How to Care For Yourself After Cataract Eye Surgery

Cataract eye surgery is a safe and painless surgery that replaces your naturally clouded lens with artificial ones to restore your vision. Even though the surgery can sound daunting and complicated, thousands of them are performed every day including cataract eye surgery, SMILE laser eye surgery and LASIK surgery.

An eye specialist will take care of all the hard work to put you at ease, but they ask that you do your best to help with the aftercare. Here are some of the things you can expect in the days after cataract eye surgery. 

The Day After

The day after cataract eye surgery, you may like to take one to three days off work for your recovery. Fortunately, eye surgery recovery times are relatively quick, which means your life won’t have to change too much in those initial few days.

Still, on the day of surgery and the day after, refrain from driving. This gives your eyes a chance to heal and reach their full vision potential.

Refrain from performing any strenuous activities, heavy lifting, wearing eye makeup, swimming, or using a hot tub. It’s also important not to enter environments with a lot of dust, dirt, wind, and pollen. 

On particularly bright days, avoid discomfort by wearing sunglasses. You may also need to wear sunglasses to prevent eye strain for up to one year after your surgery.

In the Days and Weeks After

In the days and weeks after cataract eye surgery, it’s not uncommon to experience inflammation around the cornea and swelling. This might make your vision appear distorted, hazy, and even wavy. Ask your eye specialist about medicated eye drops to reduce inflammation and prevent infection after your surgery.

Essentially, your life can resume as per usual, after surgery, with you even being able to drive when your eye specialist gives you the go-ahead.

Sleeping After Cataract Surgery

It’s a good idea to wear a protective shield for sleeping and napping for the first week after your surgery. Your specialist will provide this. 

The shield can prevent accidental injuries while you sleep and prevent you from rubbing your eyes. Side sleepers will be more comfortable sleeping on their non-operative side for the first week or so. 

Washing Your Face After Cataract Surgery

On the day of your surgery, it can be a good idea to avoid showering after surgery. In the days after, washing your face may be done with great care. Avoid splashing water directly onto your face, and use a washcloth instead. 

When you are washing your face, avoid your eyes as much as possible. It may also be helpful to close them while showering during the initial recovery period. Your eye specialist can provide more in-depth advice that suits your unique situation. 

Eating After Cataract Surgery

Your eyes are about to undertake a monumental healing phase, so fuelling your body with healthy foods is essential. Refrain from eating anything high in sugar or refined carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, chips, and pasta. 

Instead, focus on eating foods that benefit your overall health, such as leafy greens, lean proteins, and fibre-rich whole foods. 

The recovery phase of cataract eye surgery will pass by quickly, but post-operative care is essential. Fortunately, your eye surgeon or specialist will talk you through your requirements so that you can be on the journey to healing sooner than you think.