The Causes of Blurred Vision After Cataract Surgery

Sep 16, 2022 | Optometry

The Causes of Blurred Vision After Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is one of the most common and most straightforward surgeries practiced worldwide, but that doesn’t mean complications and side effects don’t occur. In fact, they’re more common than you might think. Read on to learn about the causes of blurred vision after cataract surgery.

Normal Swelling

One of the most common reasons you may experience blurred vision after your surgery is that you are experiencing normal swelling. The ophthalmologists just operated on your eye, and it is naturally swelling in response. Cataracts that are bigger and denser will cause you to experience more inflammation. Your doctor likely prescribed some eye drops to help with this swelling, but it can last longer if you have a cornea disease. However, if you don’t have a pre-existing condition and the swelling persists for more than a week, you might consider consulting your doctor.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are a common issue that can arise after cataract surgery, often resulting in blurred vision. Cataract surgery increases the likelihood of dry eyes because of the antibiotic-steroid eye drops used before and after surgery, but also because the surgery disturbs the tear film in the eye. The surgical incision will also decrease the production of lubricants and tears in the eye. Your doctor likely prescribed antibiotic-steroid eye drops to reduce swelling, but you should also use over-the-counter artificial tears to help lubricate your eyes.

Retinal Detachment

One more severe cause of blurred vision is retinal detachment. This detachment occurs when the retina breaks away from the eye, leading to blurred, shadowy, or obstructed vision. Some people also experience flashes of light or floating objects in their sight. This doesn’t affect many people who undergo cataract surgery, but it is a serious issue. If you think you have retinal detachment, you should see your doctor immediately because it can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated.

Cystoid Macular Edema

Another cause of blurred vision is cystoid macular edema (CME). Unlike typical swelling, a cystoid macular edema occurs when the central retina (the macula) becomes swollen. It occurs in about 2 percent of patients and appears between six and eight weeks after surgery, different from the typical swelling you’d see post-surgery. Treatments are available in the form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) eye drops, and with regular use, the swelling will stop in a few months.

The causes of blurred vision after cataract surgery are not too severe, but if your blurred vision continues for more than a week, you may want to consult an ophthalmologist. These ophthalmologists can help you figure out what is happening, getting you the help you need. At Automated Ophthalmics, we have plenty of tonometer tip covers that ophthalmologists can use to help diagnose what is happening in patients’ eyes and get them the proper care.