After Cataract Surgery Care Tips and Recommendations

After Cataract Surgery Care – Overview

A cataract is a common eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It generally develops in people over 40.

It actually causes clouding of the eye lens, with aging being the main reason. However, this eye condition also affects vision, thus reducing the quality of life.

Modern cataract surgery is one of the safest and most efficient surgical procedures to treat this condition.

Still, post-operative care after cataract surgery is a final deciding factor for the success of eye surgery.

This ensures that you develop the strongest possible vision following the surgery. However, complications may develop following cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery may result in complications during the post-operative period.

Thus, the operating ophthalmologist must help you understand and follow the aftercare instructions during the postoperative period.

Aftercare following cataract surgery is extremely crucial to achieving clear vision.

Post-Operative Care Immediately After Cataract Surgery Care

If you undergo cataract surgery using topical anesthesia, you will be advised to wear dark glasses immediately after the operation.

If you undergo cataract surgery using local anesthesia, the surgeon will usually cover your eye with an eye pad or a protective shield.

The duration of use of an eye pad post-surgery can vary based on the surgeon’s preference and the patient’s condition.

The ophthalmologist will prescribe eye drops to prevent infection and decrease inflammation upon discharge. Medications to control eye pressure are prescribed if necessary, based on individual assessment.

It is extremely important to follow every aftercare instruction from the ophthalmologist to the T for excellent results.

Some common cataract surgery aftercare instructions include:

  • Washing hands with soap and water before touching the eye-drop vial to prevent infection
  • Tilting the head backward and pulling the lower eyelid gently before putting in eye drops.
  • Close your eyes instantly after putting the eye drops to prevent them from reaching your throat.
  • Wipe excess medication with a sterile cotton pad or clean tissue.
  • It is generally recommended to wait about 5 to 10 minutes before applying a different type of eye drop unless advised otherwise by your ophthalmologist.

Following cataract surgery, the eye surgeon may initially allow you to watch TV or use your mobile phone for short periods of time.

However, they advise against straining the operated eye and that you wear protective eyeglasses at all times.

Wearing an eye patch or protective shield at night is commonly recommended for a specified period post-surgery to protect the eye, as per the surgeon’s instructions.

Cataract surgery is typically performed on one eye at a time to allow for healing. Differences in vision between the two eyes may be noticeable until both eyes have been treated, if necessary.

Besides, you may also experience significant blurring after putting in the eye drop. Some eye drops may cause a slight stinging and pricking sensation, causing the eyes to water.

If you also feel intense pain and redness, then you should immediately consult your ophthalmologist.

Post-operative eye care does not completely prevent physical activity. You may be advised against bending down at the waist on the first day of post-surgical care.

Patients are generally advised to avoid strenuous activities but can usually resume light activities like walking soon after surgery. Specific recommendations about yoga or other exercises should be discussed with your ophthalmologist. Still, doctors advise against strenuous activities, such as headstands or aerobics.

Patients are advised to avoid getting water directly in the operated eye for a period after surgery to reduce the risk of infection. Showering carefully to avoid water contact with the eye is recommended.

Patients may be advised to take precautions while cooking to avoid exposure to heat, steam, and grease splatters that could irritate the eye, but specific recommendations can vary.

There are generally no specific dietary restrictions following cataract surgery, but maintaining a healthy diet can support overall recovery.

However, ask your ophthalmologist about anything you should avoid eating or drinking during the recovery period following cataract eye surgery.

Tips for Faster Recovery after Cataract Surgery

Most people can resume normal activities after 24 hours of the surgery. To ensure this, you can follow these simple cataract surgery aftercare tips:

  • Avoiding heavy lifting, rigorous exercise, and strenuous activities for the first few days of the surgery
  • Avoiding driving vehicles until your ophthalmologist says it is safe for you to drive
  • Following aftercare instructions of the ophthalmologist regarding medications and eye drops
  • Staying away from dust and dirt
  • Avoid rubbing eyes
  • Not using eye makeup
  • Use a protective eye shield, sunglasses, etc., to keep your eyes covered
  • Avoiding swimming and hot baths for a couple of weeks following surgery
  • Remembering to visit an ophthalmologist for follow-up checks as per the schedule


Cataract surgery is almost always successful and without serious complications. It is an excellent way to restore vision.

However, the success of cataract-removal surgery also depends heavily on aftercare.

Hence, following the postoperative instructions as much as possible is highly recommended to ensure complete recovery.

See Also

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Does Medicaid Cover Cataract Surgery

Does Medicare Cover Cataract Surgery

Does Medicaid Cover Eye Exams

Laser Eye Surgery Clinical Trials

Does Medicaid Cover LASIK

Grants for LASIK

Does Medicaid Cover Contacts

Current Version
May 5, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 23, 2024
Updated By
Franco Cuevas, MD

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