Recovery from cataract surgery is short, for most patients. Assuming you are in otherwise good health and experience no complications during surgery, your recovery should be smooth.
Immediately following surgery, you will need to rest, allowing the anesthesia to wear off. You should also plan to have a family member or friend drive you home, as you will be unable to drive immediately following surgery. Your doctor will provide you with a pair of protective sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright lights and glares.
Five things to remember when recovering from cataract surgery:
- Allow yourself time to rest. When you get home, it might be a good idea to take a nap or go to bed, allowing your eyes time to recover immediately following the surgery.
- Be patient as your vision recovers. At first, your vision may be blurred or cloudy as it takes time for your brain and eyes to adapt to the intraocular lens implant. In many cases, patients experience clear vision in less than 24 hours following surgery, though others don’t experience clear vision for days or even a few weeks following surgery.
- Reduce risk of infection. Avoid swimming or using a hot tub for at least the first week after surgery, and avoid exposing your eyes to dust and wind that can irritate the eye. It’s also important to avoid rubbing your eyes.
- Know that it is normal to need eyeglasses following cataract surgery. Depending on the replacement lenses chosen and your previous prescription needs, you may still require corrective lenses following cataract surgery. Cataract replacement lenses do contain their own correction, so you will most likely need a new prescription for contacts or eyeglasses after surgery. It’s impossible to know what prescription you will need until your eyes have healed completely from surgery.
- Always protect your eyes from the sun. Buy sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of ultraviolet rays from the sun. If you don’t select sunglasses with UV Protection, you aren’t doing your eyes any good. Wraparound sunglasses are ideal, as they will also block rays from entering from the side. UV protection has nothing to do with how dark the tint of your sunglasses is. If the label reads “UV absorption up to 400m,” it is equivalent to 100 percent UV protection. Keep in mind that during the summer, the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can be at least three times higher than they are during the winter, making proper eye protection even more critical, especially for patients recovering from cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery has a record of success, with as many as 90 percent of cataract patients experiencing good outcomes from surgery. If you experience vision loss, persistent pain, increased eye redness, light flashes, floaters, nausea, vomiting or excessive coughing after cataract surgery, contact your doctor immediately.
If you hare considering cataract surgery, contact Key-Whitman to schedule a free consultation.