Visionary Eye Centre
501 Bethel Dr #101 Sherwood Park AB T8H 0N2 (780) 467-6688 $$$


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Visionary Eye Centre

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How Long Between Cataract Surgery on Each Eye?

Imagine waking up one morning to a world clouded over, where even the simplest tasks become daunting. Millions of individuals affected by cataracts experience this scenario as an unfortunate reality. Thankfully, cataract surgery is an option to help clear up vision. 

Cataract surgery is a procedure that has helped millions of people by restoring clarity to their vision. A common question arises when cataracts affect both eyes: How long should you wait between cataract surgeries on each eye? 

Cataract surgery on the second eye is often performed within a few weeks of the first. 

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding of your eye’s natural lens. Fuzzy or dim vision and sensitivity to light are common symptoms. The effects of cataracts alter your vision slowly, so you might not notice that your vision has changed until you have trouble seeing. 

Initially, cataracts may be managed by larger fonts on digital devices and books, brighter lights, and prescription eyeglasses. However, cataract surgery might become necessary. This outpatient procedure helps restore your vision and has a 95% success rate.

Understanding Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery involves carefully removing and replacing the clouded lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL), allowing light to pass through the eye unimpeded and restoring clear vision.

With the help of ultrasound waves, the old intraocular lens is disassembled and replaced. The required incision is tiny and doesn’t require stitches, reducing the likelihood of problems.

An optometrist explaining the procedure to her patient using a 3D model of an eye.

Surgery Timing: One Eye at a Time or Both?

Whether to have cataract surgery on both eyes simultaneously or one eye at a time depends on individual circumstances and the ophthalmologist’s recommendation. In most cases, cataract surgery is performed on one eye first, followed by the second eye at a later date.

Although the process only requires 15 minutes per eye, the session lasts roughly 90 minutes. Medication and pupil dilatation are part of the procedure preparation. You’ll need a ride home following your operation. A protective eye cover needs to be worn while sleeping or taking naps, and antibiotic drops for the eyes will be administered for roughly a week following surgery. As directed by your doctor, the second eye surgery can be done a few weeks after.

Factors Influencing Cataract Surgery Timing

Several factors come into play when deciding the timing between cataract surgeries:

Recovery Period 

Cataract surgery is usually a safe and straightforward procedure. However, it still involves a recovery period during which the eye needs time to heal and adjust to the new intraocular lens. Performing surgery on one eye at a time allows the first eye to recover adequately before undergoing surgery on the second eye.

Visual Balance & Adaptation

Our eyes work together to provide a sense of visual balance and depth perception. When one eye has undergone cataract surgery, and the other still has a cataract, it may create temporary visual imbalances. Waiting until the first eye has stabilized and vision has improved before proceeding with surgery on the second eye can aid in a smoother adaptation process.

Post-Operative Evaluation

After cataract surgery, regular follow-up appointments with the ophthalmologist are essential to monitor healing and visual progress. Waiting between surgeries allows for a comprehensive evaluation of the first eye’s outcome before proceeding with the second eye.

Personal Comfort

The emotional and psychological impact of undergoing cataract surgery can be significant. Some individuals may prefer to have the surgeries spaced apart to have time to adjust to the changes in vision before undergoing the following procedure.

Cataract Surgery Referrals

Cataract surgery is a transformative procedure that can significantly improve vision. When cataracts affect both eyes, deciding the appropriate time between surgeries is crucial for a comfortable treatment process.

The timing should consider the individual’s recovery, visual balance, post-operative evaluations, and personal comfort. 

Visit our experienced eye care team at Visionary Eye Care, and we can provide personalized guidance and refer you to an ophthalmologist that can help address your vision concerns. 

Book an appointment today to get started. With quality care and timing, cataract surgery can offer a new chapter of visual clarity and an enhanced outlook on life.

Headshot of Dr. Sonia Delhon, optometrist at Visionary Eye Centre

Dr. Sonia Delhon

Born and raised in Edmonton, Dr. Sonia Delhon has co-owned Visionary Eye Centre since 2011, also acting as an in-house optometrist. Her education began at Concordia University, graduating with dual degrees, a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She was then accepted to the New England College of Optometry in Boston, MA. Dr. Delhon completed her clinical rotation in a veteran’s hospital in Connecticut, a pediatric clinic in Vancouver and a term specialized in ocular disease in Boston. During her spare time, Dr. Delhon enjoys travelling to new places, reading a great book, and playing badminton competitively.

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