How Long Does It Take to Recover from Cataract Surgery?

If you need cataract surgery to correct the cloudy vision caused by cataracts, one question you might have is: How long it takes to recover? This is an important question because successful recovery from cataract surgery usually results in better treatment outcomes.

The good news is that recovery time for cataract surgery is relatively quick for most people. To help you better understand how long full recovery from cataract surgery takes, it’s good to understand a general timetable.

Keep reading to learn how long it takes to recover from cataract surgery!

Immediately After Surgery

After cataract surgery, you’ll spend a short time in a recovery area to ensure there are no immediate complications. At this time, you may experience mild discomfort, and your eyes may be watery or noticeably red. 

You will need someone to drive you home from the procedure, and you should rest for the remainder of the day. Your eye surgeon will prescribe you medicated eye drops and oral medications to keep your eyes comfortable.

First Few Days

In the first few days after cataract surgery, it’s common to have blurry vision, a sensitivity to glare, and to see halos around lights. It’s critical to use the prescription eye drops as instructed by your cataract surgeon to prevent infection and promote healing.

You should continue to rest and take it easy for two to three days after surgery. Though you should restrict your physical activities, other pastimes like reading, watching TV, and using a computer are fine.

First Week

Your vision will continue to improve during the first week, although it may still be somewhat blurry. Here are some precautions to follow in the first week after cataract surgery to avoid complications or eye strain:

  • Protect your eyes from exposure to UV light
  • Don’t do any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise  
  • Avoid bending over as it puts extra unwanted pressure on the eye
  • Stay away from swimming pools and hot tubs to prevent infection
  • Don’t touch, rub, or press on your eyes
  • Take a break from makeup or any lotion you usually use around your eyes
  • Use an eye shield when you sleep

Most of these precautions should be followed for two to four weeks after cataract surgery. Your eye surgeon will give you more detailed post-surgery instructions and let you know when it’s okay to resume your normal activities.

First Month 

Most people experience significant improvements in their vision by the end of the first month. However, you may still experience the most common side effects of cataract surgery, including a gritty feeling in your eye, blurred or double vision, and bloodshot or watery eyes. 

Attending follow-up appointments with your eye surgeon is important after cataract surgery. These appointments allow your eye care team to monitor your recovery progress and address any concerns you may have.

Complete Recovery

While most people notice significantly improved vision within a few weeks after cataract surgery, complete recovery can take several months. Your vision will continue to gradually improve as your eyes adjust to the intraocular lens (IOL) implanted during surgery.

While many people report clearer vision in the first few days after surgery, the full results of cataract surgery are generally realized within three to ten weeks. Until you fully recover, you should carefully follow your eye surgeon’s instructions to ensure the quality of your restored vision.

Although individual recovery experiences vary, most people find that recovery is relatively easy. When you allow yourself to properly recover, you ensure that you’ll have the clearest vision possible after cataract surgery.

Do you want to learn more about recovery after cataract surgery? Schedule an appointment at Rosenthal Eye Surgery in NY, New York, today!

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