Post-operative care is critical after any surgery and this includes cataract surgery. Though microincision cataract surgery (MICS) with phacoemulsification and foldable intraocular lens (phaco + IOL) implantation has made the outcomes of cataract surgery quite predictable, certain post-operative precautions, especially in these times of lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, may help improve comfort. As routine OPDs are not functional and may take some time, here are a few simple pointers:

First and foremost is to apply your post-operative eye drops as prescribed by your surgeon. While applying eye drops extreme care should be taken about ensuring hand hygiene. Before drop application, the carer must wash his/her hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.

  • Extra drop rolling down the cheek must me wiped with a sterile piece of cotton
  • Do not discontinue any eye drop on your own. It’s important to follow the 3 or 6 week postoperative schedule as prescribed by the surgeon.

Dark glasses must be worn for the first one week and reading or near work must be avoided. You may watch T.V. as it might be difficult to pass your time in this lockdown.

  • After a week you may use other transparent protective glasses.
  • You may now use your old prescription glasses for reading.
  • Once routine services are resumed, you’ll get your new spectacle prescription.

Eye hygiene: For a week to 10 days, you are not allowed to take a head bath so that water does not enter the operated eye. Use sterile lid wipes for cleaning the eyelids, especially the lid margins during this period.

  • You may take a head bath after a week and remember to wash your closed lids thoroughly with soap and water to remove the oil and dirt stuck to your eyes. Improper cleaning may lead to symptoms of itching and pricking and since most hospitals are open only for emergencies in these times, it might become a tad difficult for you to manage. So maintaining lid hygiene is imperative.
Eye-Cleaning-Lid-Wipes

Figure 1. How to use lid wipes.

Eye-cleaning-tips

Figure 2. After a week, when you can take a head bath, wash your face with soap and water and clean your eyes as shown.

Emergency: In case your eye becomes red, watery with discharge and drop in vision contact an eye doctor immediately or call the emergency number mentioned in your discharge summary.

Special precautions during coronavirus outbreak:

  • Keep washing your hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Keep cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
  • Do not rub your eyes. Coronavirus can spread through tears and it can infect through the eyes.
  • Wear protective glasses as much as possible.
  • Though driving can be resumed a week after cataract surgery, stay home and do not go out unless absolutely necessary.
Hand-washing-steps

Figure 3. The right way to wash your hands with soap and water.

Corona-awareness

Stay home, save lives.

 

Dr Abhilasha Baharani

Dr Abhilasha Baharani

DNB FRCS (Glasg) FICO Uvea & Cataract Specialist at Neoretina
Dr. Abhilasha Baharani is a specialist in Uveitis and Ocular inflammation. Her areas of expertise are Uveitis & Ocular Immunology- management of ocular tuberculosis, immunosuppressive therapy for non-infectious uveitis & scleritis, phacoemulsification in small pupil, complicated cataracts and ocular manifestations of systemic diseases. She studied MBBS at Kasturba Medical College Mangalore and DNB at Aravind Eye Hospital & Post-Graduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Tirunelveli. She did her fellowship in Uveitis & Ocular Inflammation at Aravind Eye Hospital & Post-Graduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Madurai and a second fellowship in Ocular Inflammatory Disease in Vitreoretinal Disorders at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Dublin, Ireland where she became well-versed with newer immunosuppressive agents and use of biologic blockers. She is a member of the International Ocular Inflammation Society and is an active member of the state and national academic societies. She has received the Carl Herbort Award for her research paper at the Uveitis Society of India Annual Meeting in 2012 and Award of Distinction and Award of Merit for her research papers at the International Ophthalmology Congress- Innovations and Challenges in Glaucoma & Uveitis, Singapore, 2014.
Dr Abhilasha Baharani