Glare after cataract surgery is a common issue. This is because your brain has become accustomed to receiving sub-standard signals because of the cataract. The surgical procedure to remove a diseased lens and replace it with a shiny new artificial one changes this.
Light can, once again, flow unimpeded through the eye. Your brain goes wow! Where on earth is all this extra light coming from? And you experience this as excessive glare.
However, this is usually transient and there’s plenty you can do to help it go away.
Everything You Need to Know about Light Sensitivity and How to Reduce Glare After Cataract Surgery
- Reasons why you’re sensitive to light
- Training your eyes to help reduce glare after cataract surgery
- Ophthalmologist intervention
Reasons why you’re sensitive to light
The easiest way to understand why so many people experience glare after cataract surgery is this:
The cataract on the lens acts as a filter—a little like wearing sunglasses. As it progresses, it reduces the amount of light that flows through the eye. So… When we take away this filter (by removing and replacing the diseased lens), the brain has to re-learn how to understand the extra light.
The good news is that it generally only takes a few days or weeks at the most for the brain to adapt.
Training your eyes to help reduce glare after cataract surgery
There are many things you can do to help speed up this process. As well as wearing sunglasses when outside until your eyes have adapted, many easy eye training exercises can help.
- Watching TV.
- Reading books and magazines.
- Changing your gaze a lot… Look up from that book and stare out of the window. Look away from the TV and look at something further away.
- Using a computer, tablet, or reading things on your cell phone.
- Looking at the horizon and tracing it with your eyes.
What all of these interventions do is force you to change your focus from near to mid to far. This hastens the eye-brain signal learning process and will also improve how the brain perceives the extra light.
There are some other reasons why you might experience excessive glare.
- Post-surgery swelling of the cornea: Mild swelling is pretty common and can make the eyes more sensitive to light. Your surgeon will assess this, and it usually goes away within a few weeks. Only if the swelling is severe or long-lasting will any intervention be needed.
- Raised intra-eye pressure: This is rare but can cause light sensitivity. Again, this will be monitored and medication provided if needed.
- Dry eye: One of the most common causes of increased light sensitivity. Confusingly, it causes the eye to water more than normal, but it can also cause you to be sensitive to light and glare. The answer is lubricating eye drops, which your surgeon will advise on. Some people also find using warm compresses helps.
It’s extremely rare for any sensitivity to light or glare after surgery to be serious. The vast majority of people improve over the few weeks it takes to recover. Wearing good quality, UV-resistant sunglasses when outside is a wise precaution during this time—even if it’s not sunny.
If you have any concerns about glare or light sensitivity, don’t hesitate to contact your eye doctor. He or she will be able to advise and tailor any post-op treatment to help.
Get the Best Pre and Post-Surgery Treatment at the Modern Cataract Surgery Clinic.
There’s no better place in the US to have cataract surgery than at the dedicated Modern Cataract Surgery Clinic at the West Boca Eye Center. Our careful explanation as to what you can expect post-surgery is, we consider, one of the most important elements of any eye operation. Plus, our expertise means we can also treat any post-op elements that need intervention.
Start your journey to cataract recovery at https://www.moderncataractsurgery.com and call today to book a consultation.
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