Why am I seeing floaters after my cataracts surgery?

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Doctor’s Answer (2)

The occurrence of abnormally large floaters after cataract surgery can be a sign of a complication of the surgery such as excessive inflammation, residual cataract left behind or retinal tears/detachment. These complications are uncommon and a thorough eye examination will be able to exclude them.

Many patients do start to see milder pre-existing floaters that were always there but they did not notice before, because after cataract surgery their vision is suddenly so much clearer on that they can see the substances within their own eye. It can be an expected occurrence but depending on the size and number of floaters, it can be very troubling to the patient.

As a retinal specialist, I like to examine my patients' vitreous and retina before any cataract surgery to ascertain if they have any pre-existing floaters. This is because pathological floaters can be removed during the cataract surgery at the same setting, if floaters are affecting the patient's quality of life. Even if patients wish to leave their floaters alone, it is good to have them aware that they exist before undergoing cataract surgery, so they don't get a rude shock after the surgery. That is the importance of a complete eye examination before any eye surgery.

Hope that helps!

Dr Claudine Pang

Thanks for the D2D. Floaters are very common symptoms in many people’s eyes. The most common cause of floaters is degeneration of the vitreous gel and posterior vitreous detachment.

As patients with cataracts have poorer vision, it is common that they are unable to detect floaters in their field of view. However, after the patient undergoes cataract surgery, his vision improves and floaters in his eyes become more visible.

It is very important to let your eye surgeon know about your symptoms. A thorough eye examination can be performed to ensure that there are no tears, no breaks or retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage or inflammatory cells, as these conditions also present as floaters.

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