What is Cataract Surgery Recovery Like?

What is Cataract Surgery Recovery Like?

June 22nd, 2022

Though cataract surgery is a minimally-invasive procedure with a short recovery time, as with any other surgery, it’s wise to give yourself plenty of downtime afterward. It’s best to plan on taking a few days off from work. 

While you’ll be back to most of your normal activities relatively shortly, the healing process takes a few weeks. Keep reading to learn more about what cataract surgery recovery is like! 

Immediately After Surgery

After the procedure, you will go into a recovery area to rest for a little before you get to go home. When you’re cleared to go, you’ll need to be driven by someone who can accompany you to ensure you are safe and settled in once you arrive home. 

Don’t rely on Uber, a ride service, or a taxi. This is a job best fit for a family member or friend.

What to Expect

You may notice some of these sensations during your recovery. All of these are normal and will improve as your eyes heal:

  • Your eyes may be sensitive to light, or you may experience some tearing 
  • Your eyes may feel tender or scratchy
  • You might have a mild headache

Post-Surgery Eye Care

You may feel better quickly, but you should still take care to observe these guidelines:

  • Your eye doctor may prescribe you eye drops, it is essential to take them regularly and follow the instructions closely
  • Avoid getting soap or water directly in the eye when washing your face or taking a shower or bath
  • Don’t rub or press on your eye
  • Don’t bend over, pick up heavy things, or put any pressure on your eye
  • You might have to wear glasses or a face shield for a short period of time
  • You may need to wear a protective eye shield when you sleep to give you extra protection on the side 
  • Don’t plan any activities until you get the okay from your doctor on exercising, driving, or other strenuous work

Planning Ahead For Your Recovery

Here’s the fun part a few days of taking it easy and indulging yourself. Make the most of it. A few suggestions:

Enjoy the Ride

In addition to having someone drive you on the day of surgery, you’ll need a driver for your follow-up eye doctor’s visit after surgery.

Give into Bed Rest 

It’s not like being sick; you can decide what to do ahead of time. Let your body rest and enjoy your well-deserved time off.

Let Yourself Bingewatch and Chill

Come up with a list of streaming shows, movies, and series to catch up on. Get in touch with friends and family through social media.

Close Your Eyes and Listen 

If you’re not in the mood to watch a screen, create a cataract-recovery playlist or queue up podcasts.

Line Up Meals 

Call on others to cook for you or deliver homemade meals. Or make your own food and have it microwave-ready and heat and eat.

Possible Side Effects

While these are rare, side effects can include:

  • Eye infection or swelling
  • Retinal detachment
  • Drooping eyelids
  • A temporary rise in eye pressure within hours after surgery

The Healing Process

You’ll be able to resume normal activities with your doctor’s approval. During this time, your eyes will still be healing, and your vision will continue to improve over the course of weeks and months. 

How Long Until Full Recovery?

After eight weeks, your eye should be fully healed. About ninety percent of people see better after cataract surgery. 

However, depending on your IOL or intraocular lens choice, you may still need to wear glasses or contacts.

Do you have more questions about cataract surgery? Schedule an appointment at Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL, today!