Cataract surgery has a very high chance of success. Successful cataract surgery allows the patient to see clearer and perform day-to-day tasks like driving, usually without glasses or contact lenses. Results can be apparent after only a day, with total healing time usually only a few weeks long. Though there is a high chance of success with good, fast results, it’s still extremely important to take care of your eyes after the surgery. Any surgery puts high amounts of stress on our bodies—allowing the body the proper healing time helps to ensure that there will be no post-surgery complications.
Post cataract surgery care is essential to have successful results.
Post cataract surgery care is especially important, as complications have a chance of being sight-threatening or requiring additional surgery. Most people have no complications after their cataract surgery and fewer than 2% of all patients experience complications that may threaten their eyesight. Patients in good health with no other major eye problems almost always see great results in a matter of days.
The time it takes for your body to recover after a cataract surgery is usually within the timeframe of about two to six weeks. A significant portion of patients report that they have clear vision only a few hours after their surgery. Though your vision can adjust to the removal of the cataract and the introduction of the intraocular lens quickly, this doesn’t mean that you’re completely healed and able to resume all activities. Some of the things you may notice after your surgery include: dry eye, redness, wavy vision, bruising around the eye, or sensitivity to light. These are all natural to experience after cataract surgery, and should subside as you heal.
There are many steps that you should take after cataract surgery.
The best way to achieve great results from your cataract surgery is to follow all of your surgeon’s advice and warnings about things to do and not do during your recovery. This advice includes the following:
- Do not attempt to drive home after your surgery. Your eyes have not had a chance to adjust to the changes from the surgery and your vision is not good enough to operate a vehicle. On top of this, the anesthesia has not completely worn off and may still be affecting your body. Someone else must drive you home from your surgery.
- Don’t lift anything heavy or participate in strenuous activities while your body is still recovering in the first few weeks. This puts more pressure on your eyes and can cause complications. Similarly, don’t bend over and avoid sneezing or vomiting immediately after the surgery.
- Don’t make any physical contact with your eyes. This includes rubbing and accidental bumping, which may occur because of your impaired vision. This also means that you must wear your protective eye shield whenever you nap or sleep, usually for about a week.
- Avoid situations where foreign contaminants may enter your eye. Being in dusty rooms, windy areas, or swimming pools or hot tubs increases the likelihood that irritants or bacteria can cause complications with your healing eyes.
- Carefully follow directions for using your eye drops, which you will usually do for about 4 weeks following the surgery.
Take care of yourself and relax as much as you can. Be patient and remember that nobody heals at the same speed. However, always consult with your surgeon if you’re experiencing something outside of the normal range of post-surgery conditions. If you continue to experience blurry vision or your eyes are becoming redder and more irritated, an issue may be present. Consult with your surgeon as soon as possible.