Cataracts are probably the most common conditions of the eye and it involves clouding of the eye’s natural lens. This causes blurry vision, trouble driving at night, and can even lead to blindness. Cataracts is a condition that mostly affects elderly patients and it progresses slowly with age. A vast majority of all cataract cases occur in people who over 50 years of age. It’s only in rare cases that it affects young patients.
Thankfully, they are also the most treatable eye conditions. Cataract surgeries are routine procedures and patients usually witness a short recovery period. Cataract surgery is probably one of the safest procedures and it takes only 10 to 20 minutes to perform.
Recovering from Cataract Surgery
While some patients choose to take a 48-hour break from work, most can resume their daily activity as early as the following day. Patients are given sunglasses and plastic eye shields to protect their eyes from lights and injuries immediately after they have undergone cataract surgery.
Expecting that the quality of vision is going to dramatically change immediately following the procedure can lead to disappointment. The first couple of days after the surgery the vision remains blurry and the eyes remain sensitive to lights. That’s mainly because the eyes become slightly inflamed after the surgery. The pupils also remain dilated which causes light sensitivity. However, after the first couple of days of compromised vision, the recovery of vision happens pretty rapidly. Patients also need to be on medicated eye-drops after the surgery for about a month and are often required to return for a final checkup.
10 Tips for a Smooth Recovery After Cataract Surgery
Do Not Rub Your Eyes
You shouldn’t rub your eyes even when you are not recovering from cataract surgery. Harmful microbes in your fingers can cause an infection as your eyes remain vulnerable immediately after the procedure.
Avoid Lifting Heavy Weights the First Few Weeks
If you are used to going to the gym or your work involves lifting weights, then it’s recommended to take a break for at least the first few weeks. Lifting weights creates pressure in the eyeballs which can slow down the healing process.
Keep Your Eyes Protected from Bumps or Any Kind of Pressure
This one’s kind of obvious but needs to be said. Wear the protective plastic shield when sleeping to avoid unknowingly injuring your eye. You may want to wear the shield anytime you feel there is a chance of injury. For example, when traveling on a crowded train.
Avoid Sneezing or Any Activity that May Induce Vomiting
Sneezing and vomiting put severe pressure on the eyes. In normal circumstances, our eyes can endure the pressure, but it negatively impacts recovery after surgery. Take precautionary measures to avoid sneezing and vomiting. Avoid food or drinks that may cause nausea and wear a dust mask when cleaning or dusting.
Protect Your Eyes from Dusty Winds and Dirt
Carry sunglasses when outdoors to protect your eyes from dirt and dusty winds. Avoid any activity that may cause bacteria and other microbes to come in contact with your eyes. This includes taking baths or swimming.
Be Regular on Those Eye Drops
Doctors usually prescribe a couple of eye drops after surgery. This usually includes an antibiotic drop that needs to be administered for 2 weeks. Doctors also prescribe an anti-inflammatory drop that needs to be continued for a month. Both of these drops usually need to be administered four times every day. That’s a total of eight drops per day. Create a schedule so you don’t miss your drops.
Don’t Sleep on the Side in a Way That It Puts Pressure on the Operated Eye
Sleeping on the side can put pressure on the eyes. Avoid doing that for the first few weeks to ensure a faster recovery.
Don’t Play Any Kind of Physical Sports
Any kind of contact or physical sport needs to be restricted following cataract surgery. Pick a low impact sport like pool. It’s also not a good idea to go bowling as it involves bending and lifting heavy balls.
Ask Someone to Come with You to Take You Home After the Cataract Surgery
Ask a friend or a family member to come with you on the day of the surgery. That’s mainly because your vision is going to be compromised and you need someone to drive you home.
Wash Your Hands Thoroughly Before Administering Eye Drops
Remember to wash your hands with a disinfectant before applying drops. This is because you would need to touch your eyelids to administer the dose.