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Irritation after Cataract Surgery
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Irritation after Cataract Surgery

To: Dr Kutryb
I had cataract surgery on my right eye about six months ago. Before the surgery  my distance vision in my right eye was very blurry but reading distance was OK. My left eye was just the opposite. My distance vivion wasn't bad but close vision was terrible.
After the surgery I have very good distance vision in my right eye and still pretty good distance in the left eye. There was a loss of close up vision to the point I can't see anything up close and need either reading glasses or bifocals to correct it.
Also since the surgery, I have a constant feeling of having something in my right eye. It is irritated all the time.
I had all the necessary appointments after surgery and the Dr I saw assured me that everything was fine.
I went to see him again last week with the same thing, a contant irritation in my right eye. He looked at it and assured me, once again that the surgery was healed and everything looked fine and he didn't know what was causing the discomfort. He found some small white bumps (he had a name for them which I don't remember) and said he could pop them with a needle to see if that's the cause of the discomfort. I said OK and he proceeded to do so.
I asked him if he felt I should use eye drops and he gave me some samples of systane. I used them a couple of times but they only worked for a few minutes, then the discomfort would return.
I guess the question is, what's wrong and what should I do about it?
Have you encountered anything like this in your experience?
Thanks in advance for your input.
Tags: irritable
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Yes -I have dealt with this numerous times.  First of all it sounds like you have a pretty good visual result from the surgery - understanding, of course, that you now need reading and computer glasses - but that is totally ok and normal with monofocal implants.  Now for the chronic irritation - first lets admit that yes you have some irritation and you may never really know how it relates to cataract surgery, if at all.  You could possibly just be feeling some irritation around the original incision.  It happens.  If so, it will generally improve over time.  I always try to reasure patients that there is really no way to feel the implant so any irritation they feel is on the external eye - cornea, conjuctiva, sclera.  Now just address the symptoms with frequent artificial tears, perhaps a mild steroid drop for a while, perhaps punctal plugs and oral flax and fish oil supplements,multivitamin, no smoking, avoid fans and smoke,  and just know that life will go on and eventually  you will see some improvement.  You had a successful cataract surgery - now move forward with a positive attitude toward dealing with this nagging irritation.  Keep a good rapport with your doctor and try plan B, C, D if needed.

MJK MD
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