After Cataract Surgery Care – Overview
A cataract is a common eye condition. It affects millions of people worldwide. In general, cataracts develop in people over 40 years of age.
It actually causes clouding of the eye lens, where aging is the main reason. However, this eye condition also affects vision, thus bringing down 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, it is vital for the operating ophthalmologist to 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, then you will be advised to wear dark glasses right after the operation.
In case you undergo cataract surgery using local anesthesia, then the surgeon will usually cover your eye with an eye pad or a protective shield.
The eye pad is normally used for 2 hours at the hospital.
At the time of getting discharged from the hospital, the ophthalmologist will prescribe eye drops and other medications to prevent infection, decrease swelling and control eye pressure in certain areas.
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 eye instantly after putting the eye drops to prevent them from reaching your throat.
- Wipe excess medication with a sterile cotton pad or clean tissue.
- Maintain at least a 15-minute gap before using another medication after putting the eye drops.
Initially, the eye surgeon may allow you to watch TV or use your mobile phones for short periods of time following cataract surgery.
However, they advise against straining the operated eye. It is also imperative that you wear protective eyeglasses at all times.
The doctor may also recommend wearing an eye patch or protective shield at night to prevent accidental rubbing of the operated eye.
Cataract surgery is performed in one eye at a time. Thus, be ready to experience some errors in the vision. This usually ends once the cataract has been removed from both eyes.
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.
In case you also feel intense pain and redness, then you should immediately consult your ophthalmologist.
Post-operative eye care does not prevent physical activity completely. You may be advised against bending down at the waist on the first day of post-surgical care.
However, there is no restriction on performing normal physical activities, such as walking and yoga. Still, doctors advise against strenuous activities, such as headstands or aerobics.
Doctors also advise against a head bath to prevent water from getting into the operated eye.
It is also recommended to avoid getting close to a stove or even cooking for at least a week following your cataract eye surgery.
After cataract surgery, care does not have any dietary restrictions as such.
However, make sure to ask your ophthalmologist for anything you should avoid eating or drinking during the recovery period following a cataract eye surgery.
Tips for Faster Recovery after Cataract Surgery
Most people are able to resume normal everyday 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, it is highly recommended to follow the postoperative instructions as much as possible to ensure complete recovery.