What to expect after lens replacement surgery?

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What to expect after lens replacement surgery?

It’s a fascinating journey for patients after lens replacement. Their recovery occurs in phases. There are unifying trends and themes in the recovery but also an enormous amount of individual variation.

Immediately after lens replacement surgery, the pupil is still dilated which blurs the vision. This comes along with the effect of the operating microscope light and the fluid which is used in lens replacement surgery. There may be a scratchy feeling at times for a few hours after treatment. Once the pupil has returned to its normal size, the vision improves significantly. Moreover, the light scattering effects enhance as well. If a multifocal lens implant has been used the reading vision will pick up quite quickly. If patients have quite a large spectacle prescription before lens replacement surgery, then the vision will feel unbalanced after treatment to the first eye. This is why we move on to treat the second eye a week later. It can be a difficult week unless the patient is able to wear a contact lens in the unoperated eye. Sometimes patients can push the spectacle lens out of the frame in front of the operated eye. But if the other eye has a high prescription the images are different sizes and it can be difficult/uncomfortable for the brain to fuse the images.

Within a couple of days of performing lens replacement on the second eye, the vision is usually good. However, it continues to improve. What’s amazing is the fact that people will be using their multifocal lens implants to give distance and near vision without glasses. This is an entirely new way of seeing. Both images are present on the retina and the patient’s brain shifts attention from one image to another depending on where they want to look. Like any new skill, this improves with time and practice. The more relaxed a patient is the more rapidly their visual system sharpens their visual function and visual quality after lens replacement. For some patients, it’s as if they should have been born with multifocal lenses. The recovery and transition to natural function is very rapid. For other patients, despite good distance and near visual acuities, the vision can at times feel clunky moving from distance to near and vice versa. Also, patients can find the halo effects from car headlights bothersome. These symptoms gradually improve and their vision catches up with the other patients.

The post-operative recovery of vision and comfort after lens replacement occurs in two phases. The visual acuity recovers quickly but the vision can at times feel unusual and fluctuate. Over the time the vision becomes stable and natural. There is a wide variation between individuals for how long this takes – for some patients it can be just a few weeks. For other patients it can be over a year. The key thing is that they all get there in the end.

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By James Ball | April 27, 2017 | Posted in ,
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