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    Eye Health and Cataract Surgery

    Is Cataract Surgery Safe?

    Nearly 98% of all cataract surgeries are completed each year without serious complications. Although this type of surgery is very safe, you should always discuss the risks of surgery with your eye surgeon.

    What Can I Expect After Cataract Surgery?

    After cataract surgery, it is normal to feel mild irritation. Your doctor may recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). You may also have mild tearing and be slightly sensitive to light for a short time following cataract surgery. You can wear dark glasses to help with the light sensitivity.

    For a few weeks after cataract surgery, you will need to take medication in the form of eyedrops to aid healing and prevent infection. Your surgeon may want you to avoid very strenuous activities for a short period after surgery, but most normal activities need not be restricted following cataract surgery.

    How Soon Will My Vision Improve After Cataract Surgery?

    Vision is usually improved the day after cataract surgery. Maximum improvement is usually achieved when new glasses are prescribed, about a month after cataract surgery. Be sure to use all medications as prescribed to help make sure you have the best possible results.

    What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cataract Surgery?

    The capsule -- the outer lining wall of the cataract -- is left in place during surgery to hold the cataract replacement implant. Clouding of this lining of the lens may occur months or years after cataract surgery. In this case, an office procedure using a YAG laser can easily and painlessly open a small hole to restore normal vision. Lens implants are permanent and ordinarily do not need to be replaced. They are good for the life of the patient.

    Will Insurance Cover the Cost of Cataract Surgery?

    Cataract surgery is usually covered by Medicare and health insurance.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on September 28, 2014
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