Cataract Surgery Recovery: What to Expect
Cataracts affect vision and quality of life. Many people with cataracts feel like they’re seeing the world through a fog. When cataracts impair vision and make it difficult to complete daily tasks, cataract surgery can help.
Before undergoing cataract surgery, it’s important to understand all of the steps of the procedure. With this in mind, the team at Monterey County Eye Associates would like to take a moment to go over what to expect during cataract surgery recovery. If you live in Monterey, CA, Salinas, CA, King City, CA, or surrounding areas and would like more information, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
The First Few Days after Surgery
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed using a local anesthetic and sometimes a sedative if necessary for the patient. Patients will not be able to drive themselves home regardless of whether or not a sedative is used, and will need a friend or family member to drive them.
Immediately after surgery, some patients may be alarmed that their vision is blurry. This is normal and will begin to clear over the next several days.
The eyes may also feel sore or itchy during the first few days of recovery. Some also find bright light uncomfortable. Wearing sunglasses when outside and keeping lights dim when in the home can help ease eye strain from bright lights.
Avoid Strenuous Activity
Immediately following surgery and for several weeks after, patients will need to limit their activity and avoid any heavy lifting or other strenuous activities that can increase eye pressure. Patients should also avoid bending down as this can cause pressure to build in the eyes.
Wear an Eye Shield
It is often recommended that patients wear an eye shield or patch for several days to a week after surgery. This can help the eye rest as it heals and keeps patients from touching or scratching their eyes, which can cause damage or lead to an infection before the eye has healed.
Patients should avoid getting water in their eyes as they recover. Accordingly, care must be taken when showering. This also means patients should wait several weeks before swimming or going in a hot tub.
Patients will not be able to drive immediately after surgery and for at least the next 24 hours. When exactly a patient can resume driving will depend on how quickly their vision improves. Patients should speak to their eye doctor before they begin driving again.
Most patients are fully healed from cataract surgery after around eight weeks. By this time most patients will have much clearer vision. However, some may still need to wear glasses or contact lenses.
Even if corrective lenses are necessary, vision usually doesn’t appear foggy anymore. Colors may be crisper, objects may appear sharper, and it’s often easier to see hazards, all of which improves quality of life and helps reduce the risk of accidents.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information about cataract surgery recovery or to find out if you’re a candidate, call (831) 424-1150 to schedule a consultation.