Recovering from Cataract Surgery: What Patients Should Expect

By Gordon Wong, OD on December 30, 2014

An illustration providing a look at a cataractThe team at GW Eye Associates Inc has built a strong reputation in the greater San Diego for great eye care and vision correction treatment. This includes addressing basic refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism) and providing advice on how to surgically and non-surgically treat cataracts and their side effects.

Cataract surgery is often performed on patients who have significant clouding of the lens of the eye and impaired vision. Let's consider what the recovery process is like for these patients.

What to Expect Immediately Following the Cataract Surgery

Immediately after cataract surgery, patients can expect to feel a bit groggy and tired, which is normal given the nature of the surgery even though it is brief. Patients will be driven home by a loved one since they will not be in a fit enough state to operate a vehicle for a few days. Should you feel tired when you return home, feel free to lie back and rest.

It's best to avoid engaging in any activities that may cause eyestrain during that first afternoon and evening after surgery, such as watching the TV, using the computer or smart phone, or reading. Doing these for a little bit is fine, but you should focus on resting your eyes.

Activities to Avoid In the First Few Days of Recovery

Be sure to avoid the following activities for a few days until your eye surgeon advises you otherwise:

  • Rubbing your eyes
  • Strenuous physical activities
  • Bending over
  • Air travel
  • Being in swimming pools
  • Using hot tubs

If possible, patients should try to avoid any environments or situations that involve smoke, dust, pollen, or any potential irritants to the eyes.

Common Side Effects During Healing

Some common side effects after cataract surgery is performed include:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry or wavy vision
  • Soreness of the eyes
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Mild eye irritation
  • Soreness or discomfort

What to Expect by the End of the First Week

Patients should notice their vision improve steadily over the course of the first week, with any waviness or visual distortions fading over the course of a few days.

Patients will be asked to use special medicated eye drops in order to ensure proper healing and prevent infection. Patients will also be asked to wear sunglasses when outdoors in order to prevent irritation from light sensitivity and to protect their eyes as they heal.

By the end of the first week, patients will have likely attended a follow-up visit with their surgeon. This is simply to monitor the progress of recovery and ensure that patient concerns are addressed.

What to Expect in the Weeks Ahead

In the weeks ahead, patients will notice continued improvement of their vision, with greater clarity as the end of a month approaches. Issues with soreness and irritation will generally have subsided by this point. Additional follow-ups will take place with the eye doctor to ensure you are healing properly and to address any other eye care needs you may have.

Schedule a Consultation at GW Eye Associates Inc

For more information about cataract surgery and what you can do to ensure proper healing and recovery, it's important that you contact our eye care and vision correction specialists today. The vision experts of GW Eye Associates Inc look forward to your visit and helping you achieve exceptional eye health.

Related to This

Contact Our Practice Today

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite

La Jolla Office

7841 Fay Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

Thursday by Appointment Only

Del Mar Office

2673 Via De La Valle
Ste F
Del Mar, CA 92014

Open Today 9:00am - 5:30pm

Thurs and Sat by Appointment Only