Contact lenses and cataract surgery

Many people wonder if they will be able to wear contact lenses after undergoing cataract surgery. If you do wish to continue wearing the lenses after treatment for cataracts, the good news is that you will be able to once the eyes have had time to heal.

What is the cause of cataracts?

Cataracts are caused by protein clumping in the lens of the eye. The function of the human lens is to focus light rays on the retina, which is at the back of the eye. The lens is made from a blend of protein and water. Protein enables light to pass through and maintains the clarity of the lens area. Problems can occur when the protein starts to clump, with a lens becoming clouded. If the condition isn’t treated, you may find it harder and harder to see.

Do I need treatment?

Not all instances of cataracts require surgical treatment. If you have a less serious case, you may simply be able to obtain new glasses. If things do become too difficult, you can opt for cataract surgery to replace the eye’s lens with an artificial version called an Intraocular Lens or IOL. As contact lenses can compromise the accuracy of the measurements that calculate the power of the IOL unique to you, you will be asked to stop wearing contact lenses for a period of time.  One benefit of an IOL is that it can actually improve the vision and remove the need for spectacles or contact lenses in most cases. Many people find themselves only wearing glasses when they are reading newspapers or partaking in similar activities.

Is the surgery safe?

Cataract surgery is very safe, with the treatment delivering improved vision for 99% of patients. There is only a very small chance that the posterior capsule could give way during surgery. If colours have started to look faded, you are facing more difficulty with seeing in low light conditions, lights have become too bright and/or your eyesight has become blurred, you may have developed cataracts. Older people are more likely to develop cataracts, though it can affect younger individuals too.

Are cataracts painful?

In most cases, cataracts are not painful. Pain only usually occurs when cataracts have reached an advanced stage or when another eye condition is present. It may be possible to delay surgery by using brighter lights for reading and wearing stronger glasses, though chances are that you will need to opt for surgical treatment later.


Get in touch


If you are a contact lens wearer and worried about cataracts or simply need advice about what to expect after undergoing cataract surgery and when you can wear lens again, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would be happy to help.