Cataract surgery is a medical procedure that most people will eventually have to go through at some point in life. It’s a relatively safe and highly successful eye surgery. However, issues can arise if you have coexisting retinal disease or other ocular conditions.
As cataracts develop they make it harder for us to see because the lens become opaque – like a dirty window. On the other hand, they do also block out harmful UV rays and provide protection to the back of our eyes. Once the cloudy cataract is surgically replaced with a clear new lens, we usually see better instantly. A concern is that we also get sudden, intense UV light exposure that can stress and damage the retina, accelerating vision loss.
Fortunately, there are things that we can do to prevent this. We may not have been told by our cataract surgeon and/or the retinal specialist how to manage this but it’s critical to vision preservation . Here are five things we can do to prevent complications and sudden vision loss after cataract surgery:
1- Take an anti-oxidant, retinal support vitamin formula and take omega 3’s. A green-drink (spirulina, chlorella, algae) will help as well for healing, protecting and nourishing the retina. Liposomal Vitamin C can help if retinal edema becomes present or can be used for prevention.
2- After surgery, you MUST wear wrap-around UV protective eye wear ANY TIME YOU ARE OUTSIDE during the day… rain or shine! You’re eyes are simply not used to the intense UV rays – we can’t just apply sun block to our retinas. Therefore, we need to use sun glasses to protect our eyes.
3- If possible, wait until winter to get your cataract surgery. The days are shorter, you are outside less and there is less UV radiation. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, then you would want to get cataract surgery done in Summer since the seasons are opposite.
4- Wear a hat when you are outside for additional protection from harmful UV rays – especially on rainy days. Protect yourself with sun glasses and a hat for at least 6 weeks after your cataract surgery.
5- Get acupuncture before and after treatment to manage inflammation and circulation. Also, use CAN-C eye drops before and after surgery to help with the oxidative stress and accelerate healing.
Remember the top three factors that contribute to accelerated vision loss are 1) oxidative stress, 2) inflammation and 3) impaired blood flow. UV radiation accelerates oxidative stress and therefore vision loss in many cases. Taking anti-oxidants and using protection will minimize UV-oxidative stress on the retina and optic nerve. Acupuncture will help with blood flow
that will keep the retina and optic nerve cool and nourished!