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.
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.