Cataract surgery is most often an outpatient procedure and the typical recovery time is straightforward and uneventful. But recovery time isn’t fixed, it does vary a bit. Below are some recovery experiences that show the range of what is typical. Previously, we've published tips on maximizing your results from cataract surgery.
You can usually resume your normal activities within 24 hours after cataract surgery, but your vision may be slightly blurry for a few days until your eye fully recovers from the immediate effects of cataract surgery.
Vision Following Cataract Surgery
Many people have clear vision within hours after surgery and others experience some blurry vision. It could take as long as one or two weeks to see with sharp focus.
During those few days your eye may feel itchy and you may have some mild discomfort, but don’t rub your eye. Vigorous rubbing could cause a corneal abrasion or damage the surgical wound. For several days after surgery you should wear your eye patch when you sleep to ensure you don’t rub your eye during sleep.
The appearance of your eye may also be affected. Your eye may be red for a few days because some of the surface vessels were irritated during surgery. If your anesthesia was injected into the lower portion of your eye, that may cause some slight bruising. The redness and bruising will both fade in a few days.
Dry Eyes After Cataract Surgery
Dry eye can also be a problem after cataract surgery. If you didn’t have dry eye syndrome before cataract surgery, the dry eye you experience post-cataract surgery should clear up within a few weeks after surgery. Your doctor may recommend that you use artificial tears to protect and soothe the ocular surface of your eye after you are finished using the post-surgical antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops.
It will take about a month for your cataract surgery recovery to be complete. And if you need new glasses you shouldn’t order then until your eye has completely healed. Your doctor will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your recovery. Make sure you follow all your doctor’s post-surgical instructions.
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