Tips to Fasten Recovery after Surgery for Detached Retina

It is possible for the retina to detach itself from the underlying tissue inside the eye. When this happens, you develop a condition called retinal detachment. A retinal detachment has many symptoms, but floaters and flashing lights are among the most common symptoms. It is important to seek immediate medical help because it is possible to restore your vision with greater success when the procedure is performed before the central area or macula is detached.

There're different types of surgeries for a detached retina, and the exact procedure you'll have depends on your specific condition.

Detached Retina Surgery Recovery Tips at Home

It is quite common to feel your eyelids a bit sticky or itchy after the procedure. You may also notice some bruising around the eye with fluid leaking from it. Most of these issues usually resolve within a couple of days of surgery. You should talk to your doctor if they do not.

Here are some tips to help you with detached retina surgery recovery at home:

1.        Activity

After the procedure, you should rest only when you really feel tired. Similarly, you should avoid doing things that make you move your head. You have to give your eye some time to heal. Depending on the type of work you do, it may take up to 4 weeks before you resume normal activities once again. Drive only if your vision allows.

2.        Medicines

Take your medicines as directly by your doctor. Be sure to inform your doctor about any medications you are already taking, such as blood thinners. Always take prescription medicine as prescribed by your doctor and be sure to use your eye drops for at least 6 weeks.

3.        Ice and Elevation

You may use ice on your eye to reduce swelling and any bruising. Simply apply a cold pack on your eye for about 10-20 minutes at a time. Repeat once every couple of hours. Always keep a thin cloth between your skin and the ice.

4.        Eating and Drinking

Take special care when eating and never bring your chin to your chest when eating. Try to bend at the waist whenever you want to. Opt for low stools, TV trays, or coffee tables for ease. Stick to softer foods after your surgery to avoid lowering your head when swallowing it. Instead of raising your head to drink anything, you should use a straw. You can return to your normal diet if your stomach is not upset; otherwise, stick to broiled chicken, plain rice, yogurt, toast, and low-fat foods.

5.        Bathing and Clothing

Taking a bath will be easier than taking a shower. You may consider using a handheld shower massager because it keeps you from lowering your head. Since you should now lower your head, it is better to rearrange shampoo, soap, etc., to a lower level. For clothing, avoid wearing sweatshirts and instead wear a button-up that you can take off without changing your head position.

6.        Nighttime Activities

Facing down at night will never be easy, but you have to learn it for detached retina surgery recovery. It is common to feel change in brightness after your surgery, so you may consider keeping a flashlight with you at nighttime. Also, keep tissues close to your bed when you experience a leakage from your tear duct. Make use of extra pillows when trying to learn how to sleep face down. Taping a tennis ball to your upper back will also help keep you in the right position and you will know when you are not in a good position.

7.        Eye Care

Taking the right care of your eye will have an impact on detached retina surgery recovery.

  • You may consider using an eye patch or eye drops in case your eye is sore, inflamed, or swollen.
  • Eye drops work great to keep your eye sanitized, moist, and protected all the time.
  • Never miss your scheduled appointments with your doctor because regular checkups are of immense importance.
  • It is important to keep your head in a certain position if your doctor has used a gas bubble during the procedure.
  • You will have to take some care for at least 1-3 weeks after surgery, like avoid lying on your back and avoid airplane travel because the change in altitude may cause the bubble to expand and put pressure on your eye.

When to Call Your Doctor

Taking specific steps will help you with detached retina surgery recovery, but you should know when it is time to call your doctor.

  • For instance, you should call emergency service if you lose vision suddenly or become unconscious.
  • Talk to your doctor if your vision gets worse and you have serious pain in your eye.
  • It is also important to contact your doctor when you notice signs of an eye infection, such as pus discharge from the eye, swelling around the eye, redness, and a fever.

What Are the Results of a Detached Retina Surgery?

The success rate for a detached retina surgery is quite high and is up to 90% in most cases. How much vision you get back will depend on the exact condition of your retina, but it is possible to have your retina restored fully after the procedure. It is important to understand though that you will have to wait for some time until you notice any change in your vision. There will be improvements though after a couple of weeks of your surgery. Just pay attention to the points mentioned above for quick detached retina surgery recovery.

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