But if it is overcast, I get horrible reaction to glare so bad that I have to squint and still cannot see. Also have to turn off all the florescence lights in the house because they bother me when watching TV. I ordered a pair of sunglasses from Noir and they were excellent. I am going to order a pair of amber glare shield sun glasses from them which hopefully will help with the glare.

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