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After cataract surgery: Recovery tips from a cataract surgery

Cataract surgery is one of the most widely performed and safe eye procedures in the country. The surgery is done as a one-day case and you should be able to go home the same day. The procedure itself takes less than 20 minutes and it is done under local anesthesia. Most of the patients report that they get a clear vision after a day and they fully recover in a few weeks.

The recovery is smooth and the surgery results in clear, sharp, and steady vision. However, comfortable, fast, and smooth recovery is only possible when the patient takes precautions and adheres to ophthalmologist’s instructions. This ensures that you do not run into complications as your eye adjusts to the artificial lens.

What is the likely recovery time and what should I expect after cataract surgery? 

Recovery time varies among patients so there is no exact timeline. Some patients recover very fast while others recover slowly. The expected recovery time should take a few weeks although many patients report having a clear vision within a few days.

Right after the surgery

Just after your surgeon has completed operating on your eye, you will be given enough time to recover from the anesthesia.

The doctor will prescribe eye drops, eyewear, and other medications that you will need in your recovery. The eye drops and medication will prevent infections, minimize inflammation and complications. Due to the anesthesia provided, it is not safe to drive yourself home. Have a friend or family member to drive you back home. You should take a long nap when you get home so that your eyes can rest. After some hours, you will be able to watch TV, use your computer or phone as before.

Few days after the cataract surgery

The effects of the surgery clear up after some hours. However, after a few days, you may still experience blurry vision which gradually improves with each day. Since your eye is still adjusting and adapting, you may still experience some mild irritation. While this is normal, ensure you strictly follow the doctor’s instructions. In case these effects persist and you feel they are getting worse; ensure you talk to your doctor.

A month after your eye surgery 

After three to four weeks, your vision should be as sharp and as clear as possible. This is the expected recovery time and by this time, you should have finalized the checkups. The ultimate recovery time should take around 1 to 2 months. Your vision will remain great after a complete recovery. It is not expected to change because unlike natural eye lens, the artificial lens will not change.

Recommended tips for fast, comfortable, and smooth recovery after a cataract surgery

  • Do not miss follow up eye exams

However much you feel your eye is recovering well, ensure you attend all the follow-ups as directed by your doctor. This will ensure your eyes recovers properly and eliminate the chances of any complications.

  • Follow all the recommendations and instructions given by the ophthalmologist in detail

Your vision is very important and therefore you should exercise caution as you recover from surgery. If you are not sure about anything concerning your medication and recovery, always talk to your doctor. Also, if you feel effects like itching are getting worse, do not hesitate to visit your doctor.

  • Rest after the surgery

Cataract surgery may sound simple to many patients since it is done as a one-day case. However, it is just like any other surgery. Ensure you take a long nap in the first few days so that your eyes can rest and adjust well to the new lens. Avoid long use of phones, computers, and watching TV as these activities will strain your eyes.

  • Avoid any strenuous tasks

Strenuous tasks will impact a lot of pressure on your eye which is not good for your recovery. Ensure you avoid any tasks that will demand a lot from you like lifting heavy objects. It is recommended that you relax comfortably and give your eye time to recover completely before resuming such activities.

  • Protect your eyes

Since you just had surgery, your eyes easily get irritated by sunlight, dust, and wind. It is therefore very important to put on any protective wear given by your eye doctor. You should also protect your eye from water and soap until you fully recover.

  • Do not drive

Immediately and for one day after the surgery, your vision can be blurry and unsteady. As such, it is not safe to drive. Have someone to help you until you recover well enough to drive yourself.

  • Maintain maximum hygiene

Ensure you stay in a very clean environment to avoid any infection during recovery. If your house is dusty, ensure you have it vacuumed and thoroughly cleaned to avoid getting your eyes irritated.

  • Avoid swimming

Swimming is a strenuous physical activity. It will put pressure on your eye as it tries to recover. Additionally, water will get in contact with the eyes and lead to irritation.

  • Do not rub your eyes

It is not recommended to rub your eyes even under normal circumstances. Can you imagine the effect of rubbing an eye after surgery? No matter how you feel tempted to rub your eyes because of itchiness, you should not.

Since cataract surgery is done in one day and you go home, your entire recovery process will take place at home. Your ophthalmologist will not be there with you so you will have to strictly follow the instructions and any guidelines given to you. Ensure you attend all the follow-up exams and your recovery will be smooth and fast without any complications. In a few days or weeks, you should be able to go back to your normal life.

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