Five Things You Need To Know About Cataract Surgery Recovery
Maybe you’ve researched cataract surgery and know about phaco (phacoemulsification), extracapsular surgery, traditional cataract surgery, laser cataract surgery, and the different types of IOLs (intraocular lenses) to restore vision.
But what are the most important things to know about recovery from cataract surgery?
Even with multiple cutting-edge, safe, and effective cataract treatment options to achieve the best treatment outcomes possible, patients will need to follow their aftercare instructions. This is to ensure their eyes heal properly and to avoid any possible complications. At Kirk Eye Center, serving the Greater Chicago, IL area, our experienced team of doctors gives our patients precise yet easy-to-follow instructions during recovery from cataract surgery.
Here are the top five things to know about cataract surgery recovery:
1. Follow all cataract surgery aftercare instructions
It may seem like a no-brainer but following all cataract surgery aftercare instructions from your doctor is the best way to promote a faster recovery and better treatment outcomes. At Kirk Eye Center, our doctors do not typically recommend patching (unless it’s a laser cataract surgery) and limit the number of restrictions we place on our patients. However, here are a few key points to remember:
- Use post-surgery medications and antibiotic eye drops, making sure to follow all instructions
- Do not rub or scratch your eyes
- Take it easy for 2 – 3 days after your procedure
- Limit certain activities (see list below)
- Be aware of the warning signs of complications (see list below)
- Wear sunglasses when outside
2. Blurry vision after cataract surgery is normal
It can be unnerving, but a small degree of blurry or distorted vision is normal after cataract surgery. This typically goes away quickly (about a week), with most patients seeing an improvement within 24 – 48 hours. Most cataract surgery patients recover in about 1 – 2 months.
3. You may still need to wear glasses or contacts after cataract surgery
Many patients are excited at the vision improvements that premium IOLs, which replace the old cloudy lenses, can provide. With options that include monofocal, multifocal, and toric lenses, many patients can experience significant improvements in vision. However, that doesn’t always mean you will never have to wear glasses or contacts again. Some lenses may correct for distance vision but not near vision, which would require one to still use reading glasses. During your consultation at Kirk Eye Center in River Forest or Gurnee, IL, your doctor will explain the IOL options we offer, what each one provides, and which ones will be best for your vision needs.
4. Know the warning signs of complications from cataract surgery
Complications, like an eye infection or retinal detachment, are serious and can result in loss of vision. That’s why knowing the warning signs of complications after cataract surgery can help alert you to when it’s time to seek medical attention. These warning signs include:
- Seeing flashes of light
- Pain that worsens
- Swelling, redness, and irritation
- Floating spots in your vision
- Feeling like a “curtain” has fallen over the eye or part of the eye
- Double-vision or worsening vision
- Extreme light sensitivity
- A feeling of pressure that doesn’t go away within 24 hours or worsens
5. Limit or avoid certain activities
As mentioned above, our team at Kirk Eye Center doesn’t usually place strict restrictions on what you can do during recovery from cataract surgery, but here are a few key things to avoid:
- Strenuous activities or exercise, heavy lifting, repeated bending over
- Wearing eye makeup for up for at least one month
- Getting lotion, soap, or shampoo in your eyes
- Flying without a doctor’s permission
- Swimming and hot tubs
- Rubbing, scratching, or touching your eye
Get clearer, healthier vision
At Kirk Eye Center, our experienced team of doctors offers both traditional cataract surgery and cutting-edge laser cataract surgery with multiple options for IOLs (intraocular lenses). The procedure is quick, easy, safe, and effective with minimal recovery time. If you’re in the Greater Chicago, IL area, contact our River Forest or Gurnee, IL office to learn more about our cataract treatment options and schedule an appointment. Let our team help you t your get rid of your cataracts to achieve healthier, clearer vision today.