Cataract Surgery is a routine procedure that improves the vision of millions of people every year. As with any surgery, certain precautions should be taken to ensure a smooth recovery.
Laser Eye Center is the destination of choice for cataract patients in and around Southern California and across the nation, and we know patients like you have questions about what to expect in the hours, days, and weeks following your surgery. We will give you the information and resources you need for a seamless recovery. If you have any questions as you recuperate, our experienced team is only a quick phone call or email away.
Immediately After Cataract Surgery
Your only plans for the rest of the day of surgery should be to take it easy and relax. After being briefly monitored by our surgical team, you can go home — but you cannot drive yourself, so please make arrangements ahead of time for a companion to drive you home.
Your eyes might feel itchy, watery, or irritated, but avoid rubbing or pushing on them. Even if it feels as though an eyelash or piece of dirt or sand is stuck in your eye, refrain from trying to pick it out. You will be given an eye shield to wear while you sleep to prevent you from accidentally rubbing your eyes.
Your vision will likely be a bit blurry, so it’s best to avoid any activity that could strain your eyes. You can read, watch television, or work on your computer. Many patients opt to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks or simply nap if their eyes feel tired.
Since heavy lifting and bending are off-limits for a few days, you might need help around the house with preparing meals, doing laundry, or caring for pets. You should also have a friend or family member drive you on any needed errands or appointments until your doctor says it is safe for you to get behind the wheel.
If you are prescribed antibiotic eyedrops or other medications to use after surgery, be sure to follow all instructions. Call our office if you have any questions about dosing or administering the medication.
Getting water in your eyes during this time can further irritate your eyes or put you at risk of an infection. You can bathe and wash your face, as long as you are careful not to get water or soap in your eyes. Many patients find washcloths or face wipes to be useful during the first few days after surgery.
The Days Following Cataract Surgery
The great news is that most people start seeing better the day after cataract surgery, continuing to improve with time in line with healing.
In the first few days after cataract surgery, eye itching and mild discomfort should significantly subside. At this point, you may feel up to resuming most of your normal activities, including going back to work.
As long as you take a few precautions, you should find that you are quickly able to get back to all or most of your regular routine. Please adhere to the following:
- Refrain from vigorous or strenuous physical activities.
- Wear sunglasses whenever going outside.
- Continue using your medications as instructed.
- Avoid applying eye makeup or creams/serums around the eyes.
- Do not swim in a pool or any body of water, or soak in a Jacuzzi.
The Weeks After Cataract Surgery
It usually takes about eight weeks for the eyes to completely heal after cataract surgery. During this time, our team will see you for periodic follow-up visits to check your vision and answer questions. When appropriate, we will give you the all-clear to resume activities that were off-limits, such as swimming, vigorous exercise, and wearing cosmetic products.
Post-Surgery Tips: Do’s and Don’ts
Do keep our office phone number in an easy-to-find place (or save it to your smartphone contacts) so you can quickly get in touch with us if need be.
Do consume a diet full of nutrients to help your eyes as they heal. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber- and protein-rich foods, and limit your consumption of foods that are high in refined carbohydrates and sugar.
Do avoid extremely dusty or windy environments. Your eyes will be extra-sensitive to flying particles or debris. You might want to vacuum or dust right before surgery to reduce the chance of getting dust or dirt in your healing eyes.
Do be careful when resuming driving after surgery. Your surroundings may seem brighter than they previously were, so wear sunglasses during the day. It is also normal for street and dashboard lights to appear brighter when driving at night.
Don’t use face creams, lotions, or serums too close to your eye area. We will tell you when it is safe to resume use of these products.
Don’t be alarmed if colors appear brighter after surgery. This is completely normal, as cataracts can make colors appear muted (or even brown- or yellow-tinted).
Don’t travel by airplane until our team clears you to do so.
Don’t compare your recovery to anyone else’s. Your eyes are unique, and you will recover at your own individual pace.
Signs You Should Contact Your Medical Team
We strongly encourage you to reach out to us promptly for medical help if you experience any of the following after cataract surgery:
- Eye pain that seems to worsen instead of improving
- Vision that seems to worsen instead of improving
- Loss of vision
- Increased redness of the eyes
- The onset of flashes of light or multiple new floaters
Serious complications after cataract surgery are unusual, so don’t worry too much about something going wrong.
Why Choose Laser Eye Center for Cataract Surgery?
The best cataract surgery outcomes happen when an experienced, confident surgeon is at the helm. Countless patients from Southern California and beyond have put their faith in the team at Laser Eye Center, and enjoy crisp, high-definition vision after cataract surgery. Our technology is second-to-none and has been thoroughly vetted to ensure it helps us deliver optimal results. Lastly, we have grown to become the true experts in this space, having the highest conversion to premium cataract surgery in Southern California and with a 98.7% satisfaction rate!
We take every patient’s needs very seriously, and we will be by your side throughout the entire process — from consultation through recovery — to ensure your experience is positive.
To request a cataract surgery consultation at Laser Eye Center, please call or email our practice today.
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