The Benefits of Ocular Steroids Following Cataract Surgery

If you have cataracts, then your opthalmologist may recommend surgery to remove them. During cataract surgery, your eye surgeon removes the cloudy lens, otherwise known as the cataract, and replaces it with a clear plastic intraocular implant. Most people who undergo cataract surgery enjoy speedy recoveries and the complication rate is low. Before your doctor discharges you from the hospital or the outpatient surgical center following your procedure, he or she will probably prescribe a postoperative ocular steroid treatment. This ocular steroid treatment, typically prescribed in eyedrop form, offers the following benefits. 

Supressess Inflammation

After cataract surgery, ocular inflammation is common. If inflammation is not treated quickly with postoperative ocular steroids, it may take longer for your eye to heal. Ocular steroid treatments also help promote healing so that your vision improves quickly. While severe pain is not common after cataract surgery, you may experience mild to moderate eye irritation. Postoperative ocular steroid treatment also helps diminish postoperative eye pain. It may also help relieve itching so that you are not tempted to rub your eye. Touching, scratching, or rubbing your eye after cataract surgery may disturb the surgical site and heighten your risk for a postoperative eye infection. 

Reduces Redness and Photophobia

Ocular erythema, or eye redness, is also common following cataract surgery. Ocular steroid treatment helps eliminate eye redness, and it also helps lower your risk for photophobia, or light sensitivity. When you look into bright lights following your cataract surgery, your eyes may become overly sensitive, leading to pain, squinting, excessive tearing, blurred vision, and a stinging sensation.

It is essential that photophobia resolves before you begin driving after your cataract surgery. This is especially important if you drive at night when bright lights can produce extreme glare and halos. Night driving is dangerous for those with photophobia, as this condition increases your risk for motor vehicle accidents.

It is important to note that, while ocular steroids are typically well-tolerated by most people, they can sometimes cause mild eye irritation, burning sensations, itching, and redness. These side effects are usually temporary, however, if you experience them after instilling your steroid eye drops, call your eye doctor as soon as possible. 

To learn more about the benefits of postoperative ocular steroid treatment following your cataract procedure, talk to your ophthalmologist right away. He or she will answer your questions and address any concerns you have regarding this essential treatment.