Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries around the world. It’s a relatively quick procedure, usually performed on an outpatient basis in an eye surgeon’s office. But as with any eye procedure, healing from cataract surgery takes time.
It’s important to follow your eye surgeon’s instructions, use your post-operative eye drops as instructed, and keep all follow-up appointments. In the days and weeks after cataract surgery, following these 10 simple tips will set you on the right track for recovery.
1. Avoid rubbing your eyes
Avoid rubbing your eyes, especially before and after using eye drops. Your eyes may itch slightly but resist the urge to rub them. Rubbing your eyes can cause serious complications, such as infection. Additionally, the pressure from rubbing your eyes can interfere with healing.
2. Don’t expose your eyes to irritants
Be sure to avoid activities and places where dust, dirt, wind or pollen could get into your eyes. That includes dusting your home! Keeping your eyes protected from the environment around you is important for your recovery. It’s also important to keep water out of your eyes. You will likely be given an eye shield to wear when bathing and washing your hair.
3. Stay out of the pool
You will probably be instructed to avoid swimming pools and hot tubs for 3 to 4 weeks after cataract surgery. Chlorine can be harmful for your eyes when recovering from cataract surgery. Don’t get in the water even if you plan to keep your head dry. It’s not worth the risk.
4. Forgo strenuous activity
Your doctor will advise you which activities you need to avoid after cataract surgery and for how long. Likely, though, you will be asked to avoid any strenuous activity, including heavy lifting and exercise, for at least a week. In most cases you will still be able to enjoy activities like computer work and light TV watching.
5. Protect your eyes
Keep your eyes out of the sun. Most doctors advise wearing sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection for at least one year after cataract surgery, even if you opted for a replacement lens with a UV protective coating. Using protective eyewear when playing sports is also advised to keep your eyes safe.
6. Don’t bend over
You will probably be advised to avoid bending over immediately after cataract surgery and for at least a week afterwards. The action of bending (with your head below your knees) puts extra pressure on the eyes and can interfere with healing.
7. Use eye drops as directed
You will be given eye drops to help prevent infection and control inflammation. It’s important to use them exactly as prescribed. You will be asked to start using the drops on the day you return home from surgery.
8. Refrain from driving
You will need someone to drive you home after cataract surgery. Additionally, you shouldn’t operate a vehicle for at least 24 hours after cataract surgery, or until your doctor tells you it is safe to do so. You may need to wait longer as some people experience light sensitivity for a few days after surgery.
9. No makeup
Because your eyes are more prone to infection while they are healing, avoiding eye makeup, which may contain harmful bacteria, is important.
10. Prevent eye strain
Intense close-up activities can cause eye strain. Resting your eyes for 20 minutes afterwards may help maintain healthy vision after cataract surgery and even after the healing period is complete.
The IC-8® lens advantage
If you’ve been diagnosed with a cataract and are considering cataract surgery, be sure to discuss replacement lens options with your doctor. The IC-8 lens offers many advantages over traditional (monofocal) and multifocal IOLs. It provides a natural range of vision from near to far, including mid-range vision needed to read a computer screen. With the IC-8 lens, one may achieve continuous and seamless vision at all distances. Learn more about the IC-8 lens here: https://ic8lens.com/discover-the-ic-8-lens/.