Cataract surgery is a common procedure to treat cataracts. Recovery is pretty smooth and uneventful as long as you are healthy. As per statistics, there is a high success rate of healthy vision post cataract surgery. The normal time frame for the uncomplicated cataract surgery is about ten minutes but you will need to remain in a recovery area post surgery as you will be under sedation and feeling groggy. After the cataract, surgery recovery time will range from 30 minutes to an hour just before you can go home.
You will need someone to drive you back to home as you will be unable to drive. Further, you will be given a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunlight and glare. You will feel tired upon getting home, therefore rest is advised. Your surgeon will instruct you when it is safe to remove the protective covering on the eye. Remember that you will need to put this covering back during naps or when you sleep at night to protect your eye during the next few days post surgery.
Tips for a cataract surgery recovery at home
The symptoms you will encounter post cataract surgery once you are at home are mild pain in or around the eye, blurred vision, itchy or sticky eye, slight headache, feeling of grittiness in the eye, discomfort when looking at bright lights, bruising of the skin around the eyes, etc. These normal symptoms will clear up within a few days.
Symptoms such as severe or throbbing pain in or around the eye, sudden deterioration of vision, severe frontal headache with or without nausea or vomiting, specks, increased redness of the eye, sudden appearance of black spots and streaks in your line of vision will be experienced.
Post surgery, you should avoid strenuous activities such as lifting heavy objects, avoid touching or rubbing your eye, avoid bending forward or having your head below the waistline, avoid wearing eye makeup, avoid getting shampoo or soap in the eye, avoid any sports or activities and avoid swimming as there is a risk of eye injury.
You can watch TV or read almost immediately. Though you should avoid driving post surgery, you will be able to drive once you have your doctor’s approval. Most patients need to wear glasses either for distance or closeness due to artificial lens implants cannot focus on different distances. Natural lenses are able to do this if the patient is under 50 and this ability is lost due to age.
You will also be required to attend the follow up appointments to monitor the health of your eyes and ensure that healing in going well. Your doctor will instruct you to resume your everyday activities and whether you should used the eye drops.
Follow these tips for a safe and speedy cataract surgery recovery:
- Do not lift any heavy objects and refrain from doing strenuous activity for a few weeks
- Do not drive on the first day
- If at all possible, do not sneeze or vomit right post surgery
- Immediately post surgery, avoid bending over to prevent putting extra pressure on your eye
- To reduce risk of infection, avoid using a hot tub during the first week
- Be careful while walking around post surgery and do not bump into doors or other objects
- Do not rub your eye
- Do not expose your eye to irritants such as dust, grime and wind during the first few weeks post surgery
For most part, the cataract surgery is safe and uncomplicated therefore you won’t experience problems during recovery.