The surgery is often performed on the basis of out-patient, and the patient can go home the same day as the surgery. Some patients may need brief hospitalization also. There will be soreness, and an eye-patch is provided to be used over the eye for a few days. As the eye adjusts, vision might worsen for several months. Eye drops and oral medications are provided to help with the healing process and to prevent infection or rejection. The eye drops prescribed include antibiotics which contribute to prevent infection while corticosteroids are prescribed to help reduce inflammation as well as to avoid graft rejection.
The following conditions are to be brought to the attention of the concerned doctor immediately:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Follow-Up and Looking After the Eye for Prevention of Rejection / Infection - Good care of the eye has to be taken once the patient returns home.
- The eyes are not to be rubbed.
- Strenuous exercises and any heavy lifting, during the first weeks following surgery, are to be avoided.
- Dusty and smoky places should be avoided. These can irritate the eyes.
- The patient should wear sunglasses if his eyes are sensitive to light.
- If the patient has a job which does not involve physical strain, he can return to work two or three weeks after the surgery after consultation with the ophthalmologist.
- But, in case the job requires manual labor, the patient should wait for at least three to four months before he thinks of joining work again.
- Contact sports and swimming are not safe until advised by the doctor. Even after resuming contact sports, the eyes should be protected with goggles.
- During bathing and showering, adequate precautions need to be taken for at least a month so that water does not get into the eyes.
- The patient should resume driving only after the specialist tells him to do so.
The eye will always have to be protected, and extra precautions will have to be taken during sports or exercise. Routine eye exams will be advised by the doctor, which should be carried out regularly. Restored vision can be expected after completion of the healing process, but full recovery may take up to a year for some patients. The highest rate of corneal transplant success has been seen in patients who have corneal scars, keratoconus, early bullous keratopathy or corneal stromal dystrophies.
Keratoconus patients have the highest rate of corneal transplant success. A new cornea will last for at least 10 years for corneal transplants performed on the following conditions:
- 89% people who have keratoconus
- 73% people suffering from Fuchs' dystrophy
- 60% of 70% people with corneal scarring
Prevention of Eye Disorders
Protecting our eyesight against any damage is our foremost priority because if the eyesight is damaged than the quality of life would deteriorate significantly. If due diligence is observed, then there could be irreversible damage caused to the eye, which will worsen with the age. Following are a few simple guidelines which should be observed to maintain healthy eyes: -
- Regular Eye Check Up : - Regular eye exam helps in monitoring major eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy as they do not have any symptoms. Eye check up also ensures that strength of your contact lenses or glasses is up to date.
- Exercise on a regular basis : - Regular exercise and walking reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration and helps in maintaining healthy eyesight.
- Regular Physical Exams : - If any of your family members suffers from diabetes or hypertension, there is an increased risk of eye diseases like eye stroke and diabetic retinopathy. Regular eye tests can help in early diagnosis of ailments and prevent vision loss.
- Monitor your eye vision : - if you are experiencing symptoms like double vision or hazy vision, or difficulty in low light conditions then do not ignore them and consult a doctor immediately.
- Give up Smoking : - Smoking is known to cause serious health disorders. Heavy smokers have the increased risk of eye problems like cataract, uveitis, and macular degeneration.
- Follow Healthy eating habits : - Increase your intake of antioxidant-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, fruits which help in reducing the chances of cataract. Supplement your diet with multi-vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids which ensure that eyes are getting proper nutrition.
- Protection from Ultraviolet Lights : - If your daily routine involves a lot of outdoor work then use sunglasses for protection from ultraviolet lights which can otherwise lead to conditions like pinguecula, cataract, and others.
- Give Regular Rest to Eyes : - If your work involves sitting in front of computers for hours, then take a five minutes break every hour to give a well-deserved break to the eyes. Blink regularly as it helps reduce evaporation of the tear film protecting the cornea and also reduces overall stress on the eyes.