Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure completed in less than one hour. Cataract surgery has a high success rate for improving your eyesight and should allow you to return to your normal activities, like driving, following a few weeks of recovery.
Your cataract surgery recovery begins immediately following your procedure. A light shield will be placed over your eye immediately after surgery to keep you from accidentally rubbing it. Most patients are able to go home within a few hours of the procedure. You will be required to have a friend or family member drive you home following surgery.
During your cataract surgery recovery, it’s normal to experience grittiness, watering, blurred vision, double vision, red or bloodshot eye. These side effects usually improve within a few days, but it can take 4 to 6 weeks to recover fully.
Dos and Don’ts for the first few weeks after surgery:
- Keep your eyes moist
- Use your eye drops as instructed to reduce inflammation and avoid infection
- Rest and take it easy for the first few days
- Use your eye shield at night for at least a week
- Take painkillers if you need to
- Bathe or shower yourself as usual
- Wear your eye shield when washing your hair
- Read, watch TV and use a computer
- Use your shield or sunglasses outdoors
- Avoid swimming for 4 to 6 weeks
- Avoid any type of straining
- Rub your eye
- Allow soap or shampoo to get into your eye
- Drive until you get clearance from your doctor
- Do any strenuous exercise or housework
- Wear eye make-up for at least 4 weeks
- Fly without seeking advice from your doctor
You can expect to return to most normal activities during the first week. If you work, how soon you can return will largely depend on your type of job and if you need new glasses. Your doctor will advise you on the most appropriate times to resume other activities. Following your surgeon’s instructions regarding what you should and should not do after your cataract surgery is important.
Several follow up appointments will be scheduled during your cataract surgery recovery time. A secondary cataract may develop during the first few months following cataract removal. This is a common complication following cataract removal and can be corrected with a painless procedure called a capsulotomy.
Within a month or two your vision should be clear, and your eyes should be comfortable. You will want to continue wearing sunglasses outdoors and consider wearing safety glasses while playing sports.
The best candidates for this procedure are patients with blurred or cloudy vision, light sensitivity and color dullness. If you suspect that you have cataracts, contact Westlake Eye Specialists at 512-472-4011 or westlakeeyes.com to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.