The vitreous humor, which is clear gel that fills the eye, may need to be removed in order to get rid of debris that can cloud your vision. This is typically done through a vitrectomy, which is a minor surgery that can usually be performed on an outpatient basis. You can expect to need to protect the eye for about a week after surgery, and should also avoid strenuous activity during recovery. Your doctor should give you antibiotic drops to take, and can also add pain relievers to your routine to ease any discomfort as you heal. It is helpful to be aware of the possible complications that may occur during vitrectomy recovery, including eye redness, reduced vision, and discharge.
You will likely be given an eye patch to wear home in order to protect the eye directly after surgery. This can typically be removed within a day, and is often replaced by a plastic shield that can keep you from rubbing the eye or bumping it on anything. It is often a good idea to wear it while you take a shower for the first three days of vitrectomy recovery, and also while sleeping for the first week. During this time, you should avoid lifting heavy objects or doing any activities that strain the body. In fact, relaxation is often recommended for the first few days after surgery.
Most doctors give patients antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection from occurring, so be vigilant about using these as often as advised. Some doctors also offer anti-inflammatory drops, and can recommend a pain reliever so that you can stay comfortable during vitrectomy recovery. If over-the-counter pain relievers do not seem to help much, you can use cold compresses to reduce discomfort, as well.
While some discomfort is to be expected during vitrectomy recovery, severe pain is not, especially if it seems to be increasing as time goes on. If typical pain relievers and cold compresses do not seem to help, it is a good idea to contact your doctor. Redness, swelling, and discharge can also be signs that there is an issue, such as an infection. In addition, some patients notice reduced vision, or at least excessive floaters and flashes of light, none of which is considered normal for vitrectomy recovery. Therefore, you are advised to visit your doctor as soon as possible after noticing such symptoms, as early treatment may prevent long-term problems.
How Long After Vitrectomy for Clear Vision?
You may consider undergoing a vitrectomy to help you restore your vision. This is a relatively common procedure, but you should always talk to a medical professional to see whether this procedure is right for you.
In general, it will take approximately two to four weeks to restore your vision following a vitrectomy. Keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean that your vision is going to be completely back to normal; however, vision should be relatively clear by approximately one month after the procedure.
Furthermore, the exact time it takes for you to heal will depend on a number of factors. For example, individuals who are younger may recover more quickly than individuals who are older. In addition, individuals who have a lot of medical complications may take longer to recover following the procedure. If you suffer from diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure, for instance, it may take longer to completely recover.
Before the procedure, it is important that you talk to an ocular surgeon to have all of your questions answered. That way, you understand exactly what to do to put yourself in the best position possible to recover. Following the instructions of the eye surgeon will expedite the recovery process.
What Not To Do After a Vitrectomy
You need to follow the instructions of the surgeon after a vitrectomy. There are several activities that you should try to avoid following this procedure. A few examples include:
- Drive: Driving puts a lot of stress on the eyes. When someone gets behind the wheel of a car, they need to focus clearly on multiple objects coming at them. After a vitrectomy, you should not get behind the wheel of a car for several weeks. The eyes need to rest.
- Look at a cell phone: Similarly, it is important that you try to avoid looking at a cell phone following a vitrectomy. The eyes need to focus to see the small text on the page, and this can place undue stress on the eyes when they are trying to recover.
- Read: Reading is also something that you should avoid. Reading takes a lot of eye power, and this could result in a setback during the recovery process. You should ask the eye doctor when it is okay to read again.
- Exercise: Even though exercise is important for your overall physical health, it is something that you may need to avoid following a vitrectomy. Exercise can increase blood pressure, which can place the eyes at risk. It could also cause sweat to roll down the face into the eyes, which could lead to complications.
It is also possible that you could be asked to lay face-down following the procedure for a while. If this is an important part of the recovery process, you need to follow the instructions of the doctor. There is also a chance that eye drops could be prescribed to reduce the chances of an infection. If you are told to use eye drops, you need to do so.
When Does Vision Return After Vitrectomy?
If you follow all the instructions of your eye doctor, you should expect your vision to return in approximately one month. Typically, individuals who are younger and heal more quickly may see their vision returned in as little as two weeks. On the other hand, most people should expect their vision to come back in approximately four weeks.
Keep in mind that not everyone is going to recover at the same rate. For example, if the doctor had to make incisions very close to the cornea, it may take the cornea longer to recover. Furthermore, if there was a large hole in the retina, it may take people longer to heal. This could be one of the reasons why you still have poor vision during the days and weeks immediately following a vitrectomy.
You will likely have a number of follow-up appointments with an eye surgeon after this procedure. It is important for the recovery process that you keep these appointments. These appointments give the eye surgeon an opportunity to take a look at the eyes and make sure they are recovering appropriately. These appointments will also give you an opportunity to ask any questions you might have and bring up any worrying symptoms. Even though the success rate following a vitrectomy is very high, it may take a few weeks for vision to return to normal. It is important for patients to be patient.