Single-Dose Cataract Surgery Steroids: Common FAQs

27 June 2019
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog

Cataract surgery is perhaps one of the most common optical surgeries performed anyone on the planet, and in a lot of ways, not a lot has changed about the aftercare of a patient who has just had the surgery. Traditionally, steroids have been used right after the procedure to help combat certain problems. However, steroid use can bring along undesirable symptoms for some patients. Take a look at some of the things you should know about single-dose steroids after cataract surgery and the answers you will want to know. 

Why are steroids given after cataract surgery?

After a patient has gone through cataract surgery, they are at a higher risk of infection and inflammation. If these symptoms do not subside, it will not allow the eye to heal around the newly placed lens. Steroids keep inflammation at bay, which also helps lower the risks of infection pretty dramatically. For many years, it has been a common procedure for cataract surgery patients to be prescribed steroids for this exact reason. 

What are single-dose cataract surgery steroids?

Single-dose cataract surgery steroids are given as a single dose right after cataract surgery to thwart problems with inflammation and infection that can cause the eye to not heal properly after the procedure. The steroids are given as a single dose, but the steroid is a sustained release medication; it breaks down slowly and delivers steroids to the bloodstream at a slower rate. This keeps the beneficial effects of the medication around for a bit after that one dose is taken, which is preferred over multiple doses of steroids that can exacerbate certain health issues. 

Are there any risks of taking single-dose steroids after cataract surgery?

Ironically, one of the side-effects of steroid use is cataracts, which means patients who use steroids for the long term after cataract surgery for one eye could be at risk of seeing cataracts develop in the healthy eye. Of course, some of these negative effects are counteracted by providing patients with a single-dose of steroids instead of giving patients a full cycle of steroids. Some of the other risks are changes in vision and slowed healing times. However, these symptoms are usually manageable and not often severe. 

Overall, steroids can be a beneficial part of your recovery process after cataract surgery. Speak to your doctor to find out more about the aftercare plans that will be part of your recovery.