Blurred Vision After Cataract Surgery: Causes and Prevention

Monika Pawar   by Monika Pawar, MS    Last updated on February 3, 2021,

blurred vision after cataract surgery

Mostly cataract surgeries are successful but in some cases, a cataract surgery is followed by many complications including vision difficulty. Some patients after cataract surgery show certain uncommon symptoms like blurred vision, glares, and various other symptoms.

Is it Normal to Develop a Blurry Vision Post Cataract Surgery? How Long After Cataract Surgery Is Vision Blurry?

Cataract surgery is a short procedure and is straightforward in its approach. A single surgery usually takes between 15-20 minutes. Patients are treated under local anesthetic eye drops.

After a cataract surgery, it is normal to have a blurry vision for a short duration (almost a day) and then the patient should be able to perform his/her daily life activities. Generally the blurry vision duration varies among people from few hours to a day. However, if it remains for a longer duration, then it is a matter of concern.

Posterior Capsule Opacity (PCO) is one of the common but treatable complications of cataract surgery. The condition is characterized by cloudiness of the elastic capsular bag that keeps the eye lens at the place. The symptoms of PCO often mimic the cataract that is why it is also called as secondary cataract.

It is not uncommon for patients to regain a normal vision post cataract surgery, however they may show certain symptoms like blurry vision, haziness, vision problems due to glare of the sun, and oncoming headlights.

The cloudy vision caused by cataract surgery is annoying and can be treated by a procedure called YAG Capsulotomy. It is a simple and painless procedure that is quite effective for blurr vision especially caused due to PCO.

What Causes Blurred Vision After Cataract Surgery?

There are several reasons responsible for a blurry vision post cataract surgery, some of them are mentioned below:

Lens Error: Any kind of error in the lens may lead to blurry vision, however it is an uncommon cause.

Dry Eye Scan:  It is one of the common causes of blurry vision and can be overcome by using artificial tears like Systane or Refresh tears. A patient should use artificial tears 3 to 4 times in a day or as directed by the physician to overcome the blurry vision.


Retinal Swelling: Swelling in the retina a few weeks post cataract surgery is also one of the common causes of blurry vision.

See also: Cataract - Causes and Risk Factors

See also: How Is Your Cataract Treated?

PCO (Posterior Capsule Opacity): PCO is also considered one of the main factors responsible for blurred vision after the cataract surgery. The condition is commonly referred to as “secondary cataract," because of the cloudy effect it causes on the elastic-like capsular bag that holds the lens of the eye in place.

What Precautions Should Be Taken to Avoid Prolonged Blurry Vision After Catarct Surgery?

Having a blurry vision for a short duration after cataract surgery is normal. However, one should take following precautions to ensure successful surgery and prevent the prolonged effects:

  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • Avoid direct exposure to sun and wear dark UV protective glasses while going outside.
  • Do not splash water into your eyes while taking a shower.
  • Avoid strenuous exercises for some time post surgery.
  • Avoid swimming for atleast one week.

What is PCO (Posterior Capsule Opacity)? How Does It Cause Blurred Vision?

PCO is also considered one of the main factors responsible for blurred vision after the cataract surgery. The condition is commonly referred to as “secondary cataract," because of the cloudy effect it causes on the elastic-like capsular bag that holds the lens of the eye in place.

Most of the complications from cataract surgery are minor and manageable. Posterior Capsule Opacity (PCO) is one such complication which can also be treated. It is not a cataract, but the symptoms do match with the symptoms of cataracts.

During a cataract surgery, the surgeon opens the front portion of the capsule and removes the natural lens to replace it with the intraocular lens. The capsule holds the intraocular lens and serves as a protective barrier for the back of the eye.

PCO happens when the back of the lens capsule thickens. In this process, more cells grow over the back of the capsule causing it to thicken. Thickening of the capsule does not allow the appropriate light to travel through to the retina at the back of the eye. This causes the problems with bright lights.

Treating PCO by YAG Capsulotomy

Posterior lens capsule opacification is fairly common. Once treated, it does not cause any long-term problems with the sight. The most effective treatment for PCO is YAG Capsulotomy. It is a painless process and normally it takes about 15-20 minutes.

This quick procedure is carried out in the following manner:

The pupils of the eyes are dilated mildly.

YAG laser creates a clear opening in the back of the capsular bag which is holding the lens implant.

This makes the light to once again pass directly to the retina and helps to restore vision back to what it was soon after the original cataract procedure.

 How to Prevent the Blurred Vision After Cataract Surgery?

Research says that using a square artificial lens instead of rounded edge lens can decrease the chances of someone developing posterior lens capsule opacification. The reason for this is that the square edge of the lens makes it difficult for cells to grow across the back of your capsule. Therefore, in order to reduce the risk, most lenses are now manufactured with a square edge.

When Should You Consult a Doctor Post Cataract surgery?

If a patient experience following unusual symptoms after cataract surgery, he/she should immediately visit an ophthalmologist:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Loss of vision
  • Persistent blurry vision
  • Worsening of the vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Prolonged Coughing
  • Continuous sneezing

Frequently Asked Questions

After a cataract surgery it is normal to have a blurry vision for a short duration (a day to few weeks) because the new lens takes some time to adapt and settle. However, if the blurred vision remains for a longer time, then the patient should seek an immediate medical intervention.

A procedure called YAG Capsulotomy can be used by the doctor for treating the cloudy or blurred vision after cataract surgery. During this procedure the doctor removes the thickness around the artificial lens and makes it clear to avoid the cloudiness and blurred vision.

It is not uncommon to have a blurry vision after cataract surgery for a shorter duration because the new artificial lens takes some time to settle and adapt itself. However, if the blurriness persists for long duration then it is a matter of concern and patients should seek an immediate medical advice.

Blurred vision can be treated naturally at home by using the Bruder moist heat dry eye compress. It is very easy to use and works by rehydrating your eyes.

 

 

 

Monika Pawar

Monika Singh is an expert in computer sciences and has pursued her Master’s degree (M.Tech-CS) from Banasthali University, Rajasthan. Her areas of interest include data structure, software engineering, software testing, and computer graphics. Monika Singh has published a paper on “Modified AODV in MANET,” International Journal of Computer Science and Management Studies (IJCSMS), ISSN: 2231-5268, Vol-14, Issue-05 May 2014, PP:12-18.


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