More than 25 million Americans suffer from cataracts, which cause the eye lenses to become cloudy and opaque and impair vision. Cataract eye surgery is one of the most common eye surgeries performed in the United States, and most patients don't experience any complications from it. Prepare for your recovery before surgery to give yourself the best possible outcome.
Adjust Your Activity Level
Most cataract surgery patients can go back to doing most of their non-strenuous daily activities 24 hours after surgery. Plan for someone to drive you home from your surgery — you won't be able to drive for at least 24 hours after the procedure, and some doctors advise patients to hold off on driving until they see the doctor for a follow-up appointment.
Don't bend over for at least a day to avoid putting pressure on your eye, and refrain from doing any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for at least two to three weeks after surgery or until your doctor advises you it's safe to go back to heavy exercise and lifting.
Use Eye Drops As Directed
Most cataract surgery patients get prescription eye drops to use after surgery. These eye drops can help reduce the risk of infection and excessive inflammation. It's best to rest your eyes for several hours after cataract surgery, and you should apply your eye drops as often as directed.
Don't stop using your eye drops until your doctor advises you to discontinue them, even if your vision is improving and you don't have any other unpleasant symptoms. Ask a family member or friend to help you put the eye drops in if you have trouble getting them completely in your eye.
Keep Your Eyes Clear
One of the best ways to avoid complications during your recovery from cataract surgery is to keep your eyes clean and clear. Any extra irritation can lengthen the healing time and could compromise the success of the surgery.
Vacuum and dust your home thoroughly before you have your surgery to get rid of dirt, dust, debris, and allergens that could irritate your eyes. Don't use skincare products or cosmetics on or around your eye for at least a week after surgery. If you apply eye cream or wear eye makeup, ask your doctor when it's safe to start using your products again.
Refrain from rubbing your eye to keep it clean and reduce the risk of infection. While most cataract surgery patients can shower the day after surgery, it's important to keep soap and shampoo away from your eyes. Wait at least a week before using a swimming pool or hot tub.
Contact your surgeon promptly if you experience any symptoms that could indicate an issue with your recovery, including pain that doesn't get better after taking over-the-counter pain relievers, light flashes or floaters in the eye, vision loss, or excessive coughing, nausea, or vomiting.
Reach out to a clinic like Davies Eye Center to learn more.