What Causes Fluctuating Vision After Cataract Surgery?

It's not uncommon for people to experience blurred or unclear vision in the days and weeks following cataract surgery. This is usually due to normal eye swelling that occurs as part of the healing process. An 84-year-old woman recently complained of fluctuating vision that was more pronounced in her left eye. The patient had undergone

uncomplicated cataract surgery

and had a monofocal toric intraocular lens implanted in each eye two years ago.

It's normal for vision to fluctuate for several days as the eye heals and the pupil returns to its regular size. You may find that your vision appears to be getting worse, then improving, intermittently for a few weeks. If you've had a flexible lens implanted, you may experience fluctuations in your vision for a few weeks or even longer. Sometimes, after surgery, blood vessels in the retina can leak and cause fluid to build up in the eye, resulting in blurred vision.

The patient expressed frustration and confusion, as she thought she had undergone a routine cataract surgery. Generally, recovery from cataract surgery is short-lived and you can resume many of your daily activities soon after. According to the American Optometric Association, around 90 percent of patients report improved vision after cataract surgery. While it is generally a safe procedure, there is always a risk of complications.

The same study found that about 64 percent of participants experienced mild eye dryness after cataract surgery. If you experience sudden changes in vision after cataract surgery, seek medical attention immediately. Sometimes blurred vision can be caused by PCO (Posterior Capsule Opacification), which is a fairly common complication that can occur weeks, months or (more often) years after cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that involves removing the lens from the eye and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).

Infections after cataract surgery are rare, but if you do get one, you'll receive an injection of antibiotics in your eye. These are signs of retinal detachment, which is a rare complication of cataract surgery that occurs when the retina separates from the back of the eye.

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