If you wear contact lenses, you may be wondering if they can affect your cataract surgery. Contact lenses do cause small shape changes in the cornea — the clear part of the eye that the contact lens rests on. If you wear soft contact lenses, you must leave them out of your eyes for three days prior to your preoperative eye measurements. Rigid gas-permeable contact lens wearers will need to leave the contacts out for weeks or even possibly months until the cornea returns to its natural shape, so that the eye measurements used to select the power of the lens implant will be accurate.
You may also be wondering if you can resume wearing contact lenses after cataract surgery. The answer is, yes, but you may not need to. With cataract surgery we are replacing the natural lens within the eye that has become cloudy. Your surgeon, Dr. Dale, will help you decide if you’d like to choose an intraocular lens to help correct near- or far-sightedness, astigmatism and even presbyopia (presbyopia is the need for reading glasses or bifocals that for most people begins by about age 45). At your surgical consultation, Dr. Dale will review your goals, and evaluate the shape and health of your eye to help determine the best intraocular lens for your needs. In some cases, with the help of modern intraocular lens technology, you may be much less dependent on glasses or contacts after cataract surgery.