If you have cataracts that have been affecting your vision, then it may be time to start thinking about cataract surgery. Around three million Americans undergo the surgery each year, and cataract removal has an overall success rate of around 98%. This means that you can expect a successful procedure with optimal visual clarity afterwards. However, you should understand that cataract surgery is still a medical procedure that carries some risks and complications. Retinal detachment is one complication that can occur. If you want to reduce the risk of a detached retina, then follow the tips outlined below.
Opt For A Laser Procedure
During a typical cataract surgery, a scalpel is used to cut open the cornea and the lens capsule. A small pair of forceps are then used to remove the eye lens. During this traditional procedure, the lens is removed in one whole piece. As the lens is removed, pressure may be placed on the lens capsule. This capsule helps to keep the fluid or vitreous gel secured within the eye. When stress is forced against the capsule, the vitreous fluid shifts. As the fluid moves, it places pressure against the retina, and the delicate retinal tissues may break or tear away from the eye.
One of the easiest ways to prevent a retinal detachment is to reduce stress on the lens capsule during lens removal. A laser procedure will do this. During the laser operation, a precise cut is made in the lens capsule and the laser tool is used to soften the lens. An ultrasonic tool, or the laser, is then used to fully break the lens into small pieces. This entire process places very little pressure on the lens capsule.
The procedure also reduces the risk of lens capsule breakage. A break in the lens capsule can cause fluid to leak out of the eye, and this can also cause the retina to detach.
Reduce Eye Inflammation
Eye inflammation after cataract surgery can also cause the retina to detach. Pressure is placed on the fluid within the eye when inflammation sets in. The vitreous gel then presses against the retina, and this can cause tears to form in the tissue. The retina can start to pull away from the eye once the tears form.
You can prevent this sort of problem by making sure to control eye inflammation after cataract surgery. Inflammation will occur naturally around the eye lens incision site as the body starts to heal itself. To minimize swelling, your ophthalmologist will prescribe topical anti-inflammatory eye drops. You will likely need to use the drops several times a day for a week or more after your cataract surgery. Follow your doctor's instructions and use the drops as directed. Some people will try to avoid using the drops, because they burn or sting when placed in the eye. The drops can cause the eyes to feel dry as well. If you feel these side effects, then close your eyes and rest them for a few minutes to reduce discomfort instead of skipping a dose of the medicine.
You also should avoid activities that may place extra pressure on the eyes and increase inflammation in the process. Try not to bend over, sneeze, or rub your eyes for several days after your cataract procedure. Also, you should try to reduce physical activity and exercise. Increased activity will elevate your heart rate and increase blood flow throughout the body. Blood pressure will also become elevated as you exercise, and this can temporarily increase eye pressure as well.
If you need to schedule a surgery to remove the cataract formations within one or both of your eyes, then you may be concerned about complications. The detachment of the retina is one such complication that can occur. Thankfully, you can reduce the possibility of a retinal detachment by opting for a laser procedure and by minimizing eye inflammation. For more information, contact a local eye clinic like Country Hills Eye Center.