What complications can occur after cataract surgery?

Early recognition is vital to prevent further damage. It can also cause more serious problems, such as bleeding and swelling. You may need surgery to put it back in place or to put a new one. It's rare, but during surgery, the blood vessels that supply the retina may start to bleed for no reason.

A little bit of blood isn't a problem, but larger amounts can cause vision loss. Swelling, bleeding, or leftover fragments of the lens can cause increased pressure on the eye, which can cause glaucoma. If the blurred vision doesn't go away after a week, see your eye doctor. Other causes of continuous blurred vision include residual refractive error (the eyes still need additional correction with glasses), dry eyes, or opacity of the back capsule (PCO).

Many people complain that they feel like they have sand in their eye or that their eye itches after surgery. This is a normal sensation caused by the small incision in the eye and should heal in about a week. If you have dry eyes, the discomfort may last longer, up to three months. Some patients with cataracts require a stitch or a suture in the eye during surgery.

This shouldn't bother you, but sometimes the suture needs to be removed after surgery. Sometimes blurred vision is caused by PCO, a fairly common complication that can occur weeks, months, or (more often) years after cataract surgery. It occurs when the lens capsule, the membrane that holds the new intraocular lens in place, fogs up or wrinkles and begins to blur the vision. PCO is the result of cells growing in the membrane over time, similar to scar tissue.

Ongoing dry eyes and blepharitis can also cause continued sensitivity to light. Sometimes there are other causes that need to be addressed. Extreme sensitivity to light can be a sign of infection. If you experience this, call your eye doctor right away.

As with any medical procedure, cataract surgery presents risks. Infections after cataract surgery are rare, but if you have one, you'll get an injection of antibiotics in your eye. These are signs of retinal detachment, a rare complication of cataract surgery that occurs when the retina separates from the back of the eye. In some cases, PCO can occur because some of the old cells from the cataract are not removed during surgery.

Ocular hypertension, an increase in pressure in the eye, is one of the most common risks of cataract surgery. The most common complication of cataract surgery is swelling of the cornea or the outer window of the eye. Other eye disorders, such as high myopia, can further increase the risk of retinal detachment after cataract surgery. Talk to your eye doctor about possible risks to make sure that cataract surgery is right for you.

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