Cataract Removal and Corneal Swelling
Cataract surgery is a modern medical miracle performed on 3.8 million Americans per year. The vast majority enjoy clear vision within days of the procedure and the complication rate is extremely low.
The cornea is clear tissue that forms the front of the eye. The iris, or colored part of the eye, is behind the cornea. If you place a contact lens in your eye, it will sit on the cornea. The cornea is clear because water is continuously pumped out of the tissue into the interior of the eye. When any intraocular surgery is performed the “tissue pump” is briefly inhibited and water enters the cornea. This creates blurred vision.
It is quite normal for the cornea to be swollen for a few days after surgery causing blurred vision. From time to time the swelling will last weeks and weeks.
Increased corneal swelling and blurred vision are commonly associated with:
- Increased age
- Prolonged surgery
- Dense cataract
- Intense post-operative inflammation
- Weak “tissue pump”
You will be happy to know that most cases of corneal swelling after cataract surgery respond to time and eye drops. In rare instances persistent swelling will require the services of a corneal specialist and a possible corneal transplant.
If you have questions about this subject, please contact Dr. Wilmarth.