What is Recovery Like after Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery sounds scary, but it is a very common and safe procedure. If your cataracts are interfering with the activities you used to enjoy, cataract surgery can be very rewarding and restore your quality of life. The recovery period is not long or difficult. Patients often notice improved vision immediately after their procedures or within the first few days after surgery. Your eyes should be fully healed in one to two months.

Caring for Your Eyes During Recovery

When scheduling your cataract surgery, you need to know how recovery will inconvenience you, so you can time your procedure accordingly. Following your cataract surgeon’s post-operative care instructions is crucial to a speedy recovery, minimizing your risk of complications, and achieving optimal results.

After cataract surgery, you will need to:

  • Use your eye drops as instructed – typically one week for antibiotics and up to three weeks for anti-inflammatories.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, even if you feel discomfort
  • Wear sunglasses when you go outside
  • Avoid wind, dust and other irritants
  • Avoid swimming pools, hot tubs, submersing your face in the bath, scuba diving and similar activities for one to two weeks to minimize risk of infection
  • Avoid wearing eye makeup for one week

Physical Activity

Immediately after your cataract surgery you should avoid activities that create pressure in your eyes, such as bending over or sneezing. Do not try to drive the day after surgery. You can go back to light activities right away, but strenuous activities and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least one week.

Learn more about cataract surgery recovery by talking to an experienced ophthalmologist in your area.