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Can you wear Gas-Permeable Contact Lenses after Cataract Surgery?

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Optometrist pointing at the lens of an eye on a cross section 3D model.

Contact lenses can be a great vision correction option for years, even if cataracts start to cloud your vision. But as the cataracts continue to develop, they’ll get to a point where surgery is your best route for clear vision.

For some patients, cataract surgery allows them to see at all distances without vision correction. But many people still need glasses or contact lenses. 

Our doctors offer standard and complicated contact lens fittings and are able to work with each patient and their goals to determine the right vision correction for them after cataract surgery. 

Wearing Gas-Permeable Contact Lenses Before Cataract Surgery

If you currently wear gas-permeable lenses and are looking to have cataract surgery in the coming months, we recommend you speak with your eye doctor as soon as possible

In many cases, long-term use of gas-permeable lenses (also known as rigid gas-permeable or RGP lenses or hard contacts) can affect the shape of your eye even after you remove them. Accurate measurements of your cornea are essential for your surgery.

Your eye doctor or ophthalmologist will ask you to stop wearing your gas-permeable contact lenses for weeks or possibly months prior to you having surgery. Even soft contacts need to be discontinued for a number of weeks prior.

Life Without Contacts Before Eye Surgery

While it may sound scary to give up your contacts for a while, our doctors have done this many times and will work with you through this process to ensure that you can have the best vision possible leading up to surgery. Once your vision has stabilized, your eye health and your prescription can be measured for cataract surgery. 

A contact lens sitting on the edge of an open case.

Do I Need to Wear Contacts After Cataract Surgery?

If you have already had surgery or are curious if you can wear contact lenses after eye surgery, the answer is: Absolutely. 

Some patients still need to wear some form of vision correction after cataract surgery (glasses, soft contact lenses, gas-permeable contact lenses). If this is the case for you and you’d like to wear gas-permeable lenses again, we’ll first wait for your vision to stabilize, which may take several weeks after surgery. 

Then, we’ll measure your new prescription. You may find reading glasses suit your needs better after surgery, or you might prefer to stick with contact lenses.

Am I a Candidate for Gas-Permeable Contact lenses?

Gas-permeable contact lenses are an excellent option for patients because of how well they support the health of the eye. Lenses used by our doctors at Specialty Eye are thinner, more breathable, and more comfortable than ever before.If you are curious about wearing gas-permeable lenses following your cataract surgery, make an appointment to see one of our doctors today.

Written by Dr. David Kading

Dr. Kading is active in various dry eye, contact lens, and contact lens solution research studies, and is a consultant and key opinion leader for several eye care manufacturers. He writes articles and has performed hundreds of lectures nationally and internationally on the topics of keratoconus, irregular corneas, dry eye, anterior segment disease, contact lenses, contact lens solutions, and practice management.

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