Floaters After Cataract Surgery

Many people have eye floaters. Depending on how dense your cataract was, you may not have noticed your floaters before having cataract surgery. But floaters can also be a new occurrence after cataract surgery. Eye floaters after cataract surgery may be caused by a few different things. Let’s take a look at some of the possible causes.

  1. Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) – A Posterior Vitreous Detachment is a common age-related condition that occurs when the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills the interior of the eye, begins to separate from the retina. A PVD can happen after cataract surgery. In some cases, the surgery can cause a PVD to occur more quickly or easily, as the surgical instruments or the ultrasound used during the procedure can cause the vitreous to detach from the retina. However, PVD after cataract surgery is still considered a normal part of the aging process and is not necessarily related to the surgery itself. If you are experiencing floaters or flashes of light after cataract surgery, it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your eye doctor, who can determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment if necessary.
  2. Inflammation – Inflammation in the eye can make it seem like you have floaters, but what you are actually seeing is the inflammatory cells inside the eye. This is more likely to be experienced in the first few days to weeks following your surgery. The eye inflammation after cataract surgery will go down with time and with the medication that your cataract surgeon has given you to reduce post surgical inflammation.
  3. Residual Lens Material – During cataract surgery, the eye surgeon will take out the natural lens of your eye. The natural lens is then replaced with an artificial lens so that you are able to see. While it is uncommon, in some cases, small pieces of the natural lens may be left behind. Depending on how big these pieces are, they could float around in the eye, causing the appearance of floaters. Some large pieces may need to be removed by the eye surgeon by returning to the operating room. In other cases, smaller pieces can be resorbed by the body with time.

If you are experiencing floaters after cataract surgery, it’s important to schedule a follow-up appointment with your ophthalmologist. The eye surgeon can then determine the cause of your symptoms. In some cases, you may not need any treatment. In some cases, you may need a referral to a retina specialist if there’s any concern for retinal damage.

Related: What Is The First Sign Of Cataracts?

Floaters After Cataract Surgery: Summary

After cataract surgery floaters are not uncommon. Cataract surgery itself may cause a PVD, but other causes of feeling like there are floaters in the eye are inflammation from the surgery itself and less commonly, residual lens material. Depending on your specific situation, your ophthalmologist will provide you with a plan that is tailored to your medical needs.

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