Cataract surgery is painless and usually takes less than one hour. Most patients enjoy a quick recovery and are back to normal activities the next day.
During surgery, your surgeon will use ultrasound (high frequency sound waves) to soften the cloudy lens and then remove it through a very tiny incision.
The cloudy lens is then replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). In most cases, no stitches are required because the incision is so small, but your surgeon will use stitches if he/she feels they are necessary.
The result for millions of people is clear vision, but each eye is unique, and it’s completely normal for each patient’s recovery to be slightly different.
Immediately After Surgery
After cataract surgery, your vision may be somewhat blurry, so a friend or family member must be available to drive you home. You will be able to resume driving as early as the day after surgery, with your doctor’s approval.
You may feel a little groggy due to the small dose of anti-anxiety or sedative medication you were given before surgery to help you relax. The grogginess usually wears off quickly and may be gone by the time you leave the surgery center.
The eye will begin to repair itself immediately. Some patients notice an improvement in their vision right away, but most people need up to a week to see clear results.
The Following Day
You may experience an itching sensation and your eye may be a bit red and sensitive to touch. Some patients also see halos around lights. These things may last a few days but will diminish every day until they are completely gone.
Your doctor will prescribe antibiotic eye drops to help your eye heal; be sure to carefully follow his or her instructions for their use. Avoid rubbing your eye or getting anything in it, as this could increase your risk of infection.
Do not perform any strenuous activities or lift heavy objects. Instead, spend the day after your surgery resting and relaxing.
Most patients will be able to resume normal daily activities, such as walking, reading and watching television, and return to work.
The Next Few Weeks
Full recovery from cataract surgery can take two to six weeks. During this time, it’s important to keep your eye protected from injury.
If a monofocal lens was implanted to correct only your distance vision, you should be seeing well at this point. If you had a Hi-Tech lens implanted to correct your near vision, your eye may still need more time to adjust to the new lens.
Patients who have cataracts on both eyes will usually be ready to have the procedure done on the second eye within one or two weeks after the first surgery. Try not to judge the overall quality of your vision until you’ve had both surgeries.
How We Can Help
The cataract specialists at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania have performed thousands of successful cataract procedures. We will take time to answer your questions about surgery and recovery to put your mind at ease. Get in touch with us today to schedule an evaluation and start enjoying clear vision again.