5 Tips For Your Most Successful Cataract Surgery Recovery

Do you have cataracts? You may be thinking about the next step, which is having them removed during cataract surgery.

Having your cataracts removed is the only way to regain your clear vision. Cataract surgery is the only method that works.

The good news is that when you have cataract surgery, you can get your life back. Gone will be the frustration associated with blurry vision, glare around lights, and the inability to drive safely at night.

You’ll have to choose an intraocular lens (IOL) before having cataract surgery, which could even give you the best vision of your life, depending on the kind you choose.

If you’re worried about recovering after having cataract surgery, don’t be. Most patients can go back to many of their everyday activities after only a few days.

For the best possible results, you’ll need to follow the post-operative care instructions from your surgeon and care for yourself properly to ensure a smooth recovery. Keep reading for 5 tips to use to have your most successful cataract surgery recovery!

1.    Arrange a Ride in Advance

woman sitting in car

Because your eyesight will be unstable, you won’t be able to drive yourself home after you have cataract surgery. You’ll want to have a friend or a family member you trust to drive you there and back.

If nobody is available, you can also use a ride-sharing service. Although your vision may be more stable the day after you’ve had cataract surgery, you should still have someone who can bring you to your follow-up appointment the next day. Most patients get the all-clear from their eye doctor that they can return to driving at this appointment.

If your eyes aren’t where they should be, your eye doctor may make you wait longer before it’s safe to drive again.

2.    Take a Day or Two to Rest

woman laying on bed

While cataract surgery doesn’t require an extensive recovery period, you should still rest and relax a few days after the procedure. If you work, take a day or two off work and avoid any strenuous activity or exercise beyond walking around the block.

You don’t have to stay in bed all day, but do your best to take it easy and stick to sedentary activities. Rest is the best thing for your body as it recovers and heals after any surgical procedure.

After the first few days, you should be able to get back to most of your normal activities. Your eye doctor will be able to tell you specifics during your follow-up appointment, but you’ll likely be allowed to drive and go back to work.

For a week or so after having cataract surgery, you should avoid intense exercise or anything particularly strenuous to be safe. But for the most part, you’ll be able to go about your life as you usually would during most of your recovery.

3.    Keep Your Eyes Protected

After cataract surgery, you’ll come home wearing a special eye shield that protects your eye. While you’ll probably be able to take it off after a few hours, it’s essential to wear it when you’re asleep, as it keeps your eye from rubbing up against your pillow and provides protection if you accidentally rub your eye with your hand while sleeping.

You should also be careful about getting anything in your eye in the weeks after having cataract surgery. This includes water, so you may want to stick to baths or try to shower carefully with the shower head pointed away from your face.

older man wearing sunglasses

You’ll also need to avoid all bodies of water, including lakes, pools, and hot tubs, for the first several weeks. Chlorine and bacteria in water can cause damage to your eyes while they are still healing.

Most importantly, be sure to wear sunglasses when you go outside. Your eyes may be more sensitive than usual, especially to the sun. Keeping them protected from harmful UV light from the sun will help keep your eyes feel comfortable and ensure your eyes stay protected.

4.    Take Medications as Prescribed

After cataract surgery, you’ll be asked to take certain medications in the form of eye drops. These eye drops are usually a combination of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication.

woman using eye drops

Taking them ensures your eyes don’t get infected and reduces inflammation while they’re healing. Recovery from cataract surgery is fast and easy as long as you take these medications as prescribed. But missing doses can put you at higher risk of infection, so you must take every dose prescribed to you.

Some of these medications need to be taken multiple times a day, so it’ll be necessary to keep track of them. Many ophthalmologists send patients home with a chart to track their doses, but if yours doesn’t, you can easily keep track on a piece of paper. You can also set alarms on your phone that remind you when to take certain medications.

If you’re nervous about dealing with eye drops after cataract surgery, Sierra Nevada Eye Center also offers our patients the option for Dropless Cataract Surgery. With Dropless Cataract Surgery, your surgeon injects medication into your eyes that contain antibiotics and steroids.

These are the same medications that you would take in drop form. By putting the medicine right into your eye, it can usually penetrate the eye better. To help with healing, your surgeon may also prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory eye drop that you’ll take once a day.

Choosing Dropless Cataract Surgery allows you to bypass the challenging dosing schedule that using drops after cataract surgery necessitates.

5.    Ask Your Eye Doctor Any Questions

older man asking doctor questions

Don’t be afraid to talk to your eye doctor about any questions or concerns you have, both before and after cataract surgery. If you’re unsure about something before undergoing the procedure, your ophthalmologist can provide you with the exact instructions you need to ensure you’ll have a safe and easy recovery. They can also reassure you if you have any worries.

After cataract surgery, you’ll see your eye doctor for a follow-up appointment. This appointment is the perfect time to ask them any lingering questions you may have.

Be honest and open about how you’re feeling, as well as if you’re experiencing any discomfort. It’s normal for your eyes to feel a little uncomfortable in the first day or two after you have cataract surgery. Make sure to tell them if you’re experiencing particularly severe pain, as this can be a sign of an infection or complications.

Are you wondering if it may be time for cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract consultation at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Reno, NV, today!