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Cataract surgery is a common procedure that is often performed in a day surgery, with the patient returning home within several hours of the operation. This article is designed to help you understand what to expect in the hours, days and weeks post-cataract surgery.
Before you leave the day surgery, you will be prescribed eye drops or other medication to prevent infection, reduce inflammation and control eye pressure. You will need to have a family member or friend with you to take you home. Once you get home, it is recommended that you rest your eyes and nap. Several hours post-surgery, most people are able to watch some television or look at a computer screen for a short period of time. Because cataract surgery is only performed on one eye at a time, you may notice an imbalance in your vision until the second eye is operated on (usually 1–4 weeks later).
It is normal for vision to be blurry in the beginning – your eye needs to heal and adjust. Vision will normally begin to improve within a few days of the surgery. It’s also normal for your eye to feel itchy and to experience mild discomfort for a couple of days – your doctor will ask you to wear an eye patch or protective shield at night to ensure you don’t rub your eye while you sleep. This discomfort should disappear after a few days.
While everyone is different, the average experience for the weeks following cataract surgery involves a gradual recovery of the eye. Adjustments in vision will occur for a few months after surgery.
Although most people can resume everyday activities 24 hours after cataract surgery, there are a few instructions that you will be asked to follow. They include:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, please contact your ophthalmologist immediately:
No information here is intended to substitute for advice from a qualified medical practitioner. If you or someone else you know are about to have cataract surgery, make sure you ask your ophthalmologist to outline the best steps for recovery.
For more information about cataracts and cataract surgery, click here.
The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your ophthalmologist for specific medical advice.
IMPORTANT: If you are concerned about your eyes and require an urgent consultation, DO NOT use this form. Please call one of our clinics during office hours or contact your nearest emergency department.