What To Expect After Cataract Surgery

If you're thinking of having cataract surgery, you may have concerns about recovery. Cataract surgery is fairly routine and safe. According to the National Eye Institute, more than half the people in the United States will have had the surgery by the time they reach 80 years old. The surgery, itself, is usually quick and about 98% of these surgeries are completed without complication. Here are some things that you should expect and do after you have your surgery. 

What to do right after surgery:

When you first get out of surgery, you will wait in the recovery area until most of the anesthesia wears off. During that time, you will be asked to wear an eye shield and are given sunglasses to wear on your way home. You must have someone to drive you from your surgery site, do not attempt to drive home yourself. Once you arrive home, you may feel like spending the rest of the day resting. You should be able to remove your shield after a couple of hours, but choose to leave it on to protect your eye from accidentally putting pressure on it when you sleep..

The first few weeks:

Though some people see improvement within a day of having surgery, it is also normal for there to be blurriness or distortions during the first week. Expect to have some soreness or itchiness around the eye for the first few days. Though your vision may still be blurry, you should be able to return to your normal routine. Take the eye drops your doctor prescribed for you to prevent infection. The doctor may ask to see you for a follow-up during this time to check on the healing process. Try not to bend down to where your head is below your waist or do any strenuous, such as heavy exercise or lifting heavy weights. Swimming is also not recommended during the first few weeks.

After the first few weeks:

After a few weeks, your eye should be stable enough so that you can resume all your normal activities that you did before the surgery. You will need to follow up and possibly get fitted with glasses or have your current glasses adjusted for your new vision. The new lenses are permanent and should last the rest of your life. If your vision gets worse, let your doctor know. Some of the problems that can develop can easily be corrected without having surgery again. If you have additional questions and concerns about cataract surgery, talk to your optometrist or surgeon (go to sites like this for more information).