How To Prepare For Cataract Surgery

1) Glasses
If you are having both eyes treated it is likely both eyes with be done on separate days, roughly 1 week apart. This means once the first eye is treated, you will have a good eye and a bad eye, so you may struggle with your vision in this time. The best thing to do if you do find this difficult, is to ask your optician to remove the lens in your glasses for the eye that has been treated, they can leave it empty or they may be able to put in a prescription free lens.
You can also wear a contact lens in the untreated eye to help, but remember depending on the type of contact lenses you wear, these must be left out for a certain time before surgery, this can vary from 24 hours to 2-3 weeks, so it may be best to arrange for some glasses to have on standby.
2) Cleaning Your Eyes
You won’t be able to get water in your eyes for about 2 weeks following the surgeries, this is to avoid getting an infection. You may find your eyes get sticky from the prescribed drops you will be using after surgery, so you might want to clean your eyes. It is a good idea to buy what you need to do this before you have the surgery. You will need a clean bowl, cooled boiled water and some gauze. Boil the water and pour it into the clean bowl and let it cool. Once cooled you can soak the gauze in the water, ring it out and very gently wipe over the eyes and eyelashes, being very careful not to push on the eyes or drag the skin.
3) Eating
Most patients will be awake during cataract surgery and will have local anaesthetic to numb the eye, therefore it is advised to eat a good meal and keep well hydrated before you come to the clinic/hospital for surgery. If you are going to be put to sleep using general anaesthetic or be sedated, then you will not be able to eat or drink before surgery, this can vary from 6-12 hours beforehand. Your eye clinic should advise you on eating prior to surgery, but also ask them to confirm this if you are unsure or have not been advised.
4) Transport Home
After surgery, you will not be able to drive yourself home so you must arrange for someone to collect you, whether this be a family member or friend or a taxi. Ideally it wouldn’t be recommended you take public transport as you may struggle getting around on this. Also, you may not be able to drive for several days after the surgeries, so it is always best to have someone that can drive you around or it’s a good excuse to put your feet up and rest.
5) Sunglasses
So, it may not be a sunny day when you have surgery and it may even be night time when you leave the clinic/hospital, but we would recommend you bring a pair of sunglasses. Even though it is likely that your eye that has been treated on will be covered, either by gauze or a plastic shield, you may find lights brighter than normal, such as the sun, car lights and street lights. Also, the sunglasses act as another shield to protect your eyes from dust, wind or any other debris that could get in your eyes which could potentially cause an infection.
6) Time Off Work
If you work, you will need to prepare taking some time off after the surgeries. This can depend on the type of job you do but can vary from 2 days to 1 week after each eye has been treated. When you return to work, you may need to take extra caution depending on your environment, for example if you work in a dusty atmosphere you will need to wear protective goggles for several weeks to protect your eyes. Speak to your ophthalmologist about the type of work you do and they will give the best advice on returning to work.
All of the above is only a guide and your eye doctor may give different advice to you as every patient and surgery is different and recommendations will be tailored to suit your surgery, lifestyle, and needs. Remember if you have any questions about preparing for surgery, contact your eye clinic/hospital before the day of the surgery.

Computer Eye Strain & Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Computer eye strain is caused when you overuse your eyes and they become fatigued. Eye strain can occur when looking at a computer screen, or other device, for too long. Normally resting your eyes can help relieve the symptoms of computer eye strain. Symptoms of computer eye strain can include; headaches, difficulty focusing, dry eyes, watery eyes, eye discomfort, blurred vision, itchy eyes, and tired eyes.

Computer Eye Strain; How Does It Cause Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

The meibomian glands are the tiny glands on the lower and upper eye lid margins that secrete oil, which when we blink, protection the surface of the eye. This oil helps keep the water element of your tears from drying out too quickly. Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a very common type of dry eye disease where the meibomian glands do not secrete enough oil or the quality of the oil is not good. Normally in MGD the glands get blocked and very little oil, if any, can get out and this causes the eye symptoms. Computer eye strain can cause MGD due to a reduction in blinking. Most people when using a computer or similar device do not blink as often as they should, this can be up to 60% less blinking than when not looking at a computer. If your blink rate is reduced, the oils will not be secreted as often which means the watery element in your tears evaporates quicker, drying out your eyes. Overtime this can cause the glands to block leading to meibomian gland dysfunction.

Treatment for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

There are many different types of treatment that can help MGD sufferers and what suits one person may not suit another. If MGD has been linked to computer eye strain, then looking at the way you use a computer is a good place to start. Trying to reduce the time in front of a computer can be difficult, especially if you use a computer for work, but remembering to blink and keeping hydrated will help. Also try to follow the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes’ look 20 feet away from your screen for 20 seconds. MGD sufferers will likely need to combine this with other at home’ treatments, such as heated eye masks, eye lid massaging, artificial tear drops, taking omega 3 supplements, and possibly taking other medication. There are other treatments that can be offered with an ophthalmologist or eye clinic that have great results in helping with MGD when used in conjunction with the at home’ treatments;

E-Eye Intense Regulated Pulsed Light (IRPL) The E-Eye device creates polychromatic pulsed light using the new IRPL (intense regulated pulsed light) technology. The E-Eye releases a flash of light that is made up of a pulse train, which is flashed on the treatment area (cheekbone and temple area around the eye). Within this treatment area nerve branches are located and these nerve branches are connected to meibomian gland nerves. When these nerve branches are flashed with the E-Eye (IRPL) it causes a stimulatory response within the meibomian glands and they start to resume secretion of the normal oil layer again and symptoms of eye dryness will disappear. Accordingly, it will be effective in 80% of patients affected by dry eye disease. From a single flash of IRPL it is possible to produce sub-flashes of varying intensities, this offers unparalleled therapeutic potentials, especially with the treatment of MGD, which is impossible with conventional IPL. The E-Eye emits a cold light’ and it is non-invasive, totally painless, and entirely harmless to the eyeball.