A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

What to Expect After Cataract Surgery

by Damion Wasylow 28 July 2021 11:17 AM
retired couple meeting with doctor

If cataracts are affecting your quality of life and vision, your ophthalmologist may recommend cataract surgery. The procedure is performed 10million times per year worldwide, and the surgery itself can take as little as ten minutes to complete.

Because this is an outpatient procedure, the majority of the recovery process will occur at home.

Following Your Cataract Surgery

Once the surgery is complete, you will be placed in a recovery room for up to an hour while the anesthesia or sedation wears off. After the grogginess subsides, you’ll be able to go home. You will not be able to drive at this time, so be sure to have a ride home following the procedure.

Your eyes will be sensitive at first, so to protect them from bright light and glare, your doctor will ask you to wear special sunglasses given to you after the procedure.

What’s the Recovery Time for Cataract Surgery?

A lot of patients will notice that their vision improves in the recovery room, but your vision may be blurry while your eyes heal and adjust. Vision improvement is often experienced in the first few days following surgery.

While many patients report clear vision within hours of the surgery, it can take one to two weeks before your vision is at its sharpest.

The Follow-up Exam

Your surgeon should schedule a follow-up exam to make sure that there are no complications following surgery. The appointment can be as soon as the next day.

Patients may experience the following after surgery:

  • Red eyes
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Bruising near the eye
  • Black eye
  • Dry eye
  • “Scratchy eye”

All of these conditions are common and should subside within a day or two.

If you experience a substantial discomfort or pain, or your vision is still blurry days after the procedure, talk to your surgeon to rule out any potential complications.

Tips to Improve Recovery Time After Surgery

You can help improve your recovery time by following advice from Johns Hopkins Medicine and your surgeon, including:

  • Limit heavy lifting or strenuous activity. Heavy lifting can cause an increase in eye pressure, which should be avoided. A general rule of thumb is to avoid bending over or lifting heavy objects for a few weeks after surgery.
  • Continue wearing sunglasses. Irritants, even pollen and dust, can impact recovery. Wear the sunglasses provided by your eye doctor for a week or longer to protect the eyes from irritants, potential trauma and even light sensitivity.
  • Avoid the pool and showering. You should not shower the day after the surgery. Avoid going into a hot tub or pool until your doctor says that it’s safe to do so.

If you follow these tips and adhere to your doctor’s recommendations, you’ll be able to resume normal activities as fast as possible.

Contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at (352) 373-4300 to speak to one of our vision specialists or schedule your cataract surgery.



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