OPHTHALMOLOGY

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Advertising - Gre­gory Eip­pert, MD 9485 Men­tor Ave., #110, Men­tor 44060 440-255-1115 www.opivi­sion.com Gre­gory Eip­pert, MD

Q: Why, and how long, do I have to stop wear­ing my con­tact lenses be­fore my cataract eval­u­a­tion and surgery? Can I still wear con­tact lenses after my cataract surgery?

A: The first step in prepa­ra­tion for suc­cess­ful cataract surgery is ob­tain­ing ac­cu­rate mea­sure­ments to de­ter­mine the cor­rect type and power of lens to be placed dur­ing cataract surgery. One of the es­sen­tial mea­sure­ment el­e­ments re­quired in­volves the cornea. Con­tact lens wear, whether RGP or soft lenses, can al­ter the shape of the corneal sur­face. Pa­tients there­fore need to be out of con­tact lenses prior to hav­ing pre­op­er­a­tive mea­sure­ments for cataract surgery so that the cornea can re­turn to its nat­u­ral shape and al­low for ac­cu­rate mea­sure­ments. If con­tact lens wear is not stopped, the corneal sur­face mea­sure­ments are in­ac­cu­rate and could lead to the wrong im­plant be­ing placed dur­ing surgery in ad­di­tion to a dis­ap­point­ing post­op­er­a­tive visual out­come. Pre­op­er­a­tive mea­sure­ments and as­sess­ments for cataract surgery in­volve many el­e­ments. Corneal mea­sure­ments in par­tic­u­lar help en­able the sur­geon to, 1) de­ter­mine the cor­rect fo­cus­ing power for in­traoc­u­lar lens (IOL) that will be placed dur­ing surgery and, 2) de­ter­mine if the pa­tient may be a can­di­date for an ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy in­traoc­u­lar lens such as a toric or mul­ti­fo­cal that can re­duce de­pen­dence on eye­glasses or con­tacts after surgery. The length of time needed out of con­tact lens wear varies depend­ing on the type of con­tacts and other in­di­vid­ual con­sid­er­a­tions. For soft con­tact lens wear­ers, the gen­eral time frame of no con­tact lens wear prior to pre­op­er­a­tive mea­sure­ments is usu­ally two weeks. For those who wear RGP lenses, the gen­eral time frame of no con­tact lens wear prior to pre­op­er­a­tive mea­sure­ments is one week for ev­ery 10 years of RGP wear. This ab­sti­nence from con­tact lenses pre­op­er­a­tively may in­volve tem­po­rar­ily wear­ing eye­glasses. Although the cornea usu­ally re­turns to its nat­u­ral state within the time frames men­tioned, the process may take longer for some in­di­vid­u­als and re­quire them to re­main con­tact lens free un­til corneal sta­bi­liza­tion is com­plete. Your eye doc­tor will work closely with you to en­sure that the tim­ing is ap­pro­pri­ate for your needs and a suc­cess­ful sur­gi­cal out­come. Wear­ing con­tact lenses after you have had cataract surgery is not an is­sue as long as the eyes have had enough time to heal. How­ever, depend­ing on the lens im­plant, your vi­sion needs, and the sur­gi­cal out­come, you may not need con­tacts or glasses at all. In any event, if you still need vi­sion cor­rec­tion after cataract surgery and would like to wear con­tact lenses for that cor­rec­tion, it is safe to do so after heal­ing is com­plete. You and you eye doc­tor can make that de­ter­mi­na­tion.

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