Can Cataract Surgery Have Side Effects?

Cataract surgery is extremely common, with approximately 1.7 million procedures having been performed in the US in 2019. While it’s comforting to know that most operations are carried out successfully, with life-changing vision results, it’s natural to have some reservations about an invasive technique that you’ll only undergo a maximum of twice in your lifetime.

The following discusses everything you need to know about the possible side effects of cataract surgery.

The Risks of Cataract Surgery 

  •     Common side effects of cataract surgery
  •     Rare side effects of cataract surgery
  •     Other considerations 

Common side effects of cataract surgery

The first thing that it’s important to understand is that complications following a cataract procedure are relatively rare. The procedure is carried out using cutting edge technology and only requires a local anesthetic. In fact, the time spent in the operating room is minimal. You’ll return home the same day.

The following side effects are relatively common and tend to improve within a few days. In some cases, it might take 4-6 weeks to fully recover.

  • Watering of the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Red or a bloodshot eye
  • A gritty feeling within the eye
  • Mild pain or discomfort

Rare side effects of cataract surgery

There are other, much rarer, potential side effects. However, even though these may sound a little worrying, most are minor and can be treated successfully by your ophthalmologist. This might be medically or, occasionally, with an additional surgical procedure.

Rare complications include:

  • Intraocular lens dislocation: As the name suggests, this is where the inserted lens becomes dislocated. It can be repositioned with another surgical procedure, where it might be sewn into place or replaced with a different lens entirely.
  • Posterior capsule opacity: Sometimes referred to, somewhat inaccurately, as a secondary cataract, this is where the vision remains or begins to become hazy after the operation. It happens because part of the lens capsule (that contains the lens of the eye so isn’t removed during surgery) becomes opaque and distorts vision. This is easily treated with a very short procedure known as a YAG laser capsulotomy. This is painless, takes minutes, and only requires a single treatment to permanently eradicate the problem.

Other potential (and rare) side effects are:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Drooping eyelid (ptosis)
  • Elevated eye pressure (ocular hypertension)
  • Eye inflammation
  • Flashes of light within the field of vision (photopsia)
  • Swelling of the retina (macular edema)
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment

Other considerations

The risk of developing side effects is greater in those who suffer from a serious medical condition and/or another eye condition. In such cases, your ophthalmologist will discuss your situation and advise accordingly. 

In rare cases, cataract surgery can fail to have the expected improvements. This is because damage to the eye caused by another condition is what’s causing the vision to fail, such as that from macular degeneration of glaucoma.

Contact the West Boca Eye Center for the Best Cataract Surgery, Boca Raton, Florida & Beyond

Undergoing cataract surgery is, understandably, an anxious time for everyone who has the procedure. No matter how many times you hear how safe it is, the fact remains that for you this is anything but a regular day. Residents of Boca Raton, South Florida, and the surrounding region are fortunate that they have a world-leading cataract surgeon on their doorstep. Brent Bellotte MD., is a globally-renowned ophthalmologist who’s played a pivotal role in bringing cutting-edge procedures to the mainstream.

If you’re worried about your vision or have been told that you have cataracts, visit 

https://westbocaeyecenter.com to discover how Dr. Bellotte’s expertise can help monitor and/or restore your vision through the very latest cataract procedures.