What To Expect After Cataract Surgery

Have you noticed that functioning in general is harder? Learn why visiting an optometrist may help you find the source of the problem.

What To Expect After Cataract Surgery

8 February 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If your vision is clouded by cataracts, your eye doctor may recommend surgery at some point. Cataract surgery is a simple operation that removes the cloudy lenses from your eyes and replaces them with clear, artificial lenses. You may need the surgery on just one eye or on both, but your doctor may only do one eye at a time so your vision isn't compromised. Recovery from the surgery is usually fast and uneventful. Here's what you can expect.

Immediately After Surgery

Cataract surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure. You'll need to rest in the recovery area for a while, and if there are no problems or complications, you'll get to go home shortly after the operation is done. Your eye doctor will give you sunglasses to wear home so your eyes are protected from the light, wind, and dust. The glasses may wrap around your face so your eyes are fully protected from all sides. Your eyes will be sensitive to light for a while, so it's a good idea to wear the sunglasses any time you go outside until you can do so without feeling uncomfortable.

When the anesthesia wears off, you may feel some pain and discomfort in your eye, but the pain should be easily managed with over-the-counter medications. In addition to feeling some pain, your eye may feel gritty or itchy. However, it is very important that you do not scratch or rub your eye. To prevent this, the doctor may send you home with a patch over your eye. You may be able to take it off later that day, but you should wear it when you nap and sleep for a few nights, so your eye is protected.

During The Recovery Period

As long as there are no complications, your eye should heal quickly from the cataract removal procedure. The most important thing you can do is take your eye drops as directed by your doctor. You may be given antibiotic drops as well as eye drops that decrease the inflammation in your eye.

While you'll be able to resume most normal activities within a day or two once your vision has stabilized, you'll want to protect your eye as much as possible for several days. Avoid heavy lifting and bending over as both of these increase the pressure in your eyes. The type of job you do will determine how soon you can return to work. If you have a sedentary job, you can return sooner than if you do heavy lifting during the course of your work day.

You may notice an improvement in your vision as early as the evening of your surgery. However, it is also common for it to take a few days for your vision to improve. Your sight may be blurry until healing of your eye is underway. If you also have a vision problem that requires glasses, you may not see the final results of the procedure until your eye has healed and you have a new prescription for your glasses.