Can I wear contact lenses after a cataract operation?
Contact lenses can be a preferable option for many people, but there are some eye health issues and visual conditions that require certain precautions when wearing these lenses. Wearing contact lenses after you have had cataracts removed surgically is not an issue as long as the eyes have had enough time to heal. A cataract is the official term to describe a 'clouding' that happens on the lens of the eye. The lens is the clear part of your eyeball which works to focus light rays onto the retina at the back of the eye. Normally, light passes through the lens into the light-sensitive retina. Cataracts are typically associated with the natural ageing process and are more common in elderly people. It can be present in one or both eyes, although it doesn't 'spread' from one to the other. They are caused by a 'clumping' of protein on the lens. Naturally, the lens is made up of a mixture of water and protein. The protein is designed to let light pass through while also keeping the lens area clean. However, over time this protein can start to join together and create a 'cloud' on a small portion of the lens. If left untreated, it can grow larger and obstruct more of your vision.
There are several options for treatment. Minor cataracts may be improved with new glasses, anti-glare sunglasses or the use of magnifying lenses. The final step of treatment is usually a cataract surgery, which removes the lens entirely and replaces it with an artificial version in your eye. This is known as an Intraocular Lens (IOL). One of the other advantages of this is that the IOL can be created to improve your vision. That means you may not need any glasses or other aids to help you see objects in the distance, although you may still require some correction for doing close up work. If you would still like to wear contact lenses after the surgery, it is safe to do so.