Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?

For many in Columbia, SC, cataract surgery may be the best option to correct cloudy lenses. One of the most commonly asked questions for cataract surgery is whether the patient will need glasses after surgery. Many factors affect the operation’s success, but almost 90 percent of patients gain significant improvements in their vision. With these gains, some may still need a form of eyeglasses after surgery.
Following cataract surgery, some people need to wear eye protection for certain activities, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are many factors that impact whether patients need glasses post-surgery. Some of these include:

  • Current eyeglasses prescription
  • Level of astigmatism that the patient may have
  • Visual needs
  • Overall eye health
  • Type of artificial lens used in the procedure

The most commonly used lens for cataract surgery is the Monofocal IOL. These lenses set the best-uncorrected vision for each patient at a single focal point. Because the lens is designed for either great distance vision or great close vision, the patient will need glasses or contacts for the opposite activities.
Another type of lens used in cataract surgery is the Astigmatism-correcting IOL. These are implanted during cataract surgery to decrease the patient’s dependence on contacts or glasses. This type of lens is considered a Monofocal lens, so contacts or glasses are still needed for some or all activities.
Regardless of the lens chosen for surgery, the patient’s reliance on glasses or contacts will be significantly reduced after surgery. The patient’s ophthalmologist helps to select the most appropriate lens for each patient and can estimate the patient’s need for glasses following the procedure. Surgeons recommend waiting for the eye or eyes to fully heal before being assessed for a new prescription.
Every patient’s vision needs are different, so dependency on glasses and the level of visual improvement after cataract surgery will vary based on the patient’s previous vision and vision priorities following surgery.

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