Although cataract surgery is an extremely safe procedure, a healthy recovery is instrumental in reducing the risk of potential post-operative complications such as infection. Your doctor will provide precise instructions to follow throughout your recovery after cataract surgery. The entire healing process takes approximately six weeks, and you can expect your vision to gradually improve as your eye adjusts to your new lens.
While cataract surgery can typically be completed in under one hour, the entire recovery takes several weeks. Throughout each phase of healing, there are side effects you can expect and various precautions you should take to protect your ocular health.
Most cataract surgery patients are able to resume their normal activities within a few days after surgery.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home almost immediately after your treatment. As your vision will be blurry and you may be groggy from sedatives, you will need a trusted friend or family member to escort you. The doctor will provide you with sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunlight on the way home. In order to rest your eyes, it is recommended that you take a nap in the hours after surgery. You should wear an eye patch or protective shield to prevent rubbing or scratching your eyes while you sleep.
After surgery, it will take a few days for your eye or eyes to adjust to the new intraocular lenses. Though each patient will respond differently, you can generally expect:
Most side effects should subside within a few days.
The doctor will schedule several follow-up appointments to evaluate the success of your treatment. Your vision should continue to improve in the weeks following your surgery. In most cases, your eyes should be fully healed within six weeks. Depending on the intraocular lens you choose, you may be able to permanently reduce your dependency on glasses or contacts following cataract surgery.
According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the procedure boasts a success rate of 98 percent or higher. However, there are measures which you can take to help ensure a healthy healing period and reduced risk of infection and other complications. These include:
Cataract surgery has been known to increase the risk of retinal detachment. This condition can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated, so it is important that you contact your doctor immediately if you notice a sudden, rapid onset of floaters and flashes in your vision.
Over 3 million cataract surgeries are performed each year, and the overwhelming majority are completed with a healthy recovery and no complications. Your doctor will guide you on your path to recovery, ensuring a successful outcome so you enjoy the plentiful benefits of cataract surgery. To learn about your role in the recovery process, schedule a consultation with a doctor today.