Cataract surgery is a transformative procedure that can significantly improve your vision and quality of life. However, the effects can take some time to get used to. Many patients ask about training eyes after cataract surgery. Are there any steps you need to take after the procedure to help improve your sight?
Dr. McGregor Lott, one of our cataract doctors, is dedicated to ensuring you achieve the best results. We sat down with him to answer this question and hear his insights about the procedure, choosing the right lens, and fine-tuning vision after cataract surgery.
Training Eyes After Cataract Surgery
“With the Light Adjustable Lens, you can tweak your sight after surgery,” said Dr. Lott. “It’s a versatile way for patients to test drive their vision before locking it in.”-Dr. Lott
Prior to cataract surgery, you may have been living with increasingly blurry, dull vision for years. The procedure results in a drastic change. “More light can come into the eye, and things that were previously out of focus, become focused,” Dr. Lott explained. “It can take a certain amount of time to get used to those changes, especially if you have a multifocal lens or if your cataracts were severe at the time of surgery.”
That said, Dr. Lott assured us you don’t need to be worried about training your eyes after cataract surgery. “There’s no proven way to speed up the process. Just use your eyes as you would normally,” he said. “Watch TV, use the computer, read. While it might seem bothersome at first, your brain will adapt, and pretty soon your new vision will feel normal.”
Steps to Take After Cataract Surgery
According to Dr. Lott, the most important thing you can do after surgery is follow your surgeon’s advice for post-operative care. While everyone’s needs are different, here are the general steps he recommends:
- Use Postoperative Drops: Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully. Your post-surgery eye drops are used to prevent inflammation and infection.
- Don’t Overdo Physical Activities: Generally, that means don’t lift heavy objects over 10 pounds and don’t bend at the waist for about ten days after surgery. “This allows your incisions to heal without strain,” Dr. Lott explained.
- Avoid Eye Makeup and Getting Water in Your Eyes: Both makeup and water can be a source of bacteria that may infect your eyes. Avoid both for the first week or so after surgery.
- Patience and Persistence: Adjusting to the new lens may take time. Remember that you will get used to your new, clear sight.
- Follow-up Appointments: Attend scheduled follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and address any concerns promptly.
Understanding Cataract Surgery
If you haven’t had your cataract surgery yet, there’s a lot to learn to help you prepare for the best vision outcomes. Read on to learn more about the procedure and your options for customization.
Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. They can lead to blurred, dull vision and other visual disturbances. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL). This outpatient procedure is safe and effective at restoring clear vision.
Laser vs. Traditional Surgery
The two main types of cataract surgery that we perform at Florida Eye Specialists are traditional and Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS). Traditional cataract surgery is more manual and hands-on, whereas FLACS is less hands-on and relies more heavily on technology. However, both methods are highly effective and result in a quick recovery process.
Dr. Lott explained the benefits of laser cataract surgery. “It’s computer-driven, so there’s an added layer of precision and safety to the procedure,” he said. “The laser also breaks up the cataract before we enter, so there’s less effort to remove it.”
Another benefit of laser cataract surgery is that it enables the correction of astigmatism. “With astigmatism, the eye is shaped like a football, which makes vision blurry,” Dr. Lott explained. “Glasses can correct it, but if you have laser cataract surgery, you can fix the eye itself.”
Fine-Tuning Vision After Cataract Surgery
Selecting the appropriate lens is important for fine-tuning vision after cataract surgery. At Florida Eye Specialists, we never treat patients as one-size-fits-all. We offer various lens options to suit your lifestyle.
A standard lens, also known as a monofocal lens, corrects your distance vision only, and it cannot correct astigmatism. That means you may need glasses for near and intermediate activities like reading or sewing, or for distance vision if you have astigmatism.
Toric intraocular lenses are used for patients with moderate to severe astigmatism. “The laser can correct up to a certain amount of astigmatism safely, but there are some patients whose astigmatism exceeds that,” Dr. Lott explained. “So they need a Toric lens to correct it.”
Multifocal or Trifocal IOL
Multifocal and trifocal lenses allow patients to experience high-quality near, intermediate, and distance vision. That means patients can bid farewell to glasses for a more independent vision lifestyle.
Light Adjustable Lens
One of the newest advancements in lens technology, the Light Adjustable Lens (LAL) allows your eye surgeon to adjust your prescription after surgery. This allows more patients to achieve 20/20 distance vision without glasses.
According to Dr. Lott, this is a versatile and exciting option for patients. “Before surgery, we make detailed measurements to calculate the best length, shape, and power of your lens,” he said. “Normally, once the lens goes into your eye, that’s it. But with the Light Adjustable Lens, if the formula doesn’t come out quite right, you can tweak it.”
Dr. Lott explained that the process involves using ultraviolet light treatments targeted to change your focus until you see exactly how you want to. “You can take away nearsightedness or farsightedness. You could also use one eye for distance and one eye for near. If you don’t like it, you can put it back,” he said. “It’s a versatile way for patients to test drive their vision before locking it in.”
Schedule Cataract Surgery in Jacksonville, FL
At Florida Eye Specialists, our commitment to your well-being extends beyond surgery. We’re here to answer your questions, provide guidance, and offer ongoing support. Your comfort and satisfaction with your vision are our top priorities.
Take the next step towards clearer vision by scheduling an appointment with the cataract doctors at Florida Eye Specialists. Trust in our expertise for personalized care, ensuring the best outcomes for your cataract surgery in Jacksonville, FL.
About Dr. McGregor Lott
Dr. Lott is an award-winning ophthalmologist with nearly 19 years of experience in eye care. He joined Florida Eye Specialists in 2017 and has become known for his compassion, attention to detail, and willingness to educate patients on any eye care topic.