Cataract Surgery Recovery
Cataract surgery is usually done under topical or local anesthesia but in some cases general anesthesia is required.
After cataract surgery, your eye will be covered with plastic shield and eye pad and you will be guided to the recovery room in which you will stay there for around 30 minutes but in case the surgery was done under general anesthesia you might stay for a longer period and after that you can go home but you need someone to be with you to drive you home.
After few hours you might start to feel mild pain and foreign body sensation and depending on your eye doctor you might start using eye drops within few hours of the surgery or you might visit your eye doctor on the next day for the first day post-operative eye examination and then he/she might write down the prescription of your eye drops.
You will use anti-inflammatory eye drops such as pred for eye drops that reduce intracular inflammation and antibiotics to prevent any ocular infection. Sometimes you will use lubricant eye drops because dry eye is very common in the first few week.
The protective plastic shield or eye pad is very important in the first few days after cataract surgery especially when you sleep. Try not to sleep on your face or on the same side of your operated eye.
Symptoms after removal of eye shield and pad
When you remove your eye pad and eye shield, you might have blurry vision which gradually improve within few weeks.
Subconjunctival hemorrhage or bloodshot eye is very common in the first few days after cataract eye surgery especially if you use blood thinner such as aspirin and it will subside by itself gradually without treatment.
If the cataract surgery was done under local anesthesia with injection under your eye, you might have double vision and droppy eyelid in the same eye that will improve gradually after the effect of the anesthesia is wearing off. Also, you might have black eye from the injection that also will last for few days.
Follow up appointments with your eye doctor are very important and usually it is in the first day after the surgery and 1 week after than and then after one month. You will start of eye drops every 2-3 hours per day for the first week then your eye doctor will taper them gradually over-4-6 weeks.
You must know more about the common eye symptoms after cataract surgery and you should read more about the most frequently asked questions after cataract eye surgery.
Things NOT TO DO after cataract eye surgery
Don’t rub your eye and always wear your eye shield when you sleep
Don’t sleep on your face
Avoid bending over especially in the first few days after the surgery to prevent any extra pressure inside your eye
Avoid water or shampoo to get into your eye and no swimming in the first week
No strenuous activity or heavy lifting for the first few weeks
Try to avoid coughing, vomiting, sneezing and constipation because these things might increase the pressure inside your eye
When to seek help
You should contact your eye doctor or visit the emergency department as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:
Increase in eye pain
Increase in eye redness and eye swelling
Decrease in vision