Cataracts occur when proteins in the lens of the eye begin to clump together. When these proteins clump together, it is harder for light to enter the eye, negatively impacting your vision.
For many people with cataracts, this means experiencing blurry vision, seeing halos around lights, and other frustrating symptoms. The good news is that you can have cataract surgery to remove your cataracts and restore your clear vision.
The better news? The recovery process after cataract surgery is quick and easy, allowing you to get back to your everyday activities after only a day or two!
Keep reading to learn what you can expect during your cataract surgery recovery!
1. You Should Have a Friend or Family Member That Can Drive You Home
After cataract surgery, your vision may start to improve immediately, but you cannot drive yourself home. This is due to the numbing eye drops and light sedation that you’ll receive during the procedure.
Ensure you have a friend or family member who can drive you home after you’re cleared to leave. Once you get home, you can sit back, relax, and start enjoying your clear vision! It’s normal to feel a little bit tired, and like you want to take a nap after getting home.
2. Feel Free to Take Time to Yourself Once You’re Home
Within a few hours of having cataract surgery, you should be able to easily do things like watch television, work on the computer, and shower or bathe. After a quick nap, having a day to yourself to do what you like sounds like a great way to indulge in some self-care!
Make sure that if you’re showering or bathing, you cover up your eye so that it’s protected from water.
3. You’ll Need To Attend Your Follow-Up Appointment With Your Surgeon the Next Day
It’s essential to attend your first follow-up appointment with your surgeon after having cataract surgery. This is usually scheduled for the day after your procedure, ensuring there are no complications or signs of infection.
You shouldn’t feel any significant pain, so if you do, let your surgeon know at your first appointment. This is the first of several follow-up appointments that you’ll need to attend, and for the best results, you must show up for all of them.
4. You’re Allowed to Drive Again After Being Cleared By Your Eye Doctor
One of the things that make having cataracts so frustrating is the toll it takes on your autonomy. Having difficulty seeing can make it almost impossible to drive, especially at night.
But the short recovery period after cataract surgery means you can get back to driving after a short time. Most patients’ eye doctors clear them to drive again during their first follow-up appointment the day after cataract surgery.
5. Any Discomfort You Feel Should Go Away After a Day or Two
After you have cataract surgery, you may experience some slight discomfort. Your eyes may be dry, bloodshot, or red, but any visual distortions, as well as any pain or discomfort, should go away on their own after a day or two.
As your eye heals, it needs time to get used to the new intraocular lens. All of these symptoms are a completely normal part of the cataract surgery recovery process.
6. Do Your Best To Avoid Strenuous Activities For at Least the First Week
After you have your cataracts removed, you may feel amazing! With clearer vision than you’ve had in years, it can be tempting to want to get out and do everything.
But for the first week, avoid heavy lifting and any strenuous activities. This means no bending over or anything that will cause it to happen since it will increase your eye pressure.
If you’re unsure of what you can do, ask your surgeon for a timeline of when you can get back to the things you love to do. Before you know it, you’ll be back and better than ever!
7. You’ll Need To Stay Out of the Water For A Week
If you’re an avid swimmer, you’ll need to take a week off from swimming in any bodies of water. This includes swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, and places that will breed bacteria.
Your eye is more susceptible to infection while it’s healing, and water is the perfect place for bacteria to live. After a week, you should be able to swim again, this time with clearer vision!
8. Take Off A Day or Two From Work
Since your vision will likely be much clearer after cataract surgery, there’s no need to take off a whole week from work to recover. If you want to use some extra vacation time, you can, but it’s not necessary!
Most patients only need to take a day, maybe two at the absolute most off from work. Many patients return to work the day following their procedure! You should have no problem resuming normal activities within a few days after having cataract surgery.
Ready to find out if you need to have cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract consultation at Williamson Eye Center at one of our six Louisiana locations!