Blurred vision after surgery: causes, recovery, etc.

Blurred vision can be a common side effect of eye surgeries. In fact, any operation on or around your eyes can cause temporary vision changes, including blurred vision.

Other potential vision problems depend on the type of surgery you had, as well as the type of anesthesia used.

Cataract surgery

Cataracts are caused by proteins that can change or break down inside your eye. When this happens, the proteins can clump together and form whitish, yellow or brown clumps that cover the natural lens of your eye. These clumps impair your vision by making things blurry or hazy.

Cataracts take years to develop and are more common in older people.

Cataract surgery usually takes place in an operating room. It is generally a quick and safe procedure with a high success rate.

You will usually receive local anesthesia during cataract surgery. This numbs the nerves around your eye so you won’t feel any pain or discomfort.

During the procedure, a doctor will remove the cloudy natural lens from your eye. They will replace it with a transparent artificial lens implant called an intraocular lens.

Blurred vision is common immediately after cataract surgery. It usually disappears in 2 to 3 days. In some cases, however, it may take a week or more for the blurred vision to go away.

In addition to blurry vision, it is not uncommon to experience some sensitivity to light immediately after surgery. More serious complications are rare.


A vitrectomy is eye surgery that removes the vitreous humor from your eye. This is a gel-like substance that fills the back chamber of your eye.

You may need to remove the vitreous if you have problems with your retina. The retina is a collection of cells at the back of your eye that sends visual signals to your brain to help it interpret images.

A vitrectomy is done in an operating room. You will usually receive a longer-acting local anesthetic around your eye.

After a surgeon removes the vitreous, they replace it with a saline solution or bubble. Over time, your body will produce more natural fluid, refilling the eye socket.

If there are no complications, most people leave the hospital within hours of having a vitrectomy.

Blurred vision after vitrectomy is possible and can last 2-3 days. However, blurred vision may last longer if you have both vitrectomy and retinal surgery.

After the procedure, some people also experience a gritty or scratchy sensation in their eyes. Both issues should disappear within a few days. The surgeon may prescribe eye drops to help with healing.

Eyelid surgery

Blepharoplasty is an eyelid surgery that corrects droopy eyelids.

Typically, you will receive local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia. This means that recovery after eyelid surgery is relatively quick.

During this procedure, a surgeon will remove fat, muscle, or excess skin from your eyelid. They will then stitch up the eyelid to prevent it from falling.

You will likely go home a few hours after surgery. However, short-term side effects like blurred vision and light sensitivity are possible. These usually disappear within a few days.

LASIK or PRK surgery

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a common eye surgery used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

As with many eye surgeries, local anesthesia is commonly used and you can go home within hours.

During the operation, a surgeon will use lasers and small blades to reshape the cornea of ​​your eye. This will allow your eyes to properly focus the light and should result in better vision. It generally eliminates the need for corrective lenses like glasses or contacts.

Some people may experience a gritty or sandy texture in their eyes after surgery. Dry eye, which can cause blurred vision, is also quite common after LASIK surgery.

Blurry vision can last for several days, but usually goes away on its own. You will need antibiotic and steroid eye drops for proper healing. Eye drops can also help lubricate your eyes as they heal.

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) laser surgery is an older procedure similar to LASIK. It is also used to help correct vision by reshaping corneal tissue.

With PRK, a surgeon will completely remove the top layer of corneal tissue. They will then use a laser to reshape the irregular corneal tissue.

Recovery is similar to LASIK, but blurred vision may last longer as the surface of the eye continues to heal.

Retinal detachment surgery

If your retina detaches from the tissues of your eye, you may experience immediate vision problems, including:

  • Blurred vision
  • partial vision loss
  • sudden flashes of light in your field of vision

Retinal detachment is a medical emergency. It must be treated quickly to help reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.

Surgery can repair a detached retina. Most often, this surgery can be performed under local anesthesia injected around the eye.

Recovery, however, may take longer. You will likely experience short-term side effects like watery eyes and blurred vision for several days after surgery. Regular vision may not return for 2 to 4 weeks.

Some people may need additional surgeries to completely correct vision problems after retinal detachment.

Cornea transplant

Corneal transplantation, or keratoplasty, is necessary if the cornea of ​​your eye is damaged or diseased. During this operation, a surgeon will replace the cornea with donated corneal tissue. Once healed, the new tissue should restore vision.

Recovering from a corneal transplant can take several months. Most short-term side effects, including blurred vision, can last a few weeks or longer.

A doctor may ask you to wear a face shield or eye protection for several days to help the tissues heal. Once removed, side effects like blurred vision may occur as your eyes readjust.

Your doctor will likely prescribe medicated eye drops to help reduce side effects. Glasses and contact lenses may be needed for long-term clear vision.

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