Skip to content

Precautions and Recovery Time after Cataract Surgery Procedures

Cataract surgery is a day-care procedure which means that the patient can go back home on the same day of surgery after being in observation for a couple of hours. During the discharge, several clinics provide a set of guidelines for a complication-free recovery. This set of guidelines also explain

Cataract Surgery
Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a day-care procedure which means that the patient can go back home on the same day of surgery after being in observation for a couple of hours. During the discharge, several clinics provide a set of guidelines for a complication-free recovery. This set of guidelines also explain what to do in case of an emergency. Some of these do’s and don’ts mentioned in the guide book are explained below.

Do’s to follow after cataract surgery

Recovery is crucial for the patient to ensure complete recovery of vision after the surgery.  Here is a set of post-operative instructions that the patient needs to follow with diligence to ensure that the risk of any complications is reduced considerably. Keep the following tips in mind-

Cleaning the eye-

The treated eye is susceptible to several infections. Hence, it is important to be extremely careful while taking care of the wound. The National Health Service of the United Kingdom recommends the following measures to take while cleaning the eye-

  1. Wash the hands thoroughly both before and after cleaning the eyes.
  2. To clean the eyes, use a few cups of boiled water.
  3. It is important that the eye isn’t completely washed with boiled water.
  4. Use clean cotton wool or gauze to clean the eyes.
  5. Wipe from the inner corner of the eye to the outer side.
  6. It is important that while wiping, you don’t put any pressure on the eye.

Generally, eye surgeons recommend cleaning the eyes twice a day for at least two weeks after the surgery.

Putting eye drops-

This is by far the most important instruction that the patient needs to follow without fail- putting prescribed eye drops. The prescribed eye drops keep the eye moist that helps in preventing infection as well as promotes faster healing. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind while putting eye drops-

  1. Wash the hands thoroughly before putting eye drops
  2. Sit straight while looking up at the ceiling
  3. Put eye drops only in the operated eye as asked by the doctor
  4. Do not stop putting eye drops without completing the full course

Follow the doctor’s instructions properly-

When it comes to following post-operative instructions, no compromises can be made. Listen to your doctor’s advice and follow them without fail. Take the prescribed painkillers and put the eye drops as explained before. Experts explain that there can be some stickiness inside the eyes but this is absolutely normal. Also, visit the eye surgeon for follow-up so that they can check the healing progress and recommend glasses after noting down the prescription.

Don’ts to follow after cataract surgery

In addition to a set of activities that are allowed after the cataract surgery, there is a set of instructions that can increase the risks of complications. Keep the following tips in mind to avoid post-cataract surgery-

  • Do not rub the eye at any cost.
  • Do not take a shower. But take a bath from the neck.
  • Do not forget to use an eye shield or sunglasses while stepping outside
  • Do not read, use a computer or mobile phone or watch TV for too long
  • For the initial days of the recovery, do not swim or use a hot tub as the germs can increase the risk of infection
  • Do not expose the treated eye to harmful irritants such as dust, wind or grime for the initial first weeks of the surgery
  • Do not put on any makeup on the eyes for at least 4 weeks of recovery
  • Do not bend over at any cost for the first few hours of the recovery
  • Do not use any chemical-based hair products throughout the recovery period to prevent any
  • Do not perform any heavy activities that can put excessive strain on the eye
  • Do not exercise of any form during the recovery period
  • Do not drive until the doctor gives his or her approval for the same

How long does it take to fully recover after cataract surgery?

After the proper evaluation of several factors including the age of the patient, stage of cataract, the extent of cloudiness and hardening of the lens, any additional eye problem the patient is suffering from, the technology used to break the lens, and the type of intraocular lens implant, the eye surgeon gives a probable duration of recovery. Usually, a patient takes around 1-3 months to completely recover post-cataract surgery. This is the recovery period usually for those whose bodily parameters are normal. However, in some cases, the duration can vary. For instance, a patient has taken more than 3 months to restore their vision completely.

Cataract surgery is one of the oldest surgical procedures that have been performed for decades now. With advancements made in the technique of breaking the lens during cataract surgery, the risk of any side effects such as discomfort or pain in the eye, redness, swelling, gradual loss of vision has subsided considerably. In case you are having second thoughts related to the decision of undergoing surgery, consult with the eye surgeon and clarify all the queries related to the surgery including risks or any eye health issues.


Recovery is an essential component in the treatment of cataracts. The extent of vision that can be recovered primarily depends on the recovery. In case the patient experiences any symptoms such as loss of vision, pain or swelling that doesn’t come down, excessive headache, seeing spots of light flashes in front of the eye, feeling of nausea or vomiting, they should consult with their eye surgeon without any further delay. In addition to this, it is important the patient speaks with their eye surgeon and let them know about any medical condition that can affect the recovery.


Daniel Jack

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.