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Why You Have Blurred Vision After Cataract Surgery

It’s both frustrating and frightening when, after trying to improve your vision, you get blurred vision 2 years after cataract surgery, if not sooner. What went wrong? And more importantly, what do you do now?

Blurred vision can occur anywhere from 4-6 months after surgery to a few years after it due to a common complication called a “second cataract.” When your vision gets cloudy a second time, a patient must immediately inform their doctor who will schedule another but shorter procedure to clear the eye again.

In this article, we’ll go over what that short procedure is and why your vision might have gone back to being blurry a second time.

What Cataract Surgery Does

As your doctor likely explained to you before the operation, cataract surgery is an operation where your natural eye lens is replaced with an artificial one because your natural lens became cloudy due to cataracts.

Blurred Vision After Cataract Surgery Reasons

As your health practitioner or ophthalmologist should have also told you, there are many risks in this operation because it has to be so precise. These risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Retinal detachment
  • Or what is most relevant to you: a secondary cataract
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Blurred vision after cataract operation is normal for those who just had their operation because your eye is trying to heal and adjust itself to the new lens.

However, a “second cataract” is also a common complication, so common in fact, that it’s known as posterior capsule opacification (PCO). It’s not a true cataract because you don’t have your natural lens anymore and a cataract can’t develop in the artificial one. This happens when the back of your natural lens, which holds the new artificial lens, gets cloudy. This second cataract usually occurs 4-6 months after the surgery, but it’s not unusual for patients to experience it at some point within the first few years after surgery, according to cataract surgeon Dr. Roberto Pineda.

You can also risk a greater chance of contracting blurred vision or vision loss by having cataract surgery while you have a pre-existing eye problem already, such as muscular degenerative disease, or by neglecting the post-surgery precautions such as,

  • Not to rub your eyes
  • To avoid strenuous activity such as heavy lifting and bending at the waist
  • Wear especially dark UV resistant sunglasses outside.
  Vision After Cataract Surgery

What to do When Your Vision gets Blurry

You should always contact your doctor when you experience complications from your operation. What will likely happen is that you’ll be scheduled for another procedure called yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) laser capsulotomy. This procedure only takes 5 minutes while your doctor uses a laser to make a hole in your natural lens to give the light a direct path through your eye so that your vision is finally cleared up.


In short, don’t worry if you get blurred vision after cataract surgery. Your doctor has seen this before and knows precisely how to help you. You’ll be able to enjoy clear vision again in a 5-minute appointment.


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