Cataract surgeries complications are few and rarely serious, making these procedures the most common and successful surgical procedures. Side effects of cataract surgical procedures can even be minimized with recent advanced technology used for the surgery. In contrast with the conventional cataract surgeries, advanced-technology cataract surgeries use laser to create an incision to the cornea, making it less risky and safer. However, sometimes post cataract surgery complications are unavoidable, despite the performed procedure types are.
How secondary cataracts occur
Cataract surgery is considered as the most effective treatment to improve this eye condition. Nevertheless, people who have had cataract surgery may develop some complications, including what so called as a secondary cataract. Although does not necessarily occur after the performed cataract surgery, secondary cataracts remain one of the most frequently-show up complication affecting patient having the surgery at certain time of their lifetime.
Secondary cataract is coined as posterior capsule opacification (PCO). This post-surgery complication occurs as the back of the lens capsule, wherein the artificial lens sits becomes cloudy and thus, leads to cloudy vision. This back part of the eye lens was not removed during cataract surgery. Instead, it supports the implanted eye lens. Gradually, this posterior capsule of the eye lens may become hazy, causing difficulty in promoting clear eye vision.
During the surgery, the surgeon removes and replaces the damaged eye lens by opening the front of the capsule. While the front of the capsule, which supports the eye lens is opened, the back part of this capsule remains intact in order to support the implanted lens. In few patients, the outer cells of the extracted lens remain and may grow on the capsule where it sits on. The unexpected growth of these tissues causes the capsule to become hazy or clouded, which leads to reoccurring blurry vision after the procedure known as secondary cataracts.
Symptoms of secondary cataracts
Secondary cataracts deteriorate your vision ability and hence, you may start to lose your ability to perceive things clearly and vividly sometimes after a cataract surgery was performed. Commonly, this posterior capsule opacification occur months to years after a performed cataract surgery, although in fact, it can be detected earlier. Some symptoms of secondary cataracts are similar to cataract symptoms. This is the reason why it is coined as a secondary cataract. Those symptoms include:
⦁ Cloudy or blurry vision that occurs after a cataract surgery. The occurrence of this degraded vision may be unpredictable. Some patients experience it after months, while some others suffer from it later. Those who undergo cataract surgery may get their vision ability improved, before suffer from this cloudy, blurry vision.
⦁ Dark spots or white spots that linger on the eye lens causing seeing discomfort. In some cases, the patient may develop shadows or double visions that are persistent.
⦁ This blurry vision can hardly be treated with glasses or contact lenses, as similar to the previous cataract, it may cause sudden change of glasses prescription, which requires thorough eye examination.
How likely will secondary cataract occur?
After a cataract surgery, you will be advised to visit your surgeon in regular basis. This is necessary, as these visits can help you see the improvement your affected eye gets from the surgery. Typical follow-up visits occur 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 8 weeks, and 6 months after the surgery. If the doctor suspects something unusual with the treated eye, some other visit times are added, especially if complications are found.
There are in fact, no certain methods to know who may probably develop secondary cataract that occurs mainly months or years after cataract surgeries. Moreover, thorough eye examination is required to determine whether or not a patient develops this condition. Roughly, ten to thirty percent of patients undergoing cataract surgery are at risk of developing secondary cataract, although there are no determined risk factors that may increase the risk of having this problem in addition to the left eye lens part on the posterior membrane. However, excessive smoking habit after undergoing cataract surgery may become one of the trigger that put yourself at a higher risk of developing secondary cataract some months or years after the your cataract surgery.