When you’ve invested a lot of time and resources into having cataracts surgery, you’ll want to make the most out of what it can give you. This involves taking good care of yourself after the fact, preventing complications and pulling yourself farther along the road to improved vision.
Here are several things you need to know – and do – after surgery.
The first step to aftercare
Though it might sound like a basic reminder, cataract surgery aftercare starts with you getting home safely. Make sure someone fetches you at the hospital or clinic; do not attempt to drive or take public transportation by yourself. A protective cover will be over the eye that was just operated on, and you may not have any feeling in that eye for the first several hours after surgery.
You might also need a companion or helper for as long as your vision is impaired.
Keep that shield on
Another basic rule is to not remove that protective shield for the next week or so – not even as you sleep. This is not only to keep irritants away from your healing eye, but also to stop yourself from bumping or rubbing it.
Wearing sunglasses on bright, sunny days, or brightly lit rooms, can also help ease the healing.
Cut back on physical activities
High-contact activities are discouraged following any sort of eye surgery. This is to avoid situations where the eye might also be poked, scratched, or otherwise irritated.
Following cataract surgery, however, the requirements are slightly more specific – and would affect some simple daily activities. For example, patients are advised to avoid:
- Bending low enough for the head to be below the waist
- Carrying items heavier than 10 lbs.
- Straining efforts to the point of holding one’s breath
Doing these increases the pressure inside the eyes and might open incisions from the operation.
Apply eye drops religiously
Aside from a protective shield, your doctor will provide you with eye drops to help prevent infections and manage inflammation. Follow the instructions on when and how to use these religiously, and have a friend or family member know, too, so they can give you assistance or reminders.
Keep in touch with your doctor
In the weeks following cataracts surgery, you might experience mild pain, itchiness, or stickiness in your healing eye; blurred vision; bruising around the eye; headaches; and general discomfort, especially in bright places.
All these are normal side effects, but could signal complications if you begin experiencing them severely. Keep in touch with your doctor to ensure that nothing is out of order, and don’t miss your scheduled post-surgery checkups.
Cataract Surgery: Recovery, NHS.uk
How Long Is the Recovery Time After Cataract Surgery? VisionAware.org