complete guide to eye drop use after cataract surgery

eye drop use after cataract surgery

 

Cataract surgery is a common and effective procedure performed to remove the cloudy lens of the eye, known as a cataract, and replace it with a clear artificial lens. This surgery helps to improve vision and the quality of life for people affected by cataracts.

Positive results after cataract surgery depend not only on the procedure itself but also on the correct use of eye drops before and after the surgery.

Eye drops are used to make the surgery safer, to prevent infection, control swelling, improve healing, and allow the best possible outcomes.

They are usually prescribed after the surgery, but sometimes they may be used a couple of days before surgery as well.

Read on to understand which drops are best for improving cataract surgery results and why they are important.

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Why are Eye Drops Prescribed After Cataract Surgery?

 

The eye drops prescribed after cataract surgery have several important roles to play in ensuring the best possible results. Proper use of these drops is necessary to avoid complications after surgery.

The following are the reasons for using eye drops after cataract surgery:

 

  • Preventing Infection

During cataract surgery, small incisions or cuts are made in the eye to allow the removal of the cataract. These incisions take some time to fully heal after surgery. Until the wounds are completely healed, there is a risk of infectious agents entering the eye through these wounds.

Eye drops containing antibiotics are used after cataract surgery to reduce bacteria on the surface of the eye and lower the risk of infection through these wounds.

 

  • Reducing Inflammation

Inflammation, or swelling, is the natural response of the body to any sort of injury, including surgery. After cataract surgery, too, there is swelling in and around the eye. This appears as eye redness, discomfort, and reduced vision. If left untreated, swelling can cause complications, resulting in permanently reduced vision.

Eye drops with anti-inflammatory medication are advised after surgery to reduce this inflammation and allow a smooth recovery. Reducing inflammation not only eases discomfort and prevents complications but also speeds up recovery.

 

  • Providing Proper Lubrication

Cataract surgery can temporarily disturb normal tear formation and lead to dryness and discomfort in the eye. Lubricating eye drops, also known as artificial tears, can help provide necessary moisture and improve dry eye symptoms. Proper moisture on the surface of the eye not only improves comfort but also allows proper healing.

 

 

Which Are the Best Eye Drops to Use After Cataract Surgery?

 

The exact choice of eye drops prescribed after cataract surgery depends on several factors, such as the technique of the surgery, the condition of your eye after surgery, and any pre-existing eye or general health problems.

Your surgeon will choose the eye drops after considering all these factors and examining your eye after surgery.

That being said, some eye drops are almost always prescribed after cataract surgery because they are the best for every case. These include:

 

  • Antibiotic Eye Drops

 

These are prescribed to prevent infections after surgery. They are usually started after the surgery but may be started a few days before the surgery if needed.

The most commonly prescribed antibiotics include moxifloxacin (Vigamox), gatifloxacin (Zymaxid), or ofloxacin (Auroflox).

 

  • Steroid Eye Drops

 

Steroid eye drops are used after cataract surgery to reduce inflammation and swelling in the eye. They help control the healing process and minimize discomfort.

The most commonly prescribed streroid eyedrops after cataract surgery are prednisolone (Pred-Forte), dexamethasone (Maxidex), and loteprednol (Lotemax).

Note: Antibiotic and steroid eye drops may come in separate bottles, or both drugs may come as a combination in a single bottle.

 

  • Lubricating Eye Drops

 

Lubricating eye drops, more commonly known as artificial tears, help keep the eyes moisturized and improve dryness or discomfort after surgery. They come in two forms, either with or without preservatives. It is best to use the preservative-free form after cataract surgery. Lubricating eye drops don’t need a prescription and can be bought over the counter.

Some popular brand names of lubricant eye drops include Systane, Refresh, Blink Tears, Thera Tears, and Optase.

 

 

Other eyedrops that are less commonly prescribed after cataract surgery include:

  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Eye Drops (NSAIDs)

 

NSAID eye drops are used in addition to steroid eye drops to further reduce inflammation or swelling in eyes with a higher risk of developing inflammation after surgery.

The most commonly prescribed NSAID eye drops include nepfenac (Nevanac, Ilevro), ketorolac (Acular), and bromefenac (Prolensa).

 

  • Eye Pressure-Lowering Medications

Eye drops that reduce the pressure inside the eye may be used before or after surgery if the eye pressure is high or if there is a risk of it becoming high. Sometimes they are also prescribed to reduce stress on the front part of the eye (cornea) if there is a lot of swelling after surgery.

Pressure-lowering medications that are used after cataract surgery include brimonidine (Alphagan) or beta blockers (Betagan, Betoptic-S, Betimol).

 

  • Oral Medications

 

Sometimes medications may be used orally (taken by mouth) before or after surgery. These medications may include antibiotics, steroids, oral painkillers, or eye pressure-lowering medications.

 

 

Which Eye Drops Are Prescribed Before Cataract Surgery?

 

Eye drops may also be prescribed before cataract surgery to prepare your eye for the surgery. Whether you will be prescribed eye drops before cataract surgery depends on your eye health and the preference of your surgeon.

Before surgery, you will undergo a detailed examination involving your medical history and an eye checkup. The need for eye drops before cataract surgery will be decided based on your eye health and any other general health conditions.

For example, if you have an infection around your eyelids, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops to treat that infection. If you have diabetes, you may be prescribed anti-inflammatory eye drops to prevent swelling in the back of the eye after surgery.

Additionally, different surgeons and clinics have different practices regarding the use of eye drops before surgery, based on their experiences. In every situation, all decisions are made keeping the best interests of the patient in mind.

Details of some eye drops that may be prescribed before cataract surgery are given below:

 

  • Antibiotic Eye Drops

These drops may be prescribed before cataract surgery to help reduce the risk of infection. They are typically used for a few days leading up to the surgery to minimize the presence of bacteria on the surface of the eye.

 

  • Steroid Eye Drops

Steroid eye drops may be prescribed to help manage any pre-existing inflammation or swelling in the eye. The control of swelling is important as it can cause complications after surgery, resulting in less than the best possible vision.

 

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) drops

These drops are usually prescribed to help reduce the risk of swelling at the back of the eye after cataract surgery in individuals at risk. They may also be used to keep the black part in the center of the eye (the pupil) larger and more open during surgery. This can help the surgeon see inside the eye better, allowing easier removal of the cataract.

 

Eye drops are also used on the day of the surgery, usually in the waiting area a few hours before the procedure. These include:

  • Dilating Eye Drops

They are placed in the eye multiple times on the day of surgery, before the procedure, to prepare the eye for surgery. They make the black part in the center of the eye (the pupil) larger. This allows the surgeon to see the cataract better, so it can be removed safely. These drops may blur your vision and make your eyes sensitive to light, but their effect is temporary.

 

  • Numbing Eye Drops

These drops are placed in the eye a few times right before the surgery to numb the eye and make the procedure more comfortable. Your eyes may feel a bit heavier after these drops are placed. The effect of these drops is also temporary and wears off soon after the surgery.

 

 

How Many Days Do I Need to Use Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

The duration of eye drop use after cataract surgery varies depending on the surgical technique, the condition of your eye after surgery, any complications, and the progress of healing.

Usually, postoperative eye drop use lasts for four to six weeks, aiming to support proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

Your surgeon will provide specific instructions according to your case, and it is essential to follow them properly to ensure proper healing and recovery after cataract surgery.

Regular follow-up appointments will allow your surgeon to keep an eye on your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your eye drop schedule.

 

How Frequently Should I Use Eyedrops After Cataract Surgery?

 

Your surgeon will advise you on how frequently to use the eye drops prescribed after cataract surgery. This advice will depend on the surgical technique, the condition of your eye after surgery, any complications, and the progress of healing.

During your follow-up appointments, your surgeon will track your healing process and might change how often you need to use the eye drops.

Generally, antibiotic eyedrops are used four to six times a day for two to four weeks. Sometimes the same antibiotic eye drop may have been prescribed to you to be used for a few days before surgery.

The frequency of use of steroid eyedrops depends on the amount of inflammation in the eye after surgery and may vary from four times a day to as frequent as every two hours initially.

The frequency is then gradually decreased by the surgeon at follow-up visits, depending on the progress of the eye’s healing. Steroid drops are usually used for four to six weeks.

Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAID) eye drops are usually prescribed around one to three times a day, depending on the strength of the medication used, for four to six weeks. They may also be started a few days before the surgery, if needed.

Lubricating eyedrops are generally used four times a day but can be used as needed throughout the day to relieve any dryness or irritation. You can continue using them even after the eye has completely healed, if needed.

 

Eye Drop Type Purpose Frequency of Use Duration of Use Commonly Prescribed Medications
Antibiotic Eye Drops Prevent infection 4-6 times a day. 2-4 weeks Moxifloxacin (Vigamox), Gatifloxacin (Zymaxid), and Ofloxacin (Auroflox)
Steroid Eye Drops Control inflammation 4–8 times a day (initially) 4-6 weeks Prednisolone (Pred-Forte), Dexamethasone (Maxidex), Loteprednol (Lotemax)
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAID) Eye Drops Control inflammation and prevent swelling at the back of the eye. 1-3 times a day. 4-6 weeks Nepafenac (Nevanac, Ilevro), Ketorolac (Acular), Bromfenac (Prolensa)
Lubricating Eye Drops Manage dryness and improve comfort. As needed throughout the day As needed Systane, Refresh, Optive, Thera Tears

 

 

What Are the Side Effects of Eye Drops Used After Cataract Surgery?

 

Eye drops used after cataract surgery are generally well-tolerated. Side effects may occur, but they are usually mild and temporary.

Some common side effects of eye drops used after cataract surgery are:

 

  • Eye Irritation, Discomfort, or Stinging

Many individuals experience mild eye irritation or discomfort after using the eye drops. This can feel like stinging, burning, itching, or watering of the eyes. These symptoms are usually temporary and settle on their own. It occurs due to the properties of the medication and the sensitivity of the eye during the healing period.

 

  • Temporary Blurred Vision

After applying eye drops, you may have temporary blurring of vision due to the liquid in the drops or the consistency of the medication. This effect is usually short-lived and should settle within a few minutes.

 

  • Bitter taste in the mouth

You may experience a bitter taste in your mouth after using the eyedrops. The reason is that tears naturally drain from our eyes into our nose, and through the nose, some drops may spill to the back of our throat. Since eyedrops are placed with the head titled back or while lying down, it is natural for some medication to pass to the back of the throat, causing you to taste the medication in your mouth.

 

  • Increased Eye Pressure

Steroid eye drops, if used for a long period or in high doses, may increase the pressure in the eye in sensitive individuals. This can cause pain, redness, watering, and blurring of vision. Regular monitoring of eye pressure is done during follow-up examinations to detect and manage any increase in eye pressure.

 

  • Allergic Reactions

Although rare, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction to certain components of the eye drops, such as preservatives or active ingredients. Symptoms of an allergy to eye drops may include severe eye redness, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. If you experience these symptoms, discontinue the eye drops and contact your doctor immediately.

 

 

How Can I Reduce Side Effects from Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

Use the following tips to reduce side effects from eye drops after cataract surgery:

  • Prepare your eyes with artificial tears

It is normal for the eye drops to sting after they are placed in the eye. The stinging lasts only for a few minutes. The amount of stinging varies from person to person. You can reduce the amount of sting by placing a drop of artificial tears 5 minutes before placing the medicated eye drops in your eyes. Do not place artificial tear drops after placing your medicated eye drops, as they may be washed from the eye.

 

  • Ensure proper technique

Make sure you are applying the eye drops correctly, placing them in the lower part of the white of the eye and avoiding contact with the colored surface of the eye. Placing the drop directly on the colored part of the eye can cause greater irritation, as it is one of the most sensitive parts of the body.

 

  • Wait between drops

Allow 3-5 minutes between each drop to give your eye some time to adjust and reduce the chance of irritation. This is also necessary to allow one type of medication to get absorbed in the eye so it isn’t washed out by the other medication.

 

  • Keep your eyes closed after placing the drops

After placing the eyedrop in your eyes, keep your eyes closed for a few minutes to allow the medication to absorb into the eye. This will also reduce the amount of medication passing back into your throat and prevent you from experiencing a bitter taste in the mouth.

 

  • Drink enough water

If your eyes are dry, drinking enough water will help improve tear production and reduce irritation. Also, drinking water after placing the eye drops can help wash the bitter taste from your mouth.

 

  • Follow Professional Advice

Follow the instructions given by your surgeon regarding the use of medications. Do not skip doses, and do not overuse the medication. Regular use of the eyedrops will speed up healing and allow your eye to get comfortable faster.

 

  • Consult Your Doctor

Notify your eye doctor about the side effects you are experiencing. They may recommend adjusting the dosage, switching to a different eye drop, or stopping the medication altogether.

It is important to not stop or change your medication regimen without consulting your surgeon or eye doctor. Stopping the eye drops without medical guidance can increase the risk of complications and may result in a poor recovery.

 

  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Severe Reactions

If you experience severe side effects, such as severe eye pain, sudden vision changes, or signs of an allergic reaction (swelling, difficulty breathing), seek immediate medical attention by going to the nearest emergency room.

 

 

Which Eye Drops Are Safe to Use After Cataract Surgery?

 

The eye drops prescribed by your surgeon after cataract surgery are safe when used as directed. These prescribed eye drops are specifically chosen to promote healing, prevent infection, reduce inflammation, and manage postoperative symptoms.

However, using them in excess for a prolonged period or without proper follow-up can cause complications.

Antibiotic Eye Drops: Antibiotic eye drops are typically prescribed after cataract surgery to prevent infection; however, if used for a prolonged period, they may cause eye irritation, dryness, or antibiotic resistance.

Steroid Eye Drops: Steroid eye drops are prescribed to reduce inflammation and promote healing after cataract surgery. While generally safe, long-term or excessive use of steroid eye drops may have potential risks, such as increased pressure inside the eye or the development of cataracts. Therefore, it is important to follow the prescribed dosage and duration as instructed by your surgeon.

Lubricating Eye Drops: Lubricating or artificial tears are used to relieve dryness and provide comfort to the eyes after cataract surgery. These drops are generally safe and can be used to relieve symptoms of dryness or irritation. However, preservatives present in eyedrops can cause irritation and allergies. It is better to use the preservative-free formulation of artificial tears, especially if you use them more than four times a day.

You should not use any other eye drops after cataract surgery without consulting your eye doctor.

 

 

Can I Use My Regular Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

Whether you can use your regular eyedrops after surgery depends on the type of medication you are using.

While some of your regular eye drops, such as artificial tears, may be safe to use after surgery, others may need to be temporarily discontinued or adjusted based on your current eye condition and the healing process.

Inform your surgeon about all the medications you are using. They will evaluate whether those eye drops can be continued or if any modifications are necessary during the postoperative period.

Artificial tears are generally safe to use after surgery; however, it is better to switch to a preservative-free formulation for use after surgery, especially until the eye completely heals. Preservatives can cause irritation and allergy in the eye and should be avoided if possible.

Anti-allergy eye drops are generally discontinued for some time after surgery. This is because the steroid drops used after surgery also help control the symptoms of allergy.

The addition of unnecessary medications can increase irritation in the eye, especially after surgery, since the eye is already sensitive during this healing period.

 

 

Do Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery Cause a Burning Sensation?

 

The eye drops prescribed after cataract surgery often cause a mild burning or stinging sensation.

This sensation is generally temporary and tolerable and should settle in a couple of minutes after placing the drops. It is a common side effect that occurs due to the properties of the medication and the sensitivity of the eye after surgery.

If the burning persists or becomes severe, it is important to inform your eye doctor. They can examine your eye to check for any other cause of your symptoms and change the medication if necessary.

To minimize the discomfort associated with the burning sensation, you can try the tips given in the section “How Can I Reduce Side Effects from Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?”

 

 

What Happens If I Don’t Use Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

The eye drops prescribed after cataract surgery are essential for reducing the risk of complications and allowing proper healing to occur for the best possible results.

Not using the prescribed eye drops can cause the following complications:

  • Increased Risk of Infection

Eye drops containing antibiotics are typically prescribed after cataract surgery to prevent infection. Not using these drops as directed increases the risk of developing a sight-threatening infection in the eye (endophthalmitis). It is considered a rare complication but can result in permanent loss of vision, even with proper treatment.

 

  • Uncontrolled Inflammation

Inflammation, or swelling, is the natural healing response of the body to injury or surgery. Left uncontrolled, inflammation can result in poor healing and causes pain, discomfort, and reduced vision from swelling and scarring. Steroid eyedrops help to control inflammation after surgery to ensure smooth recovery and the best possible surgical results.

 

  • Slower Recovery

The prescribed eye drops speed up the recovery process after cataract surgery. They help manage symptoms, control inflammation, and allow proper healing. Not using the prescribed eye drops can potentially slow down the recovery process, prolong discomfort, and affect visual results.

 

  • Increased Discomfort

After cataract surgery, there is swelling, pain, dryness, and discomfort in the eye. Prescribed eye drops help relieve these symptoms. Without them, there would be significant discomfort, which would interfere with daily activities and the overall quality of life.

 

  • Reduced Clarity of Vision

Proper use of prescribed eye drops after cataract surgery is crucial for achieving the best visual results. These drops help in reducing inflammation, preventing infection, and ensuring the proper healing of the eye. Failure to use the prescribed drops may affect the clarity of vision and the final visual results.

 

 

What If I Miss a Dose of My Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

If you happen to miss a dose of your prescribed eye drops after cataract surgery, it is recommended to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next dose, it is best to skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.

Missing a single dose is unlikely to cause harm, but frequently missing doses can affect healing and visual results. Use the following tips to help you remember to take your prescribed eye drops on time:

 

  • Set Alarms or Reminders

Use alarms or reminders on your smartphone or other devices to notify you when it’s time to take your eye drops. Set the reminders at scheduled times throughout the day to ensure you don’t miss a dose.

 

  • Create a Daily routine.

Make using your eye drops a part of your daily routine. Connect it with tasks like eating meals or brushing your teeth. This can help form a habit and remind you to use them.

 

  • Use Medication Reminder Apps

Many mobile apps are made to help keep track of your medication. They send reminders, record when you’ve taken your medications, and offer other features to help you remember.

 

  • Keep Eye Drops Visible

Place your eye drop bottles in a place where you can easily see them, such as on your bedside table or on the kitchen counter. Seeing them will help remind you to take them as advised.

 

  • Involve a Support System

Tell a family member or a close friend about your eye drop schedule and ask them to remind you if necessary. They can give you gentle reminders and support you in following your prescribed routine.

 

 

Other Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can I Use Systane or Refresh Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

Systane or Refresh eye drops are safe to use after cataract surgery. Both are well-known brands of lubricating eye drops (artificial tears) that are commonly available over the counter. These eye drops are used to relieve dryness and irritation and may provide comfort to the eyes after cataract surgery.

It is better to choose preservative-free formulations from either brand to minimize the risk of irritation or sensitivity, especially if you plan on using these drops more than four times a day.

 

 

Are Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery Expensive?

 

The cost of eye drops after cataract surgery can vary depending on several factors, including the specific type of eye drops prescribed, your location, and your healthcare coverage.

Generally, eye drops used after cataract surgery can range in price from relatively affordable to more expensive, depending on whether they are generic or brand-name medications.

In some cases, generic versions of the prescribed eye drops may be available, which can be more cost-effective compared to brand-name options.

Additionally, if you have health insurance coverage, it may partially or fully cover the cost of the prescribed eye drops, depending on your plan’s terms and coverage.

To get a better understanding of the cost of eye drops after cataract surgery, you need to consult with your surgeon, pharmacist, or insurance provider. They can provide you with specific information regarding the cost, possible alternatives, and coverage options available to you.

 

 

Is It Important to Use Eye Drops Before Cataract Surgery?

 

The importance or necessity of eye drops before cataract surgery depends on your individual needs, any underlying eye conditions, and the preference of your surgeon based on their experience.

Eye drops may need to be prescribed before cataract surgery to prepare the eye for the procedure and minimize the risk of complications.

The purpose these drops serve and when they are necessary are given in the section “Which Eye Drops Are Prescribed Before Cataract Surgery?” in this article.

 

 

What are the Best Eye Drops For Dry Eyes After Cataract Surgery?

 

The choice of drops for dry eyes after cataract surgery may vary depending on the severity of your symptoms and individual responses to eye drops. It may be necessary to try different options to find the most effective solution for your dry eyes after cataract surgery.

Your eye doctor can help you choose the best eye drops for your situation. They can check the severity and nature of your dry eye condition and recommend the most suitable eye drops, along with the frequency and duration of use.

Regular follow-up appointments with your doctor will allow them to track your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

The types of eyedrops commonly used to help with dry eyes after cataract surgery are:

 

  • Preserved Artificial Tears

These are the most commonly used drops for dry eyes. They provide moisture to the surface of the eye and relieve dryness and discomfort. They contain preservatives to increase their shelf life and prevent contamination from infectious agents.

Preserved artificial tears should not be used more than four times a day to avoid irritation from preservatives. There are various brands available over the counter, and you may need to try several types before you find one that suits you.

 

  • Preservative-Free Eye Drops

Preservative-free eye drops are another option for individuals with sensitive eyes or those who need to use eye drops frequently. These drops may come in single-use disposable units or multi-dose bottles.

They are more expensive than the preserved variety. However, they are more soothing to the eye, especially after surgery, since they do not contain preservatives that may irritate the eye.

 

  • Gel or Ointment Drops

Sometimes you may need a thicker formulation, such as lubricating gels or ointments, for more severe dry eye symptoms. These are usually used at night to provide longer-lasting lubrication. They cause blurring of vision for several minutes, so they should not be used during the day unless advised by your doctor.

 

 

Are There Any Alternatives to Using Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

Yes, there are alternate options available, although they are not as commonly used. These alternatives include:

Injectable Medications: In certain cases, surgeons may inject medication into the eye at the end of surgery. The medication is absorbed slowly over time, which reduces the need for eye drops after surgery. The medication may be injected inside or around the eye at the end of the surgery.

Intraocular Drug Delivery Systems: Some patients may be candidates for these systems, which are placed in the eye during cataract surgery. They release medication directly into the eye over time, eliminating the need for frequent eye drops.

It’s important to understand that the suitability of these alternatives depends on various factors, including your individual needs, the surgical procedure, and your surgeon’s recommendations.

Your eye specialist or surgeon is the best person to evaluate your situation and decide if these alternative options are suitable for you. They can offer personalized guidance and discuss the available choices based on your unique circumstances.

 

 

Is It Necessary to Use Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

Yes. It is absolutely necessary to use eye drops after cataract surgery. Not using them would cause pain, swelling, poor healing, poor visual results, and put you at risk of developing dangerous eye infections.

 

 

Can I Get over-the-counter (OTC) eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

The only over-the-counter (OTC) medications you can use after cataract surgery are lubricant eye drops or artificial tears from reputable brands. Additionally, it is better to select artificial tears that are ‘preservative-free’ to minimize irritation after surgery.

Also understand that while these drops may provide temporary relief from dryness or irritation, they are not a replacement for the prescribed eye drops to be used after cataract surgery.

Avoid any other OTC medications for redness relief, as they may contain ingredients that can worsen your symptoms after surgery.

 

 

Can I Use Generic Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

Cataract surgery is a delicate procedure that requires proper wound healing and the control of inflammation.

Brand-name eye drops are prescribed after surgery based on their ability to meet these needs and minimize the risk of complications. They undergo careful testing and are approved by regulatory authorities for safety and effectiveness. Generic eye drops may not have the same level of effectiveness as branded drops, so they may not be suitable for everyone.

Additionally, each patient’s eye condition and surgical result are different. The surgeon decides the eye drops according to each patient’s needs after surgery. Generic eye drops may not offer the level of care needed for your condition, so they should not be used as a replacement for your prescribed medication.

If you cannot manage the cost of your medication, discuss it with your doctor. They can recommend generic medication if they feel it would be suitable for you.

 

 

Can I Use a Previously Opened Bottle of Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery?

 

It is not recommended to use a previously opened bottle of eye drops after cataract surgery. Once a bottle of eye drops has been opened, it can become contaminated with bacteria or other infectious agents, increasing the risk of developing an eye infection.

Eye drops generally contain preservatives to help keep them germ-free after opening. The general recommendation is to dispose of the bottle 30 days after opening, even if some solution is left. However, there is a risk of contamination of the dropper tip with surfaces like hands and eyelashes, even days after opening the bottle.

The eye has healing wounds after surgery, through which infectious agents might enter the eye and cause sight-threatening infections. Therefore, it is always better to use a fresh set of drops after cataract surgery.

 

 

Are there eye drops that can dissolve cataracts?

 

No, there are currently no eye drops available that can dissolve or remove cataracts. Cataracts are caused by the clouding of the natural lens of the eye. The only effective treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery, in which the clouded lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens to restore vision.

 

 

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