A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

One or Both: Simultaneous vs. Sequential Cataract Surgery

by Damion Wasylow 22 November 2023 19:27 PM

senior woman covering one eye for vision test
While it’s possible to have a cataract develop in just one eye, leaving vision in the other eye completely uncompromised, most often,
cataracts develop in both eyes at around the same time. Progression of impairment, however, may differ between the two eyes.

So, if like many people, you’re experiencing cataracts in both eyes, you may wonder if it’s better to correct one or both at the same time.

Can You Get Cataract Surgery on Both Eyes at the Same Time?

Technically, yes, you canget cataract surgery done simultaneously on both eyes. While some eye surgeons follow this approach in the interest of efficiency, many experienced cataract surgeons advocate for taking the sequential route. Typically, the benefits of treating just one eye to begin with, allowing it to heal and then returning for a second surgery to correct the cataract in the other eye outweigh the desire to get everything done at once.

Benefits of Sequential Cataract Surgery

Performing cataract surgery on one eye at a time allows your surgeon to check for complications and gives you time to heal comfortably while still having use of the other eye.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most effective and most commonly performed surgical procedures in the U.S. and around the world. It is, however, still a surgery, and as such, there is always some level of risk for complications. Thus, it’s often best to err on the side of caution and take a more conservative approach if both cataracts must be treated.

Because cataracts develop gradually over time, it’s unlikely that both have progressed at the same rate. You may still be able to see relatively clearly out of one eye, so there may not necessarily be a need to have both eyes treated simultaneously.

Risks Associated with Simultaneous Cataract Surgery

Recovery from simultaneous cataract surgery can present more challenges. While cataract surgery patients often experience improved vision within 24-72 hours post-surgery, blurred or double vision are fairly common during that time. Your eyes may also be tender and ache somewhat during this period. During the first two days, light may also seem brighter than normal. Some patients report that their eyes are “misty” or that they feel gritty.

While these recovery symptoms are normal, they will make it too difficult to drive a vehicle or do much more than rest.

Since both eyes are experiencing the same symptoms, recovery will be more challenging. 

Because total recovery time (based on when your vision will be the clearest) can be up to four weeks, it’s often best to allow one eye the time to heal and then get surgery on the other eye.

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about your cataract surgery options, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300.



Comments (0)

Blog Links