Six tips for cataract surgery aftercare

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Cataract is one of the safest surgical procedures for the eye. On average, more than 10,000 cataract surgeries are performed in Singapore each year, with patients reporting excellent outcomes with no complications more than 90% of the time.

Most patients are able to recover about 75% of their vision the very next day. The total recovery period is about 1 month. During which, you are advised not to work at least the first week after surgery.

What are some of the things you should do to ensure better recovery post-cataract surgery?

Here are 6 tips:

  • Avoid strenuous activity. Heavy lifting, bending forward, moving objects may unnecessarily put a strain on your eye, and this could affect recovery. Avoid strenuous activity for at least 2 weeks after your surgery to help your eye heal. 

 

  • Avoid dusty areas or wind (which may carry particles). Even when you are not going through cataract surgery recovery, dusty areas, polluted air, and wind can irritate and infect your eyes. Avoid these areas especially during your recovery. Stay indoors if you must, and ensure your wear protective glasses if you cannot avoid heading out.

 

  • Don’t rub eye, wear eye shields while sleeping. Rubbing your eye can cause blood vessels in your eyes to break and cause bleeding or infection, so avoid rubbing your eyes. Some patients report itchy eyes post-surgery, but this scratchiness will subside as your eye heals. Wear an eye shield while sleeping to avoid objects from accidentally hitting your eye or falling into it.

 

  • Don’t go to crowded places. This reduces the chance of getting irritants into your eyes. In particular, avoid smoking areas. Avoid swimming or using a hot tub especially in the first week. Getting treated water or hot water into your eye may cause harm and infection.

 Related: How to prepare for cataract surgery

  • Ask your doctor for safety tips and your concerns. In fact, follow your doctor’s cataract surgery aftercare instruction religiously, and you can expect a successful recovery. If you notice anything out of the norm, you can report to your doctor immediately. Note, however, that many patients reported having experienced a wavy vision on the first few hours of recovery, and this normally goes away without needing intervention. You might also experience a cloudy vision after you first remove your eye shield. This is because your eye is just still adjusting to the intraocular lens used to replace your eye’s natural lens.

 

  • Follow and complete eyedrops prescribed to you. Your doctor may prescribe 2 types of eyedrops: Antibiotic eyedrops to reduce the risk of infection and anti-inflammatory eyedrops to prevent internal inflammation. Follow your eyedrop routine, which might go for a few weeks to 1 month.

Every eye heals differently. Remember to attend your post-surgery appointments with your eye surgeon in a timely manner. In most cases, with proper post-surgery care, you will be able to resume normal activities in a month, and enjoy life with better, clearer vision.