Should I Make Any Lifestyle Changes Before or After Cataract Surgery?
We know that being diagnosed with cataracts can be scary. Even if the cataract has not yet begun to significantly affect your vision, the prospect of it worsening and what that means for your everyday life can be daunting – as is the thought of undergoing surgery.
But there is one thing that can help – being as informed as possible. For example, you may wonder: “Are there any lifestyle changes I should make to better prepare for my Cataract Surgery and recovery?”.
Well, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about the process, as well as anything you can do to make for a smoother journey to regaining clear vision.
Before Cataract Surgery
The decision to have Cataract Surgery can only be made by you. While doctors can advise you on the best course of action, it is ultimately up to you how to proceed. You can choose to do nothing about your cataract(s) or delay surgery; however, it is important to note that Cataract Surgery may be easier if performed earlier (before the cataract reaches hyper-maturity).
If you do decide to postpone treatment (or avoid it altogether), there may be some lifestyle changes you can make to slow the development of cataracts.
Things that could help to slow down cataract development or reduce the risk of cataracts becoming a problem include:
- Stopping smoking
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Protecting your eyes from the sun
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Managing other health problems effectively
Wearing vision aids such as glasses or plus lens magnifiers can be useful for dealing with vision loss caused by your cataract(s). You may also want to consider other adaptations, such as switching to a large-button mobile phone and changing the settings on your computer to improve size and contrast.
Preparing for Surgery
If you do decide to go ahead with Cataract Surgery, there may be additional things you need to consider.
Removing Contact Lenses
If you currently wear them, you will need to remove contact lenses for a period of time before your pre-operative assessment and surgery.
This is because contact lenses can change the shape of your eyes over time. It is important to give your eyes time to settle back into their natural shape to ensure accurate measurements are taken in preparation for your surgery.
These measurements will help your surgeon to determine which size and shape lenses (IOLs) will be the best fit for you. If Laser Cataract Surgery is used, accurate mapping of your eye will be needed to determine where the incision will be made on your cornea.
You will be advised on when you should remove your contact lenses before your surgery.
In some cases, it may be necessary to temporarily stop taking medications before your surgery. You should make your surgeon aware of any medications you are currently taking so that they are able to advise you on any changes to your routine in the period leading up to your surgery.
After Cataract Surgery
There are a few things that you need to remember during your Cataract Surgery recovery period. These include activities you should avoid as well as how to properly look after your treated eye(s).
Some activities you should avoid during your recovery include:
- Strenuous exercise
- Other activities that increase pressure in your eyes
- Driving (until vision fully recovers)
You should also avoid rubbing your eyes and exposing them to dusty or dirty environments as this can increase the risk of infection.
But the most important change you can expect after Cataract Surgery is improved vision! Once your cataract has been removed, you can get ready to say “goodbye!” to cloudy vision and start living your life to the full once again.
If you would like to learn more about preparing for Cataract Surgery, get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators today. If you’re ready to take the next step, why not Book a Consultation at our Harley Street clinic?