Cataract surgery is most often an outpatient procedure, so you will be able to go home the same day your cataract is removed. This means that most of the recovery process will be at home, with some follow-up visits to your ophthalmologist to make sure your eye is healing properly. It is important to closely follow your ophthalmologist’s guidelines for recovery, so you are at less risk of developing complications from the procedure, like inflammation, infection, swelling in the retina, detached retina or lens, pain, and vision loss.
Your ophthalmologist will give you a more detailed schedule of recovery time and expectations, but here are some general recommendations to follow after cataract surgery.
Immediately after surgery:
Once cataract surgery has been completed, and your time in the recovery area has allowed any remaining anesthesia to clear, you can return home. Because your vision will be impacted immediately after surgery, it is not safe to drive yourself home.
- Watery eyes.
- Feeling like you have grit in your eyes.
- Blurry or double vision.
- A red or bloodshot eye.
You may receive medicated eye drops to treat the pain. You should also receive a pair of prescription sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun or lights, and it is important to wear these for the length of time recommended by your ophthalmologist. To ensure the safety of your eyes overnight, you may also receive an eye patch or a protective visor to wear to bed so your eye is not hit or poked in your sleep.
Recommendations for Care After Cataract Surgery
In the days and weeks after your surgery, it is recommended that you:
Use prescription eye drops as detailed by your ophthalmologist.
Follow all the recommendations of your ophthalmologist and/or eye surgeon.
Rest and relax for two to three days.
Use your eye shield every night for at least one week.
Wear the eye shield while showering, especially if washing your hair.
Perform normal, low-impact activities like using a computer, reading, or watching TV as normal.
Avoid swimming during recovery for four to eight weeks.
It is important to avoid:
Rubbing your eye.
Getting foreign objects in your eye, like shampoo.
Performing strenuous activities like running or yoga.
Driving before getting the all-clear from your eye doctor.
Flying without your doctor’s knowledge and approval.
You can return to work a few days or weeks after the procedure, depending on what type of job you have.
Utsav Eye Clinic
Dr. Anand Kumar