A healthy eye is extremely important when it comes to a successful cataract surgery outcome. If the surface of the eye is not in optimal condition, it can affect the measurements your eye doctor will take to determine the correct power for the new lens. Severe cases of ocular surface disease could raise chances of intraocular infection after surgery.
We recommend treating all ocular surface issues prior to surgery. Your doctor may prescribe medications –eyedrops or ointments – to control inflammation and fight infection. You may be prescribed artificial tears to help improve the ocular surface.
Manage dry eye before cataract surgery
Dry eye is a common eye condition that occurs when your eyes do not produce enough quality tears and don’t provide adequate lubrication. While the name implies dryness, not all patients with clinically significant dry eye feel a particular discomfort. Some experience watering, excessive blinking, squinting, itching, and eye strain.
Treat blepharitis prior to cataract surgery
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. It usually occurs when tiny oil glands near the base of the eyelid become clogged, but it can also be caused by allergies and other conditions. It can cause red, watery eyes, a gritty burning sensation in the eye, swollen or itchy eyelids, and crusted eyelashes. It is important to treat blepharitis prior to cataract surgery to prevent serious infection.
For patients with moderate to severe blepharitis or dry eye we will check your ocular surface one month prior to your preoperative appointment. This will help us determine how ready for measurements you will be one week prior to your surgery.
Here are some important steps you can take to prepare your eyes for cataract surgery:
Keeping your eyes clean before and after surgery is imperative.
Your doctor will prep your eyelids with an anti-bacterial solution before surgery, but doing your part and leaving the makeup at home will help.
Use eye drops as directed leading up to cataract surgery
To reduce the risk of complications, you will be prescribed three eye drops leading up to the surgery. You will continue to take these medications for 3-4 weeks after surgery in each eye.
We offer two options for this task, please let us know which one you would like at your preop:
1. Three separate bottles of medications that may be covered by your insurance. Depending on your insurance coverage for medications you may have an out-of-pocket cost for $5-60 per bottle. That is $15-$180 on top of what your insurance company covers.
Option 1: 3 separate drops 4 times per day = 12 drops per day for 3-4 weeks
2. One bottle that contains all three medications in the same bottle for $60.00 out-of-pocket paid directly to the office. This option is not covered by insurance.
We have partnered with a compounding pharmacy to offer our patients an easier way to administer their required drops than having to maneuver three separate tiny bottles.
Option 2: 1 drop 4 times per day = 4 drops per day for 3-4 weeks.
You may also be instructed to stop taking certain medications before the procedure to be safe. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions to reduce the risk of eye infection.
Please let the Surgical Coordinator know which drop option you would like at your counseling appointment.