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Red Eyes After Cataract Surgery

The aftereffects of cataract surgery are usually fairly short-lived. One of the most common is having red eyes (or a red eye), which, in the vast majority of cases, gradually fades over the following few days or weeks.  But how red is red? What if it goes on for ages and when should you worry? Is there anything that can be done to reduce the redness and is there any point that a red eye can be a sign of something more serious?Read on to find out everything you need to know about red eyes after cataract surgery.

From Blurred Vision to Red Eyes after Cataract Surgery: what to expect

  • Normal post-op signs and symptoms
  • How long do red eyes after cataract surgery take to go away?

Normal post-op signs and symptoms

It’s totally normal to experience some side effects after a cataract operation. Red eyes are one of the most common—and in some cases can look very alarming. However, it’s very rare for this to be a problem.A small amount of inflammation is to be expected. This is because the integrity of the eye has been compromised during the procedure. This, therefore, needs time to heal—something that will take several weeks. Sometimes, a blood vessel within the eye can break, either during or after the procedure. When this happens, it can cause a bright red blood spot within the eye. While this might look alarming, it’s usually no cause for concern. The clinical name for this is a subconjunctival hemorrhage. In the vast majority of cases, it’s minor and will heal on its own.Other normal post-op symptoms include:

  • A gritty or irritated eye
  • An itchy eye
  • A small amount of clear fluid discharge
  • A bloodshot eye
  • Slightly increased blurred vision
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Slightly distorted vision

The last three are down to the brain becoming accustomed to receiving clearer signals as the light is, once again, flowing uninterrupted through the eye. All should gradually improve over a matter of days or weeks, leaving you with much-improved vision.

How long do red eyes after cataract surgery take to go away?

In general, a red eye will slowly improve over the weeks following the operation. If you do experience any bleeding within the eye as mentioned above, this will naturally be absorbed by the surrounding tissue over a week or more.

Signs of Abnormal Red Eyes after Cataract Surgery

  • Time to seek advice

Time to seek advice

The biggest issue following cataract surgery is infection. While these are rare, there are some signs that mean you need further investigation. These include:

  • Swelling
  • Worsening redness in combination with increasing pain
  • Increasing vision problems
  • Seeing flashes of light in your peripheral vision
  • A dark curtain forming across the eye
  • The appearance of new floaters
  • Fresh blood in the eye in combination with a feeling of pressure in the eye
  • The eye becoming gradually more sensitive to light
  • A drooping eyelid

If you’re concerned about any of the above or have any questions regarding your post-operative recovery, you should speak to your ophthalmologist without delay.

Need or Worried about Cataract Surgery? Contact the West Boca Eye Center Today

Cataract monitoring and operations are a true specialty at the WBEC. This custom-built eye care facility is dedicated to providing the ultimate treatment. Run by one of the best cataract surgeons in the world, Dr. Brent Bellotte, the clinic offers a one-stop-shop for all aspects of vision health.Discover more about the state-of-the-art cataract treatments and choices at and call today for a no-obligation discussion.

Red Eyes After Cataract Surgery
Red Eyes After Cataract Surgery

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Located 1/2 miles North of West Boca Medical Center on Glades Road, directly behind Macy's Furniture Gallery.

West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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