9 Tips to Prepare for Cataract Surgery
Do you have cataracts? Is your impaired vision stopping you from living the life you love? It’s likely time for cataract surgery.
After cataract surgery, you’ll finally be able to see clearly again. Although there’s no doubt that cataract surgery is a highly effective and safe procedure, it’s normal if you’re a little anxious before you have it.
Knowing how to prepare for cataract surgery can help you feel at ease if you’re nervous. Keep reading to learn 9 tips about how to prepare for cataract surgery.
How to Prepare for Cataract Surgery
Being well-prepared beforehand is the best way to feel comfortable and confident during cataract surgery. Here are some helpful tips to prepare before cataract surgery and have the best recovery possible:
1. Use Eye Drops as Instructed
To help minimize the risk of complications like infection, Dr. Tokuhara will prescribe anti-inflammatory or antibiotic eye drops. Ensure you apply these eye drops as directed in the days leading up to your cataract procedure.
2. Don’t Wear Contact Lenses
Did you know that contact lenses can change the shape of your eye, at least temporarily? If you wear them, you may need to stop wearing them for at least two weeks before having your measurements taken for cataract surgery.
The way that contact lenses rest on the cornea can distort its shape. Because of that distortion, the corneal measurements needed to calculate the power of your intraocular lens (IOL) can become very inaccurate.
The power of your IOL must be precise to ensure you have the best possible vision after cataract surgery. Temporarily stopping contact lens use allows the corneas to return to their resting shape.
If you wear hard contacts, you’ll need to stop wearing them earlier than someone who wears soft contacts. It takes longer for corneas to return to their normal shape after wearing hard contact lenses.
After taking your measurements, continue to avoid contact lens wear until surgery. This is because contact lenses can increase your chances of eye irritation, which could delay or affect your ability to undergo cataract surgery.
3. Dress Comfortably
On the day of your procedure, wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You want to ensure maximum comfort before, during, and after your cataract procedure.
Also, consider wearing a button-down shirt, blouse, or dress. Button-down clothes are easier to remove. They also make it easier to position heart monitors for anesthesia. You will have an eye shield to wear over your eye to protect it after cataract surgery.
You’ll be given a gown to wear over your clothes, so you won’t need to change your clothes. Still, bringing spare clothes if you need to change after your procedure might be a good idea.
Additionally, pick slip-on, flat shoes with non-slip treads. Slip-on shoes will save you from bending over to tie laces and prevent putting any pressure on your eye.
4. Have a Good Understanding of the IOL You’ve Chosen
An essential part of preparing before cataract surgery is choosing an intraocular lens. The intraocular lens will replace your natural lens and allow you to see clearly.
Dr. Tokuhara will discuss the types of IOLs available and recommend a lens implant that meets your vision needs and lifestyle. It’s critical to understand the pros and cons of each lens, including whether they’re covered by insurance, so that you can make well-informed decisions.
Feel free to ask for clarification if there’s anything you don’t understand about IOLs and the process of having cataract surgery. Equipped with all the necessary information, you and Dr. Tokuhara can select an IOL that will suit your preferences and navigate your cataract surgery journey confidently.
5. Have a Ride Prepared Ahead of Time
You’ll be unable to drive yourself home after cataract surgery because of the anesthesia. Your vision may still be blurry due to the numbing eye drops or as your eye gets used to the artificial lens.
You may also be slightly disoriented after cataract surgery, especially if you received a mild anesthetic to help you relax during the procedure. Both of these can impact your ability to drive safely.
Because of this, you cannot drive yourself home, even if you feel capable. Instead, arrange for a family member, friend, or professional medical transport to ensure you get home safely. You may also want them to pick up any medications you need so you can start them immediately.
6. Prepare Meals Beforehand
If you know you’re having cataract surgery, why not prepare a few days’ worth of meals before your procedure? The last thing you want to think about when you return home is how you’ll make a meal with limited vision.
Make a few casseroles that you have sitting in your fridge and freezer, so all you have to do is pop them in the microwave or oven when you’re ready to eat them.
7. Get Chores Done Ahead of Time
Another great way to prepare before cataract surgery is to get ahead on your chores. Get things like cleaning the house, taking out the trash, laundry, and having a clean bed waiting for you at home before you have your cataracts removed.
Wouldn’t returning to a clean house after cataract surgery be nice? You’ll be able to start your recovery process without stress and get some much-needed rest.
8. Rest and Relax
Get a good night’s rest before your procedure. A restful night of sleep will help you feel more relaxed on the day you have cataract surgery. But remember that feeling a little nervous before any surgical procedure is okay.
Cataract surgery is a safe, routine procedure Dr. Tokuhara has performed on thousands of happy patients. For the best results, don’t stay up late worrying about what could happen.
If you have difficulty sleeping, try having non-caffeinated tea or a glass of warm milk to help you sleep.
9. Take Time off Work
Cataract surgery has a short recovery period. Most patients can resume their routine, including work, within a few days.
Take one to three days off work in advance. Having enough rest after your cataract procedure is crucial for a smooth recovery.
Enjoy Clear Vision with Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is one the safest, most commonly performed procedures at Desert Vision Center. Dr. Tokuhara is dedicated to making the entire experience, from preparation to recovery, as comfortable and smooth as possible.
Are cataracts affecting your vision? Schedule your appointment at Desert Vision Center in Rancho Mirage, CA, to find out if it could be time for cataract surgery.