Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure performed to solve eye problems. Just as we know that there is a degree of risk involved with any and every surgery, cataract surgery is no exception to this. Since the surgery is related to one of the most sensitive parts of the body, i.e. the eyes, it becomes all the more essential for people undergoing the surgery, to take certain precautionary steps in order to curb the risks involved in the process. There are certain risks and side effects involved in the cataract surgery, which a patient should be aware of, before opting for the same. Though there is nothing serious or grave which you need to worry about, a bit of knowledge and certain precautionary measures would not do any harm. In fact, a proper knowledge about these risks and complications can help to make the surgery a safe one. Given below are risks and complications associated with cataract surgery.
Risks & Complications Of Cataract Surgery
One of the potential risks of cataract surgery is the development of glaucoma. Glaucoma is caused due to the pressure created by certain fluids used during the surgery. These fluids, unlike others, are unable to pass through the eye’s natural drainage, thereby causing problems. The usual symptom of glaucoma is a sharp pain in the eye and banging sensation in the head. However, these side effects can be reduced with the help of proper medication.
Endophthalmitis is an inflammation of the internal coats of the eye, caused after a cataract surgery. This can lead to loss of vision and other damage caused to the eyes. Excessive pain, sensitivity towards light and excessive redness of the eye are common symptoms which are noticed when a person is infected with endophthalmitis. The complication caused can be prevented by using topical antibiotic eye drops. Regular cleaning of the area around the eye using sterilized solutions is another way to resolve the symptoms of endophthalmitis.
During the cataract surgery, certain vitreous fluids may seep through a tear in the retina, causing the retina to separate from the back of the eye. This condition is called retinal detachment. The early symptoms of retinal detachment include flashes of light and dark spots that appear to float in the visual field. The patient may also experience a curtain moving across the eyeball, which blocks the vision partly or completely.
Cystoids Macular Edema
The back of our eyes is lined by retina, a layer of nerve that can sense light. The centre part of this retina is called macula, which responds to the light at the centre of the visual field. Due to uneventful cataract surgery, inflammation might develop, causing fine blood vessels in the retina to leak fluids. This fluid gets accumulated in the macula causing it to swell, leading to decreased vision in the central part of the visual field. This swelling in the macula is called cystoids macular edema. Injection of steroids at the back of the eye can often resolve the problem.
Swelling Of The Cornea
Often the eye might respond negatively to the surgical instruments inserted at the time of the operation causing the cornea to swell. This side effect of the cataract surgery can also lead to distorted vision in the patient.
At rare occasions, the choroids begin to bleed during cataract surgery. Choroids are a delicate web of fine blood vessels that circulates blood to the retina. This situation is more likely to occur in elderly patients and those with glaucoma or high blood pressure. If the hemorrhage is confined to a small area of choroids, patients often recover without significant visual loss; otherwise it can lead to permanent visual loss in patients.
Dislocated Lens Material
In certain cases, the fragments of the cataractuous lens fall into the vitreous cavity behind the thin membrane surrounding the lens. In such a scenario, an ophthalmologist might recommend a vasectomy to remove the lens material, to prevent inflammation.