On the first day after cataract surgery, patients have varying expectations of how well they will see. Most are happy that everything went well in surgery and that their vision is already starting to improve. Others expect perfection on day one, which is not realistic. This expectation is often fueled by a friend reporting “perfect” vision on day one. While some patients can see 20/20 on the first day after cataract surgery, slight or even significant blurriness is not uncommon at that point.
Even though cataract surgery is relatively quick, often only a 10 minute procedure, it is still an operation. Your eye needs time to heal. If the cataract was particularly dense then sometimes the surgery is slightly longer and results in some swelling on the cornea, the clear front part of the eye. Sometimes other problems cause delayed healing such as diabetic eye disease, macular degeneration or prior other eye surgeries.
We always see you on the day after your surgery to be sure you are progressing as planned. We check you vision, eye pressure and do a brief eye examination. We also want to be sure you understand how to use the post-operative drops and what your restrictions are. We may suggest the use of over-the-counter reading glasses at that time if your cataract implant was for distance vision.
As everyone is different, everyone’s perception of “perfect” is also slightly different. We realize that cataract surgery is all new to you so don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns between your appointments. While some worry that they are bothering us to call, it is certainly not the case! We are here to help.
Dr. Martha Jay is an Eye Physician & Surgeon specializing in medical and surgical eye care such as small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK vision correction. She practices with Dr. Lisa Bennett and Dr. James Ivanoski at Madison Medical Eye Care in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin.