If you’re one of the more than 20 million Americans over 40 affected by cataracts, you know what it’s like to live with the blurred vision, the glare (especially when driving at night), and the gradual loss of contrast and color that comes with the condition. This is no way to spend your golden years! I tell my Charleston patients to plan on having cataract surgery as soon as their cataracts start interfering with their ability to do the things they want or need to do.
Unfortunately, our research shows that most cataract patients wait an average of 5 years longer than they should to have this life-changing surgery. In talking to patients, I’ve discovered that most of them would have scheduled their procedure sooner had they understood the condition, the procedure, and the recovery better. That’s where I come in. I try to keep my blog updated with informative posts about the procedure, even letting people know that cataract surgery can be a pleasant experience.
Part of making it easier and more comfortable for patients to undergo cataract surgery is helping them prepare for it. In addition to offering detailed instructions covering everything you need to know before and after your procedure, here are some tips for preparing for your surgery:
Do your research
Begin preparing for your surgery long before it’s scheduled by researching surgeons in your area. Look for a surgeon who belongs to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, an international, educational society dedicated to improving patients’ quality of care and results from cataract and refractive surgery. Also, look for a surgeon with impeccable education, training, and credentials, a lot of positive online reviews, and even patient testimonials on his or her website. It’s icing on the cake if you can hear firsthand from friends or family members who have had a positive experience with a local cataract surgeon.
Schedule your surgery at a time when a friend or loved one is available to drop you off, pick you up, and assist you with any duties around the house such as cooking. Be sure that, if you have pets or children or grandchildren to take care of, you arrange to get help with that so that you can take it easy.
Follow doctor’s orders
Your doctor should provide detailed instructions, like the ones referenced earlier in the post, that tell you everything you need to do before and after your procedure to ensure your safety and comfort. If you have any questions, you should be sure to keep your surgeon’s phone number handy so that you can call the office if you need to.
Prepare for recovery
While recovery does not require significant downtime or planning, you’ll want to clear your schedule for the day of your surgery, as well as the day after. You may experience irritation, watering eyes, and some mild discomfort. Your pupils may take a little while to return to their normal size and your vision may be a little fuzzy. This is all part of the normal healing process, but most people prefer to take a day or two to jumpstart their healing in comfort at home.
My team is always happy to help answer any questions you may have about preparing for your cataract surgery. You can call my office with questions, or you can contact us online.