5 most common issues following cataract surgery

Updated: Nov 23, 2019


1. Dry eyes

Patient's symptoms of foreign body sensation and ocular irritation after cataract surgery are often due to dry-eye syndrome.  The act of cataract surgery induces ocular inflammation, which may adversely affect patients' tear-film production and stability. After surgery, patients are prescribed medications, which can cause further ocular irritation and tear-film disruption. All cataract patients should be treated for dry eye syndrome during the postoperative period. This treatment can help to prevent the signs and symptoms of tear film insufficiency. Preservative free dry eye drops are available over the counter at most pharmacies, and I prefer the single use vials over bottled ones.

2. Light Sensitivity

Photophobia or light/glare sensitivity is common after cataract and refractive surgeries.  It usually starts during the early weeks after the procedure, and in the vast majority of cases, this discomfort is transitory and will become less disturbing within weeks or months. During this period, the use of sunglasses will provide comfort.


3. Floaters Vitreous floaters are common. Most floaters are relatively small and are only a minor annoyance under certain lighting conditions. if you have vitreous floaters, replacing the cloudy lens with a clear Intraocular Lens (IOL) will increase the clarity of your vision and make the floaters even more visible .


4. Clouding of the new implanted lens One of the most common cataract surgery complications is posterior capsule opacification. When the cataract is removed, the integrity of the lens capsule is maintained and the IOL usually is implanted within it. The clouding occurs because lens epithelial cells remaining after cataract surgery have grown of the capsule.  This can occur weeks/months or years after the surgery, and this will once again cloud your vision.  YAG laser capsulotomy can be performed safely, effectively and painlessly.  My record was sending 5 people in 2 days a couple of years ago for YAG laser treatment with the surgeon.  I am regularly sending 1-2 patients weekly for this procedure. This is one of the reasons I prefer to review annually post cataract surgery.

5. Why do I need glasses after surgery?

This is probably one of the most common complaints post surgery.  No matter which implant decision you have made - Multifocal IOL, monovision (one eye for distance and one for near), toric IOL for astigmatism - 90% of my patients still wear glasses.  Probably around 50% still prefer a Multifocal or Bifocal pair, as this is what they are used to, or there is residual prescription for their distance vision.  There are the lucky few that the Multifocal IOL has worked well, and really function well during their day-to-day tasks without the need of spectacle correction.  The surgeon should have a thorough discussion about the refractive goal of the surgery so that patients have reasonable expectations and aware that they may need to wear spectacles afterwards.


Jene Yusupov