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Cataract Post-Surgery Complications To Look For

If you've been having issues with seeing clearly or unexplained vision problems, it's important to see an eye doctor right away. If your doctor has diagnosed you with having cataracts, you'll likely be referred to an ophthalmologist who specializes in cataract surgery. Left untreated, a cataract can lead to impaired vision ranging from mild to severe. Here are a few things to look for after you have your eye surgery that could indicate a complication or problem with recovery.

Significant Eye Discharge

A cataract is a cloudy area located within the lens of your eye. To remove the cataract, your lens capsule or lining in your eye must be separated from the cataract. Typically, an intraocular lens implant will replace the anterior lens capsule. This procedure is done within an ophthalmologist office or outpatient eye care clinic under light to general anesthesia. After surgery, you should only have minor discomfort. If you notice a lot of eye drainage or discharge that isn't clear-flowing, you should follow up with your ophthalmologist right away.

Flashes Of Light

With most cataract surgeries, your posterior capsule or the back of your eye lens is left intact. This helps hold the vitreous gel in place that is located in the back of your eye near the cornea from breaking into your pupil. In rare cases, this part of your lens can become nicked or break apart during surgery. If this happens, you may experience a sudden onset of floaters or flashes of light in your eye. You should seek medical attention right away because it could also be an indication of a detached retina—a serious eye issue that could lead to blindness.


Cataract surgery recovery typically lasts between two days and a month, according to the Mayo Clinic. Generally most surgeries consist of a tiny incision within your cornea using ultrasonic rays to destroy the cataract. But if your ophthalmologist had to make a larger incision, your recovery might take slightly longer. Slight swelling of the eyelid or area around the eye is common immediately after surgery. If you notice the swelling getting worse or not appearing to be better after three to five days, call your surgeon's office right away.

Worsening Vision

As the days go by after your cataract surgery, you should notice a gradual improvement in your vision. Your ophthalmologist may also recommend that you get new glasses four to six weeks post-surgery. If you feel like your vision is getting worse rather than better, it could be an indication of an underlying complication. Any type of blurriness, peripheral vision issues or dark spots should be reported right away to your surgeon.

Cataract surgery is generally a safe and effective eye treatment for cloudy lenses. Speak to your doctor like one from Montgomery Eye Center about the best plan for effective postoperative treatment. Be sure to follow up with him and watch for sudden signs of complications.