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What to Expect After Cataract Surgery

April 21, 2015

After cataract surgery comes post-surgery recovery. Most people who go through cataract surgery will face a mostly uneventful recovery. However, a small percentage of people may experience some problems. Here’s a look at what you can expect, from immediately after the surgery, to further down the line.

Immediately After Cataract Surgery

You should take a moment of rest immediately after the surgery. There’s usually a place for you to do so at the facility. Take a moment for yourself. You may need it if you’re still under the effects of any anesthetic medication you took before the surgery.

You should also ask the doctor or staff about what you should and should not do. There’s nothing like finding this kind of information out directly.

You are not okay to drive, so have a ride available. Once home, follow any directions you received at the center, and continue to relax and rest. You may experience some itchiness or irritation, but avoid touching your eyes or putting on any makeup.

The First Week to a Month after Surgery

After the first day, you should find your vision starting to improve. Within a few days you can engage in non-strenuous activities, watch television, and read. However, you should avoid places with a lot of dust or floating debris. You may want to avoid brightly lit places, but you can wear sunglasses or tinted lenses if the light is too much for you.

Make sure you continue to follow doctor’s directions. If the doctor wants you to wear an eye patch, take medication, or use eye drops, then you should do so.

Also, if you had any symptoms like glare, redness, watering, or specks, you should start to see them lessen or entirely go away after a couple weeks. Continue to see your doctor as scheduled. After about a month, most people are done with the healing process.

The final stage, about a month after your surgery, you will likely receive a prescription for eyeglasses. You may or may not need them for day-to-day activities, but for optimal vision, eyeglasses are sometimes necessary.

Complications to Your Recovery Experience

Sometimes complications can occur after cataract surgery. Many of these complications aren’t as serious as they seem. As long as you’re visiting and communicating with your eye doctor, you can avoid many possible problems. The two most common complications include:

Eye infections – You can develop an eye infection in any number of ways. Protecting your eyes and applying the eye-drop medication prescribed to you is the best way to avoid an infection.

Posterior capsular opacification – Sometimes known as a secondary cataract. A buildup of cells behind your new lens will cause your vision to cloud up. This is a common complication with a simple procedure to fix it with a capsulotomy.

Even if there are no complications, you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience anything out of the ordinary.

  • Worsening symptoms
  • Loss of vision
  • Pain that will not subside

Reporting changes is the best way to find possible problems. Since you’re supposed to go in for follow-up visits anyway, you shouldn’t have any sudden issues.

Keep to the Process

Everybody is different, so the path to recovery can vary from person to person. Just make sure you follow all of your doctor’s directions and do everything in your power to help the process without hindering it. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the doctor immediately.

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