What can cause the vision to become worse after cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery, like any surgical procedure, is subject to complications. These can occur even if the surgeon has done a perfect job and the patient is 100% careful and compliant with post-op meds, limiting activity as directed.

The "big 3" potential problems that could permanently worsen vision after cataract/IOL surgery are: 1) infection, 2) an exaggerated inflammatory response, and 3) hemorrhage. Fortunately, these are quite rare nowadays, occurring less than 1% of the time. While these problems can be treated successfully with absolutely no long-term effect on vision, they can also still cause damage to the eye, even if eventually successfully resolved. Damage to various parts of the eye, particularly the macula of the retina, can affect the quality of your vision, whether to a small or large degree.

So, in my opinion, this is a compelling enough reason to only have cataract surgery done one eye at a time, no matter what the statistics are.

Written by J. Trevor Woodhams, M.D. - Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic

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