Aftercare following Cataract Surgery

You will be unable to drive safely after cataract removal and somebody should take you home and help you with daily tasks for the first few days following surgery.  It may be a good idea to wear sunglasses or a hat immediately after the procedure, as the eye may be sensitive to light.  The incision made in the eye heals on its own.  There is usually some discomfort for 1-2 days following surgery.  This may be in the form of itchiness or stickiness upon blinking.  Eye drops are usually prescribed to reduce inflammation, prevent infection and promote healing.  Follow up appointments are usually scheduled for the next few months with the first is usually a day later.  Routine activities can be resumed after a few days although vision may be unclear.  Eye sensation usually returns within a few hours when the anaesthetic wears off and improved vision is usually noticed within a few days.  The complete healing process may take several months.  The following guidelines should be adhered to:

  • Do not touch or rub the eye
  • Avoid activities, which may cause dust or dirt to get into the eye.
  • Avoid washing your hair for at least two days to keep soap and shampoo out of the eye.  Avoid swimming and splashing your eye with water to ensure that there is no risk of infection.
  • Avoid bending, heavy lifting or over exercising for the first few weeks so that pressure is not increased in the eye and the healing process is not hindered.

Contact your eye surgeon or clinic if you experience more than mild pain, loss of vision, if your eye becomes increasingly red, if you see flashes of light or if you experience nausea, vomiting or excessive coughing.

After cataract surgery, you are likely to require glasses to correct astigmatism, which can affect close up work such as reading.  When your vision has stabilised, glasses may need updating with the right prescription.  It is important to continuously check prescription and adjust lenses up until stabilisation.

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