Can I Wear Contacts After Cataract Surgery?

So, you’ve recently had cataract surgery and you’re wondering if you’ll be able to continue wearing your contact lenses. Well, the short answer is yes, you can. But, there are some things you need to know before you start popping them back in. In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about wearing contacts after cataract surgery. From understanding the surgery itself, to how contacts are fitted post-surgery, what to expect during the recovery period, and potential risks and concerns. We’ll even explore some alternatives to wearing contacts after cataract surgery. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding Cataract Surgery and Contact Lenses

What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure where the cloudy natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens to improve vision. This surgical procedure is common among individuals over the age of 60, but it can also be performed on younger people with certain eye conditions or injuries.

During cataract surgery, the surgeon will make a small incision on the surface of the eye and use a special instrument to break up and remove the cloudy lens. Once the natural lens is removed, the surgeon will insert an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL), in its place.

How are Contacts Fitted After Cataract Surgery?

After cataract surgery, contacts can be fitted to correct any remaining refractive errors and improve vision. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.

Firstly, it’s recommended to wait for a few weeks after the surgery before getting fitted for contacts. During this time, the eye is healing and may be more prone to infections. Once the eye has completely healed, your optometrist will take measurements of your eye to determine the correct contact lens prescription.

It’s important to note that the type of intraocular lens used during surgery can affect the type of contact lens that is recommended. For example, if a monofocal intraocular lens was used, your optometrist may recommend a single vision contact lens. However, if a multifocal intraocular lens was used, your optometrist may recommend a multifocal or monovision contact lens.

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What to Expect During the Recovery Period

After cataract surgery, it’s important to follow the post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon to ensure proper healing and recovery. It’s common to experience some discomfort and blurry vision immediately after surgery, but this usually resolves within a few days.

During the recovery period, it’s important to avoid activities that could damage the eye, such as heavy lifting or rubbing the eye. You may also be prescribed eye drops to help with inflammation or to prevent infection.

Overall, cataract surgery can greatly improve vision and quality of life for individuals with cataracts. After the surgery, contacts can be fitted to correct any remaining refractive errors and enhance vision further. It’s important to work closely with your optometrist and follow all post-operative instructions to ensure a speedy and successful recovery.

Risks and Concerns

Potential Risks of Wearing Contacts After Cataract Surgery

Wearing contact lenses after cataract surgery has some risks that patients should consider before using them. The surgery can cause mild to severe dry eyes, which can affect the comfort of wearing contact lenses. The risk of developing eye infections is also higher after cataract surgery, and using contact lenses can increase those risks.

Another potential risk is that contact lenses can interfere with the eye’s healing process. The cornea, the outermost layer of the eye, is usually thinner after surgery, and contact lenses can cause damage that can slow down the healing process.

How to Minimize Risks of Wearing Contacts Post Cataract Surgery

To minimize the risks associated with wearing contact lenses after cataract surgery, patients should follow certain guidelines. First, it is essential to wait until the eye has fully healed after surgery before using contact lenses again. The eye doctor will prescribe a specific period depending on the situation.

When the patient starts using contact lenses again, they should use a lubricating solution to prevent dry eyes and reduce the risk of infections. It is also important to clean and disinfect the contact lenses properly before and after each use. Patients should also avoid wearing contact lenses for extended periods, especially in situations that might increase the risks of eye infections.

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If the patient experiences any discomfort or vision changes after using contact lenses, they should stop using them and consult their eye doctor.

In conclusion, wearing contact lenses after cataract surgery is possible, but it requires some caution and following certain guidelines to minimize the risks associated with contact lens use. Patients should always consult their eye doctor before using contact lenses after surgery and follow their instructions.

References

– Basyuni S, Kozak I, Wang Q. Contact lens wear after phacoemulsification. CLAO J. 2002 Jan;28(1):45-8. doi: 10.1097/00140068-200201000-00010. PMID: 11821970.
– Jørstad ØK, Faber RT, Moe MC. Two-year outcomes after cataract surgery: refractive change and ocular dominance. Acta Ophthalmol. 2013 May;91(3):264-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2011.02311.x. Epub 2012 Mar 19. PMID: 22429510.

Alternatives to Contacts After Cataract Surgery

Glasses as an Alternative Post Surgery Option

Glasses are a common option for correcting vision after cataract surgery. They are simple, easy to use, and can provide great results. Glasses can be prescribed to correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness, and are often covered by insurance. Glasses also offer UV protection which is important for protecting the eyes from damaging sun rays.

Exploring Other Vision Correction Options

In addition to glasses, there are other options available for correcting vision after cataract surgery. Contact lenses can be worn after the eyes have fully healed post-surgery. These lenses can be used to correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness. However, it is important to follow the postoperative guidelines provided by your optometrist to ensure that you do not cause further complications or eye infections.

Another option is monovision, where one eye is corrected for distance and the other eye is corrected for near vision. This is achieved through the use of contact lenses or by surgically placing intraocular lenses in one eye. This option can be very effective for those who cannot tolerate multifocal glasses or have difficulty adjusting to multifocal lenses.

Multifocal intraocular lenses can also be implanted during cataract surgery. These lenses can correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness, reducing the need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery. It is important to note that multifocal lenses may not be ideal for everyone, and your optometrist can help you determine if they are a good option for you.

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In conclusion, there are many options available for correcting vision after cataract surgery. The choice of correction depends on individual preferences, medical history, and recommendations from your optometrist. By working together with your optometrist, you can find the best option for improving your vision and enjoying life to the fullest.In summary, cataract surgery and wearing contacts afterward can be a complex issue that requires careful consideration of several factors. While there are potential risks involved, with proper care and precautions, many patients are able to successfully wear contacts after cataract surgery. It is important to discuss your unique situation with your ophthalmologist to determine the best course of action for your vision needs. As always, feel free to explore more articles on our blog, ‘I Can Find It Out’ to learn more about eye health and vision correction options.

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