Cataract surgery isn’t always successful: while most patients achieve excellent vision following cataract removal, near sight may be affected depending on which lens type was implanted during cataract surgery.
Help your loved one improve their near vision by encouraging them to follow the post-operative regimen prescribed by their doctor, including taking eye drops and using shields as protective measures against anything that may dislodge implants from healing eyes.
1. Focus on the Nearest Object
After cataract surgery, your natural lens of your eye will be replaced by an artificial clear lens designed to focus light onto the retina. As part of the recovery process, it’s essential that you practice shifting your gaze between near and far objects in order to give both lenses and your brain a “workout.” Doing this exercise will enable you to become less reliant on glasses for distance vision or near vision.
Young, healthy eyes rely on two structures – the cornea and lens – to focus light onto the retina: cornea and lens. Of these two ocular structures, only the cornea provides about two thirds of required focusing power; when natural lens thickens and loses elasticity with age it creates presbyopia – an eye condition in which reading without holding book or magazine more than arm’s length away becomes increasingly challenging.
Cataract surgery is one way of using intraocular lenses (IOLs) to correct presbyopia, with several available types. Your ophthalmologist will suggest which IOL would best suit your needs; currently available multifocal IOLs offer even greater reduction in reading glasses after cataract surgery; however, they aren’t accessible everywhere and often cost too much for many patients.
Multifocal IOLs utilize technology similar to progressive lenses, featuring multiple rings of differing thickness on their inner surfaces that focus on nearby, intermediate and distant objects with equal clarity. One study concluded that myopic patients who elected monovision after cataract surgery experienced better unaided near/distance vision compared with those opting for multifocal IOLs.
At cataract surgery, an ultrasound device measures the dimensions and optical properties of each eyeball to calculate an appropriate IOL power for each patient based on these measurements. These calculations leave no room for error when selecting an IOL; consequently, their selection usually falls in “the ballpark” of what will help achieve their vision goals; however there can never be 100% distance and near focus without glasses postoperatively.
2. Shift Your Gaze to the Farthest Object
Cataract surgery removes cataracts that cloud your natural lenses and cause near vision to diminish. Once the surgery has taken place and all cataracts have cleared away, your vision should improve considerably – but if near vision remains an issue there are steps you can take to improve it further.
After cataract surgery, your close-up vision may become unclear due to the natural lens shift that occurs when you focus on objects close up. This process, known as neural adaptation, occurs as your brain learns how to use a new lens implanted in your eye after the procedure – this may take some time before you get used to using it and your close up vision may appear blurry for some time afterward.
Your doctor can select from a selection of intraocular lenses (IOLs) during cataract surgery to help improve your vision and help restore clear sight. He may choose lenses designed to enhance distance or up-close vision or correct astigmatism; multifocal lenses also offer near, medium, and distance viewing areas.
Monovision lenses can be extremely helpful to those accustomed to using one eye for distance vision and one for near vision, such as driving without glasses or working at an office without reading glasses. Their purpose is to decrease dependence on both near and distance lenses.
Your doctor will select an intraocular lens depending on your budget, visual needs and health considerations. Common types include the fixed-focus monofocal lens which has one strength prescription which improves distance vision; reading glasses will still be necessary though.
Other IOL options available to individuals include toric IOLs, which correct astigmatism; and light-adjustable lenses which adjust according to changing lighting conditions. While more expensive, light-adjustable lenses offer excellent near and distance vision for many individuals.
3. Practice Reading
Are your near vision blurry after cataract surgery, frustrating you? Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to enhance it and lessen your dependence on glasses.
As part of your recovery plan, make sure you rest your eyes regularly and avoid straining them – this will aid the healing process significantly and provide greater comfort. In addition, practicing simple eye exercises could also prove useful.
Start by closing one eye and trying to focus on an object nearby before shifting to the other object and repeating this exercise. Doing this exercise will train both eyes to work more effectively together and can help adjust to changes in near vision post cataract surgery.
An effective way to enhance near vision is investing in reading glasses with prescriptions tailored specifically to your needs. Wearing them will enable you to better read and focus on tasks requiring near vision. Keep in mind, however, that following cataract surgery your eyes need time to recover, so do not expect perfect vision immediately.
Finally, it’s advisable to seek assistance from friends and family with chores requiring close-up attention. If this is necessary for any reason whatsoever, be sure to wear protective sunglasses when doing them so as to shield your eyes from harsh cleaning chemicals and other potentially irritating substances.
After cataract surgery, the best way to improve near vision is working closely with your physician to select an intraocular lens that best meets your individual needs. There are various choices available, such as blended monovision lens implants that allow for selecting one IOL for distance vision and another IOL for near sight; multifocal lenses providing different areas of focus for near, intermediate and distance vision; as well as toric lenses to treat astigmatism.
If you want to gain more information on how to improve near vision after cataract surgery, reach out to our team of eye care experts. They are more than happy to address any questions or offer support during the recovery process.
4. Exercise Your Eyes
To maximize near vision after cataract surgery, you will require eye exercises. These activities can strengthen the connection between your brain and eyes while improving visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. These easy to follow exercises will also help your mind adjust to its new artificial lens.
How quickly your brain adapts to an artificial lens depends entirely on its individual user. Some can adapt within 48 hours, while others might need up to several weeks in order to experience maximum effectiveness of their new vision.
Start by focusing on nearby objects, and gradually shift towards more distant ones to help your brain adapt to using these new lenses and improve all distances of vision. You can do this exercise anytime and anywhere – it is straightforward and effortless!
Your eye doctor will suggest exercises tailored specifically to your needs and recovery. In general, strenuous activity such as contact sports or those that require you to bend over for at least a week post-procedure should be avoided to reduce pressure build-up in the head and eyes that could result in discomfort or slow healing processes.
Many patients who undergo cataract surgery can resume light exercise such as walking and swimming within two days after surgery, although rubbing their eyes is best avoided as this could introduce bacteria and lead to infection. Furthermore, makeup application and sports activities should be avoided until full healing has taken place as these can damage the surface of their eyes.
Utilizing the tips and suggestions in this article, you can significantly enhance your near vision after cataract surgery. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these changes won’t eradicate your need for glasses or contacts altogether; ultimately you must heed your eye doctor’s advice and visit regularly – doing this will ensure your vision stays healthy in the future and without complications.