Driving After Cataract Surgery: When Is It Safe? By Gordon Wong, OD on February 20, 2022

A blurry background with a person inspecting their glassesOur eyes have clear lenses that enable us to see clearly. When these lenses become cloudy, it affects vision. These cloudy developments, known as cataracts, cause blurry vision.

At GW Eye Associates, we help restore patients’ vision by offering effective cataract procedures in the greater San Diego area, including Carmel Valley and La Jolla, CA. By sharpening your eyesight with cataract surgery, you’ll be improving your quality of life while protecting yourself from preventable slips, falls, and accidents.

Cost and recovery time are two concerns that patients usually have before getting cataract surgery. Another patient concern is driving after cataract surgery. Here, our team will discuss how cataract surgery impacts your vision, and when it’s safe to drive after the procedure.

Cataract Surgery Appointments

Patients getting cataract surgery begin the process by requesting a consultation and scheduling the procedure. After the procedure, patients must attend several follow-up appointments, including:

  • A 24- to 48-hour follow up
  • A seven- to ten-day follow up
  • A one-month follow up

Some patients get crystal-clear vision immediately after their cataract surgery. Regardless, there are still some serious limitations on operating heavy machinery after the procedure. Let’s explore how your postoperative vision may affect transportation to your follow-up appointments.

Can I Drive Myself Home After Cataract Surgery?

No, patients cannot drive themselves home after cataract surgery. While improved vision immediately after the procedure is common, it is not stable. Additionally, the procedure requires anesthesia, which greatly impairs patients’ ability to safely operate a vehicle.

Patients should arrange for a ride to and from their cataract surgery. We strongly recommend that a trusted friend or family member drop you off and pick you up on the day of your procedure. Even if you take public transportation, we recommend that a loved one accompany you to ensure your safety.

Can I Drive Myself to My Follow-up Appointments?

Follow-up appointments help us determine when it’s safe for patients to resume their normal activities, like driving. That’s why we check your visual acuity after 24 hours, one week, and one month following the procedure.

Next-Day Follow Up

Patients may notice sharper vision the day after their surgery, but it’s still not safe for them to drive to their 24-hour follow-up appointment. Instead, arrange for a friend or family member to drive you.

One-Week Follow Up

Typically, our team clears most patients to drive after their 24-hour follow up. If you’ve been given the all-clear, then you may drive yourself to your one-week follow up.

One-Month Follow Up

Unless our team has stated otherwise, it is safe for you to drive yourself to your one-month follow up. However, if your vision is still blurry, then play it safe; arrange for someone else to drive you to and from your appointment.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you’re living with cloudy vision due to cataracts, then schedule a consultation at GW Eye Associates today. Our skilled optometrists can restore your vision and improve your quality of life with cataract surgery.

Contact our team online here, or call one of our two locations to get started.

  • Del Mar office: (858) 755-9465
  • La Jolla office: (858) 454-4699

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GW Eye Associates

Our team at GW Eye Associates in La Jolla and Del Mar can provide a wide range of high-quality eye care services. Dr. Gordon G. Wong and Dr. Wildon C. Wong have over 45 years of combined experience and belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Optometric Association
  • NVISION

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call us at (858) 454-4699 today.

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Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.

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