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Seeing Edges of Lens After Cataract Surgery

While it’s rare to experience problems after a cataract operation, some people do report issues. One of these is seeing the edges of the lens post-procedure. The medical name for this is dysphotopsia and it’s caused by light glare or reflection from the new lens in the eye. 

Dysphotopsia isn’t that common—and it’s usually more of an annoyance than a true problem. The following looks at why it occurs and what can be done about it.

Understanding Dysphotopsia (Seeing the Edges of the Lens After Cataract Surgery)

  • Cataract surgery and dysphotopsia
  • How dysphotopsia is treated

Cataract surgery and dysphotopsia

Cataract surgery involves the removal of the diseased lens within the affected eye and replacing it with an artificial one (an intraocular lens, or IOL). The IOL is flatter, thinner, and in a slightly different position than the natural one. While it’s very similar in shape to the one that’s been removed, there are some differing characteristics—especially to the edges.

This can cause some optical problems. There are two types of these:

  1. Positive dysphotopsia: This is when a person experiences flashes of light, glare, light bursts, arcs of light, flashes, rings—in short, anything where the phenomenon is characterized as light. Some people experience this as seeing (or even feeling) the edges of the lens in their vision.
  2. Negative dysphotopsia: This, conversely, is when the visual phenomena are characterized as a shadow. Again, it could be a shadowy ring, a line, an arc… But the difference is that it’s dark, rather than light.

The first thing to understand about both types of dysphotopsia is that neither is normally a cause for concern. Indeed, most resolve on their own within the first days, weeks, or months after surgery.

How dysphotopsia is treated

All patients have a follow-up with their surgeon around 24-48 hours after the operation. The eye and lens will be checked, and you’ll be able to report any adverse symptoms.

Both positive and negative dysphotopsia usually occur soon after a cataract operation. Don’t forget that the images that we perceive as vision are the result of a complex chain reaction that starts with light entering the eye. These signals are transmitted to a particular area in the brain (via the optic nerve) and translated into the images that we see.

Cataracts take years to develop, and the brain has had all that time to adapt to the alteration they cause to the flow of light through the eye. When you have a cataract operation, the brain must relearn how it interprets these signals—and this can lead to issues like dysphotopsia.

Treatment, therefore, is usually conservative and follows a stepwise process:

  1. Do nothing: In most cases, dysphotopsia usually reduces or disappears entirely in the weeks and months following surgery. This is probably due to the brain working out how to respond to the uninterrupted flow of light through the IO. If the condition remains a problem after an agreed amount of time, then moving to step two might be considered.
  2. Surgery: It’s extremely rare for this to be necessary (0.07% of cases). The success rate is high and involves a slight shift in the position of the lens in the eye to prevent glare or reflection. The procedure is known as “reverse optic capture” and might also involve the use of a piggyback IOL. However, before this is considered, your surgeon might determine that a less invasive procedure—known as a YAG laser anterior capsulectomy, would be preferable. This is a five-minute procedure and is carried out in the doctor’s office, usually with excellent results.

Seeing the Edges of the Lens After Cataract Surgery? Contact the WBEC Today for Advice & Treatment

The West Boca Eye Center is a leading U.S. medical facility that specializes in all things cataract. This includes any issues that might arise after a procedure has taken place. As one of the best cataract clinics in the world, we’re ideally placed to deal with any post-cataract operation problems.

Many people travel across the country to take advantage of our cutting-edge facilities and treatments. We can also help you find the best cataract surgeons closer to where you live.

Head to for more information.

Seeing Edges of Lens After Cataract Surgery
Seeing Edges of Lens 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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