Cataract surgery is common and usually uneventful as long as you’re in good health without any other major eye problems. If all goes well, your recovery should be short and simple and you should experience sharper vision with the cataract gone. While the recovery is uneventful, there are restrictions after cataract surgery.
Typical Cataract Surgery Recovery Time
The usual surgery takes about 10 minutes to perform successfully without complications, but you’ll need to rest in a recovery room until your sedation wears off. This can take about an hour.
After the surgery, your vision might seem distorted or slightly cloudy when you first take off your eye shield but don’t be alarmed. Sometimes, it can take some time for your eyes to adjust to the intraocular lens that replaced your natural lens. As you adjust, you might experience wavy vision. This usually only lasts for about an hour. You might also experience bloodshot eyes as you recover. Bruising around the eye can also be noted if you were given anesthesia through the skin to the eye. All of these issues should fade as you recover over the few days after surgery.
What to Expect After Leaving the Recovery Room
The day of your surgery, you will need someone to take you home. You’ll also have to wear a pair of full-coverage sunglasses in order to protect you from light and glare. You’ll also be advised to rest once home as you might be tired from the procedure. You’ll also have a protective shield covering the eye in question. This protective shield will have to remain on for several hours after your procedure. Some doctors will also suggest leaving it on for several days especially during sleep (even naps).
Follow-up appointments will be done to make sure you are recovering well with little to no complications and antibiotic eye drops are usually prescribed to stave off infection. Pain killers might also be prescribed. All drops and medications should be taken as directed. Tell your doctor if your vision doesn’t improve after recovery or if you notice anything unusual. All in all, your recovery should be over in a month after surgery when you’ll be completely healed.
Eight Restrictions after Surgery
In order to properly recover, you should follow these restrictions after cataract surgery. Even if you are experiencing no issues or complications and feel like you’re already 100 percent recovered, you should still follow all instructions from your doctor (including using all eye drops properly) and take precautions to avoid any problems like eye injuries or infections.
Some of the restrictions that will apply after surgery are:
- No driving for at least a day after surgery
- No strenuous activity or heavy lifting for a few weeks
- No swimming or hot tub use for a week after surgery
- Stay out of the wind for a few weeks to avoid irritants
- Avoid bending over after surgery for a day or so
- Try not to sneeze or vomit for a day, if possible
- Avoid bumping into things when walking after surgery
- Don’t rub eyes until completely healed
While these restrictions after cataract surgery will apply, you should be able to perform normal activities within a few hours after the procedure. If you follow the rules and restrictions, you will recover quickly from your surgery with no harmful side effects.
Recovery and Typical Outcomes
A typical cataract surgery is incredibly safe and has a high success rate resulting in repaired vision with no complications. About 96 percent of people have reported 20/40 uncorrected vision with less than 2 percent of people reporting sight-threatening complications following surgery. If you follow all of the restrictions and guidelines issued by your doctor post-surgery, you should recover completely without problems. Remember, any negatives you experience should be brought up to your doctor in order to prevent further issues. Don’t forget to learn Everything You Need To Know About Cataract Surgery.