Contacts Lenses after Cataract Removal

A cataract causes a clouding of your eye’s natural lens, a normally clear structure though which light from the objects around you passes to form the images we see every day. This clouding occurs as proteins, molecules found everywhere in the body, collect in clumps within the lens to obscure vision. The condition most commonly occurs as a consequence of aging, but can also be the result of eye injury, radiation, another surgery, or a developmental defect which results in a cataract when a child is born. Regardless of the cause, cataract treatment starts with the use of lenses to improve vision, but as the condition progresses, the surgical removal of the affected lens may be necessary.

Cataract surgery

Surgery may seem a daunting prospect as a treatment of cataracts as the eye’s lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. Fortunately the procedure has been practiced for many years and is usually very safe and successful. The surgery can be completed quite quickly, often within an hour, and carries with it a short recovery time with no need for hospital admission. Patients are generally kept under general anaesthesia if a child, and under a local anaesthetic if an adult, which means that adults will be awake during the surgery but unable to experience any pain or discomfort, while children will be unconscious.

Wearing contact lenses after cataract surgery

Older patients with cataracts will often also wear corrective lenses prior to the surgery, and in many cases these can be contacts. Cataract surgery involves implanting an artificial lens to replace the faulty cataract, and these lenses can often be designed to be corrective themselves, eliminating the need for contacts after surgery. Only about 10% of surgical patients will still need to use their lenses, and in these instances can safely continue to use their contacts. However, the prescription needed is likely to have changed, so it is definitely worth visiting your optician after your surgery to see what it is you need.

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