Thanks to the advancements in technology in this day and age, it’s possible to perform all sorts of surgeries with ease and precision. That said, laser cataract surgery is considered to be one of the most successfully performed surgeries across the globe. With the innovative laser technology, it takes only about 10 minutes for each eye to be operated on. Just like the procedure itself, the recovery after laser cataract surgery should proceed relatively smoothly and quickly as long as the patient is in good health condition with no other major eye issues. Still, it’s important to know what to expect after the surgery, so let’s delve into it a bit deeper.
Immediately After the Cataract Surgery
As soon as the surgery is done, you’ll have to rest in a designated patient area for about half an hour. This is approximately how long it will take for the eye drop anesthesia to wear off. That said, it’s important that you have arranged for someone to take you home postop cataract surgery. If you get a laser cataract surgery in New York or a city that’s just as busy, you should never risk getting home on your own, even if it may seem you’re capable to at first. The same goes for leaving your home in the next 24 hours as well.
Even though you might have enough self-control not to rub your eye after the surgery, you never know what unconscious move you might make as you sleep. Because of that, the doctor will put a protective shield over your eye just in case. It’s not necessary to wear it during the day (unless your doctor has specifically instructed you to do so for a day or two) but you should wear it during the night as a part of your cataract surgery aftercare for an entire week. Don’t worry about the daylight affecting your eyes either; special sunglasses will also be provided to reduce eye sensitivity. In case you feel tired, don’t hesitate to rest as much as necessary.
A Few Days After the Cataract Surgery
Chances are that your vision will be blurry and maybe even distorted for a couple of days. During this period your eye adjusts to the new lens and heals. It’s not uncommon to experience mild discomfort such as itching and tearing. If it occurs at all, eye pain after cataract surgery shouldn’t be too bothersome, but this too will pass after a few days.
Furthermore, in the next couple of days, you might notice that your eyes are bloodshot and/or small bruising. This is all completely normal and should disappear in less than a week. Even though advanced and quick, laser cataract surgery is still a surgery, which may cause slight damage to the blood vessels in your eyes together with the effect of the injectable anesthesia, thus leading to the mentioned conditions.
As your vision improves, and it will during the next few days, you might notice some colors to appear brighter. This is because you now have a completely new lens to look through. There’s also a chance of a halo showing up around lights as you look at them during the night. But everything will return to normal soon enough as your eye properly adjusts.
Weeks After the Cataract Surgery
It’s important that you go to the scheduled appointments with your doctor as a follow-up after the cataract surgery. Most often, these follow-ups will be about a week and a month after the surgery. In general, the majority of patients completely heal and report stable vision between 8 and 10 weeks postop. In case you need to go through a cataract surgery for both eyes, the surgery for the second eye will be scheduled after the full recovery from the first one.
Prescription eyeglasses will also be a part of your aftercare. How long you’ll have to wear these depends on your condition, eyes, and the healing process. However, you’ll have to wait between 1 and 3 months after the surgery to get properly fitted for prescription eyeglasses. Furthermore, you’ll have to get in the habit of wearing sunglasses during really bright days. Sunglasses are a cataract surgery recovery essential for about a whole year postop.
How Long Does It Take for Vision to Clear After Cataract Surgery?
Don’t be concerned if your vision is not as sharply focused as you want it to be. Some people have a completely clear vision just hours after the surgery while others may need to wait about a week or two to finally get to this point. It all depends on the individual. In general, you should expect a fully stable vision after 8–10 weeks.
Reasons for Concern After Cataract Surgery
Complications after cataract surgery are fairly uncommon, but that doesn’t mean they can’t happen at all. Therefore, it’s important to follow the doctor’s advice to a tee. And if you notice any of the following symptoms, make sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible:
- Eye pain is getting worse
- Your eyesight is getting worse
- You see more and more flashes/floating spots
- The redness/swelling isn’t subsiding
- There’s an eye discharge
- You have a fever
- You experience vomiting and/or nausea
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Depending on how your recovery process is progressing, it’s more than likely for your doctor to prescribe you adequate eye drops. These often contain antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory agents to speed up the healing and prevent infection. It’s necessary to apply them several times during the day. Furthermore, your doctor will either give you a sheet or tell you which activities should be avoided during the recovery period. Of course, these might change as you go to your follow-ups and enter different stages of recovery.
Tips for Postop Cataract Surgery
You should feel relatively fine after a day postop, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely recovered or that you can engage in any strenuous activities or do anything that might irritate your eye. That said, keep in mind the following:
- Refrain from exercising or lighting heavy objects for at least a couple of weeks.
- Don’t drive until your doctor says it’s OK to.
- Make sure that you follow your doctor’s orders properly in regards to the eye drop application.
- It’s a good idea to dust and clean your home before the surgery as you should keep yourself away from dust and other allergens for a while.
- Eye rubbing can cause infection even under normal circumstances so remember not to touch your eye when it’s still sensitive after surgery.
- If you enjoy swimming or own a hot tub, refrain from both for at least a week postop.
- Don’t use makeup until your doctor says it’s safe to do so.
If you have a cataract problem or any other issue with your eyes and vision, feel free to reach out to us at Diamond Vision. Thanks to the state-of-the-art equipment and technology, our clinics in New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, and Connecticut are well suited to treat various eye conditions. Whatever the issue may be, our friendly staff will take great care of you with years of experience under their belts. In case you wish to achieve the clarity of vision, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Diamond Vision and schedule your free consultation.