Why Are My Eyes Still Blurry and Sun Sensitive After 2 Months of Cataract Surgery?

List of Contents Infection | Inflammation | Itching | Blurriness | Light Sensitivity | Droopy Eyelid (Ptosis) | Corneal Edema | Ocular Hypertension/Elevated IOP | Iris Prolapse | Wound Leaks | Swollen Cornea | Bleeding | Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome (TASS) | Retained Lens Fragments | Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO)/Secondary Cataracts | Cystoid Macular Edema | Intraocular Lens (IOL) Dislocation | Retinal Detachment | Light Flashes and Floaters |

Though its treatment depends much on the particular reason why it happens in the first place, ophthalmologists normally resort to eye drops, shots or pills to treat it. Accidental postoperative trauma, inappropriate wound closure or raised intraocular pressure (IOP) can be responsible for Iris Prolapse.

However, iris excision is needed to slash the risk of intraocular infection when prolapse has been there for a longer period of time. Poor vision epiphora complaints, shallow anterior chamber and IOP less than 8mm Hg are some of the most common sings of wound leaks. Normally, it takes 24-48 hours in settlement of smaller wound leaks, which can be sometimes assisted with steroid based eye drops or medication.

When the leakage is moderate, a bandage contact lens, an added aqueous or cycloplegic inhibitor might be required to check the flow. In rare event of severe leakage with shallow chamber and a low IOP, the patient must be sent for surgical repair treatment. Quite often, cornea, the clear frontal region of the eye gets swollen and hazy due to ocular surgery performed over it, which can make it harder for you to see.

These retained fragments can resurface any time after the procedure, right from the very first day after the surgery through several months, or years in some cases. The good thing is that PCO can be treated with YAG laser capsulotomy quite effectively, a quick and painless procedure easily performed in an ophthalmologists office within minutes. If the patient experiences low to mild blurriness of vision with no serious threat to the eye due to the dislocated IOL, majority of ophthalmologists prefer treating it with refractive means only, i.e. spectacles or contact lens.

The probability of retina pulling out from its original position at the back of the eye is raised after cataract surgery, the problem being referred as Retinal Detachment. Most of the times, it improves within a few months, but since its symptoms bear much similarity with retinal detachment, its better to schedule a meeting with your eye doctor for a thorough examination.

Why are my eyes still blurry after 2 months of cataract surgery?

Sometimes blurry vision is caused by PCO, a fairly common complication that can occur weeks, months or (more frequently) years after cataract surgery. It happens when the lens capsule, the membrane that holds your new, intraocular lens in place, becomes hazy or wrinkled and starts to cloud vision.

How long does light sensitivity last after cataract surgery?

The light sensitivity settles down in a few weeks during the recovery period after cataract surgery as the brain adapts to the new normal level of light intensity.

How long does it take for eyes to completely heal after cataract surgery?

Although some patients see well just a few days after cataract surgery, full healing can take up to three months. Cataract surgery recovery time tends to be minimal and mild, but there are various factors that can impact the speed of recovery.

Why is my vision getting worse after cataract surgery?

The “big 3” potential problems that could permanently worsen vision after cataract/IOL surgery are: 1) infection, 2) an exaggerated inflammatory response, and 3) hemorrhage.

About three million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States every year, making cataract surgery the most frequently performed surgery in the country. Cataract surgery is also a highly successful procedureat least 98 percent of cataract patients regain very good vision post-surgerywith few complications.

Cataract surgery is a safe procedure that improves vision for the vast majority of people. Serious complications are rare among the 4 million U.S. cataract patients who have surgery each year.

Patients who have cornea disease, such as Fuchs dystrophy , may take longer up to a month or more to get rid of the swelling. A small number of nerves on the surface of your eye get cut when your surgeon makes the incisions necessary to reach your lens.

The nerves generally will heal in about three months, but until then, your eye may not feel when it is dry and decrease tear production. If you experience mild dry eye, over-the-counter (OTC) preservative free artificial tears can help. When to call the doctor If OTC tears dont provide enough relief, reach out to your ophthalmologist, who can suggest other possible fixes to bridge you through the dry period.

Sometimes blurry vision is caused by PCO, a fairly common complication that can occur weeks, months or (more frequently) years after cataract surgery. Your cataract surgeon will use a laser to make an opening in the cloudy capsule, allowing light to pass through for clear vision. If these problems have been ruled out but glare and halos persist, your ophthalmologist may recommend special drops at night to help reduce the unwanted images.

When to call the doctor Ongoing dry eyes and blepharitis can also cause continued light sensitivity. When to call the doctor Elevated pressure in the eye, or ocular hypertension, can also cause you to feel like you want to throw up. When to call the doctor If redness in the eye is accompanied by pain, light sensitivity and/or a change in vision, see your ophthalmologist right away.

These are signs of retinal detachment, a rare complication of cataract surgery that occurs when the retina pulls away from the back of your eye. It is likely instigated by the speculum, a tool your surgeon uses to pull back your lids and keep the eye accessible for the procedure.

Cataract is a disease which affects mostly older people and progresses slowly. One of the major symptoms people develop is the need for more light for normal day to day activities like reading etc. Basically the amount of light that enters the eye progressively gets reduced due to increasing opaqueness of the lens. Our brain and eye adapts to that to a certain extent. Due to this adaptation many people after cataract surgery notice increased brightness around them and in some cases it may be uncomfortable. This is partly due to the fact that the eye is suddenly exposed to more light as soon as cataract is operated and brain has not yet adapted to that. This is turn gives a feeling of increased light sensitivity. However good news is that it is temporary phenomenon and it tends to settle down in the first few weeks after the surgery.

Cataract Surgery linked to Longer Life Dr. Vandana Jain Mr. Joseph Nair was a 62 years old retired accountant.

1. Infection

Post cataract surgery infections are not much of a frequent occurrence nowadays, thanks to the rapidly advancing medical care facilities. However, if you get one, your infected eye is most likely to get a shot of antibiotics. In case of severe infection, your eye doctor might also need to remove the vitreous (the clear gel-like substance filled in the center of the eye) to make sure the infection doesn’t spread.

2. Inflammation

A little redness and swelling is nothing much to worry about after cataract surgery, but if the inflammation in your operated eye prolongs, it will need eye drops or some other appropriate medication for treatment.

3. Itching

Itching is also among one of the possible side effects of cataract surgery for which you should not worry much, but only if remains mild. If it starts intensifying rather than subduing several days after the surgery, or becomes almost intolerable, you better seek immediate medical assistance to make sure it’s not the symptom of something serious.

4. Blurriness

Also among the most common symptoms of cataract surgery, blurriness in your vision is supposed to improve with the passage of time. If it persists, there might be some problem. So, contact an ophthalmologist as soon as possible to make sure you get a smooth sailing through your recovery process. You should also avoid driving until your vision is stable enough to do so.

5. Light Sensitivity

Again, sensitivity to light after cataract surgery is considered quite normal if it lasts for a couple of days. If your eye remains light sensitive for more than a few days, getting a professional opinion is a much better option. Sometimes, you might need to wear sunglasses even for a few months before sensitivity to light is completely gone. Prolonged light sensitivity can also serve as a symptom of some other underlying issue like a higher degree of inflammation. This is when you might get a prescription of eye drops for its treatment.

6. Droopy Eyelid (Ptosis)

Ptosis is another name commonly used for droopy eyelid, which might be triggered after cataract surgery. Though doctors are still unable to identify a specific reason behind this, but it usually settles at its own after sometime. If it’s still there after 6 months of the surgery, going to an ophthalmologist would be the best decision.

7. Corneal Edema

Any swelling in the cornea can simply be referred as the “Corneal Edema”. It might result after cataract surgery, an inflammation, a trauma, an infection or also as a result of various eye diseases or anything which can damage endothelial cells. Usually, the damage done to endothelial cells by a cataract surgery is not extensive and expected to resolve over time. Corneal edema affecting the eye after cataract surgery is also known as “Pseudophakic Bullous Keratopathy” (PBK) or “Pseudophakic Corneal Edema”.While PBK tends to resolve soon after the surgery, most physicians prefer treating it with customized administration of topical steroids if it persists long enough. Thankfully though, your chances of getting corneal edema as a side-effect of cataract surgery nowadays are very slim.

8. Ocular Hypertension/Elevated IOP

Sometimes, cataract surgery results in raised pressure in the eye, referred as “Ocular Hypertension” or “Elevated IOP (Intraocular Pressure)” simply. In fact, if we talk about most frequent post cataract surgery complications, ocular hypertension is right at the top. Though its treatment depends much on the particular reason why it happens in the first place, ophthalmologists normally resort to eye drops, shots or pills to treat it.

9. Iris Prolapse

Accidental postoperative trauma, inappropriate wound closure or raised intraocular pressure (IOP) can be responsible for “Iris Prolapse”. Though phacoemulsification wounds are mostly self-sealing, surgeons should ensure there’s no wound leakage after cataract surgery and go for suturing the wound if needed. They can reposition the iris if prolapse ages less than 48 hours and close the wound. However, iris excision is needed to slash the risk of intraocular infection when prolapse has been there for a longer period of time.

10. Wound Leaks

Thankfully, of late, wound leaks have turned into a rarity when it comes to cataract surgery complications. Poor vision epiphora complaints, shallow anterior chamber and IOP less than 8mm Hg are some of the most common sings of wound leaks. Causes of the leakage, its severity as well as timing, all play a critical role in management of the leaks. Normally, it takes 24-48 hours in settlement of smaller wound leaks, which can be sometimes assisted with steroid based eye drops or medication. When the leakage is moderate, a bandage contact lens, an added aqueous or cycloplegic inhibitor might be required to check the flow. In rare event of severe leakage with shallow chamber and a low IOP, the patient must be sent for surgical repair treatment.

11. Swollen Cornea

Quite often, cornea, the clear frontal region of the eye gets swollen and hazy due to ocular surgery performed over it, which can make it harder for you to see. However, this is almost always a temporary condition mostly improving within days or weeks sometimes. You may get eye drops as a treatment till the cornea loses its swelling.

12. Bleeding

It’s not that common, but there is a slight probability that retina’s blood vessels start bleeding without any apparent reason. There’s no issue with a little bleeding, as it settles down soon, but large amount of blood in eye can sometime lead to vision loss. Usually, eye doctors recommend a little bed rest with your head up coupled with eye drops. If the blood fails to drain, causing too much pressure in the eye, surgery can also be prescribed.

13. Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome (TASS)

Another of the very rare complications of cataract surgery, “Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome” (TASS) surfaces between 12-72 hours after surgical treatment of cataracts. As a result of endothelial cell damage, corneal swelling is quite severe along with anterior segment inflammation. It is minimally painful and sterile, sparing vitreous. Anything from inappropriately sterile drops in the eye to contaminated surgical equipment used for the surgery can lead to TASS. It is usually treated with high doses of topical steroids on hourly basis.

14. Retained Lens Fragments

When an eye doctor removes the cloudy lens from your eyes, there’s a probability of some tiny pieces falling into your eye during the cataract surgery, reappearing some time later. Tiny ones are harmless generally, but the bigger ones can cause trouble. These retained fragments can resurface any time after the procedure, right from the very first day after the surgery through several months, or years in some cases. Blurred vision, redness in the eye and light sensitivity are some of the symptoms of retained lens fragments.

15. Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO)/Secondary Cataracts

PCO is one of the most common cataract surgery complications. “Posterior Capsule Opacity”, a condition arising from the abnormal proliferation and growth of lens epithelial cells on the capsule during the surgery. These cells can affect the vision by migrating to the posterior capsule and hindering the visual axis. Many researchers refer to it as the “Secondary Cataracts” as well. The good thing is that PCO can be treated with YAG laser capsulotomy quite effectively, a quick and painless procedure easily performed in an ophthalmologist’s office within minutes.

16. Cystoid Macular Edema

A post cataract surgery painless complication of the eye, “Cystoid Macular Edema” or CME, which may arise few weeks after the surgery and affect macula, the central region of the retina. It results in retinal swelling or edema due to formation of multiple cyst-like areas (cystoids) of fluid. Considered to be an inflammatory process, CME is mostly treated with a regimen of topical non-steroidals, sometimes also supplemented with topical steroids.

17. Intraocular Lens (IOL) Dislocation

IOL is the artificial lens that replaces the cloudy lens in your eye during an eye surgery. Sometimes, it might slip out of its place, dislocating and causing double vision or blurriness. Bleeding and swelling is also possible in severe cases of dislocation. If the patient experiences low to mild blurriness of vision with no serious threat to the eye due to the dislocated IOL, majority of ophthalmologists prefer treating it with refractive means only, i.e. spectacles or contact lens. Surgery is needed only in case of serious IOL dislocation, setting the position of the lens or putting in a new one.

18. Retinal Detachment

Your retina’s natural position in the eye is at the back of your eye where it senses and responds to light, interpreting and sending messages to the brain. The probability of retina pulling out from its original position at the back of the eye is raised after cataract surgery, the problem being referred as “Retinal Detachment”. It is a medical emergency; the sooner you get proper medical attention, the higher are your chances of complete recovery. Seeing light flashes, floaters and cobwebs are some of the earliest symptoms of retinal detachment. Any sign of these means getting to your physician as soon as possible to get proper treatment.

19. Light Flashes and Floaters

There is a possibility of detachment of posterior vitreous after cataract surgery, leaving the vitreous separated from the retina. It clouds your vision, also making you see flashes of light and spider webs moving. Most of the times, it improves within a few months, but since its symptoms bear much similarity with retinal detachment, it’s better to schedule a meeting with your eye doctor for a thorough examination.

Blurry vision

It is very common to have blurry or unclear vision in the days and sometimes even weeks after cataract removal. Most of the time, this is caused by normal swelling in the eye which occurs as a part of surgery.Patients with larger, denser and/or firmer cataracts are more likely to experience more inflammation. These patients may have foggy vision or feel like they are in a steam room at first.

What helps?

Anti-inflammatory eye-drops prescribed by your ophthalmologist will help, and should be taken as directed. The swelling should decrease and your vision should clear up over a few days up to week. Patients who have cornea disease, such as Fuchs dystrophy, may take longer – up to a month or more – to get rid of the swelling.

When to call the doctor

If the blurriness does not subside after a week, consult your ophthalmologist. Other causes of ongoing blurry vision include residual refractive error (your eyes still need some additional correction with glasses), dry eye or Posterior capsule opacity (PCO).

Dry eye

After cataract surgery, almost all patients experience some level of dryness in the eye. A small number of nerves on the surface of your eye get cut when your surgeon makes the incisions necessary to reach your lens. These nerves are part of the feedback loop that tell your eye to produce tears for lubrication. The nerves generally will heal in about three months, but until then, your eye may not feel when it is dry and decrease tear production. If you had dry eye before your surgery, you may experience even more dryness afterward. Dry eye can cause discomfort, light sensitivity and/or blurry vision.

What helps?

If you experience mild dry eye, over-the-counter (OTC) preservative free artificial tears can help. Make sure to wait 5 minutes after applying prescription drops before using the tears so that the medicine does not get diluted.

When to call the doctor

If OTC tears don’t provide enough relief, reach out to your ophthalmologist, who can suggest other possible fixes to bridge you through the dry period.

Discomfort/feeling that something is in the eye

Many people complain that they feel like there is sand in the eye or that the eye feels scratchy after surgery. This is a normal sensation caused by the small incision in your eye, and it should heal within a week or so. If you have dry eye, the discomfort may last longer—up to three months. Some cataract patients require a stitch or suture in the eye during surgery. This shouldn’t bother you, but occasionally the suture needs to be removed after surgery.

Posterior capsule opacity (PCO)

Sometimes blurry vision is caused by PCO, a fairly common complication that can occur weeks, months or (more frequently) years after cataract surgery. It happens when the lens capsule, the membrane that holds your new, intraocular lens in place, becomes hazy or wrinkled and starts to cloud vision. PCO is a result of cells growing on the membrane over time, similar to scar tissue.

What helps?

This condition can be treated with a quick and safe laser procedure called a YAG laser capsulotomy. Your cataract surgeon will use a laser to make an opening in the cloudy capsule, allowing light to pass through for clear vision. The procedure takes about 5 minutes and does not require an incision.

Glare, halos and other unwanted images

Many cataract patients experience “unwanted visual images” after surgery, also known as dyphotopsia. Glare, halos and streaks of light are examples of positive dysphotopsia. They occur more frequently at night or in dim lighting, and are more common with multifocal lenses. These effects can be more noticeable in between surgery on the first and second eye. Residual refractive error can also cause positive dysphotopsia, and the right glasses prescription will correct it. Other times, PCO can be the culprit, and YAG laser treatment can resolve the issue.

What helps?

If these problems have been ruled out but glare and halos persist, your ophthalmologist may recommend special drops at night to help reduce the unwanted images.Other patients see an arc of light or crescent shaped shadow in their visual field after surgery. This is called negative dysphotopsia, and occurs in approximately 15% of patients. Doctors are not exactly sure what causes it. In many patients, dysphotopsia resolves on its own within a few months.

When to call the doctor

If dysphotopsia continues to be a problem after 3 to 4 months, your ophthalmologist will suggest treatment options.

Light sensitivity

After cataract removal, a little bit of light sensitivity is expected due to dryness in the eye. But if your eyes reflexively squint or close with light exposure, it could be a signal of inflammation in the eye, or iritis.

What helps?

A steroid drop prescribed by your ophthalmologist can help. Sometimes, you may need to wear sunglasses for a few months until iritis goes away. Most often it is caused by a “rebound” as you taper off your anti-inflammatory drops.

When to call the doctor

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

Nausea or disorientation

Feeling nauseated after surgery is typically an after-effect of IV anesthesia used for sedation. It’s not unusual to have lingering nausea for a day or two post operatively.

What helps?

Re-hydrating with a lot of fluids and eating a meal after you get home should help.

When to call the doctor

Elevated pressure in the eye, or ocular hypertension, can also cause you to feel like you want to throw up. Special gels used during surgery may temporarily raise the pressure in the eye. People with glaucoma may experience elevated eye pressure. Your ophthalmologist should check your ocular pressure the day after surgery and offer treatment if needed.

Bloodshot or red eye

A red or bloodshot eye after surgery is very common. It is normally caused by inflammation and/or a broken blood vessel, also known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage. This can create a scary-looking red spot on the eye, but it is usually harmless and heals on its own. It occurs more frequently in people who have had laser cataract surgery, which involves the use of a suction on the eye. It may be two or three weeks before the body reabsorbs the blood and the spot disappears completely.

When to call the doctor

If redness in the eye is accompanied by pain, light sensitivity and/or a change in vision, see your ophthalmologist right away.

Floaters or flashes of lights

You can experience floaters, or small dots or lines in your field of vision, after cataracts are removed. These are the shadows of small clumps of the vitreous gel that fills your eye. They are not serious, and tend to float out of the way on their own.

When to call the doctor

But if you experience bursts of floaters, like someone sprayed spots, or flashes of light, like a camera going off, or a shadow or curtain appears in your side vision, call your ophthalmologist immediately. These are signs of retinal detachment, a rare complication of cataract surgery that occurs when the retina pulls away from the back of your eye.

Droopy eyelid

Droopy eyelid is caused by ptosis, and is fairly common after surgery. It occurs more frequently in people whose eyelids swell post-operatively. It is likely instigated by the speculum, a tool your surgeon uses to pull back your lids and keep the eye accessible for the procedure. It can also stem from post-operative eye inflammation. Normally, droopy eyelid goes away on its own within six months.