So you found out that you have cataracts and you have made an appointment to have cataract surgery. Before any procedure, it’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place for recovery. Keep reading for 7 tips to help you have your best cataract surgery recovery!
1. Have a friend or family member agree to drive you home after the procedure
After cataract surgery, the last thing we want you to do is drive right away. In fact, you are not allowed to drive yourself home after cataract surgery!
This is because of the mild sedation applied during the procedure. Although you aren't put to sleep during cataract surgery, you'll definitely be a little bit out of it after the procedure has been completed.
Once they drive you home, you may want to ask them to stay with you for a few hours. This will give you time to get comfortable and prepare to rest.
2. Prepare meals in advance and freeze them before your procedure
When you're recovering after cataract surgery, the little things make the biggest difference.
After cataract surgery, do you really want to have to worry about cooking? Probably not!
Before your procedure, prepare several day’s worth of meals. You can put these in the freezer so you have one less thing to worry about before cataract surgery.
3. Avoid strenuous exercising
On the day after cataract surgery, you'll likely start feeling a lot like your old self. You may feel like jumping back into your regular exercise routine, but you should do your best to avoid any strenuous activities and exercises for the next few weeks.
You may feel fine, but your eyes are still healing! Be prepared to take things easy for a while.
Too much exercising could cause complications. You can ask your cataract surgeon when you can safely go back to exercising to be sure.
Wondering what "strenuous exercising" counts as? Avoid any heavy lifting and activities that could cause you to get hit in the face or eye. After cataract surgery, you're always better off safe than sorry!
It may seem silly to tell you to relax while you're recovering from cataract surgery, but bear with us. Recovery from any surgical procedure is taxing on your body, and your eyes are no exception to this. This is not the time to deep clean your house from top to bottom.
Your eyes may be irritated or bloodshot, though this will usually go away on its own. Your vision may be blurry for a few days as well.
If you're up to it, you can do some light reading and other relaxing tasks.
While you are relaxing, you may want to ask your friend or family member to come over and help. Having them around for a few hours can make a difference if you're feeling lonely or bored.
They can also complete small tasks that you might not be up to yet, like laundry and other chores. Take this time to recharge your batteries. You may end up enjoying yourself!
5. Do NOT rub your eyes
You should never, ever rub your eyes. But after cataract surgery, you really shouldn't rub your eyes. It's possible that your eyes will be itchy during the healing process.
Rubbing your eyes can cause infections or damage to the cornea or new lens.
So, what do you do if your eyes are driving you crazy? You can take advantage of artificial tears and eye drops! Usually if your eyes are itchy, it's because they are dry. If your eyes are dry, artificial tears help replenish moisture that's been lost. Also, a cool moist compress can relieve itchiness.
Of course, you shouldn't be in pain after cataract surgery, so if you have more than mild discomfort, let your eye doctor know. This could be a sign that you have an infection or complication that needs to be taken care of.
6. Follow all instructions from your doctor
All the above tips are important, but most importantly: you should follow all instructions from your eye doctor. After cataract surgery, you'll receive several different kinds of eye drops.
It is imperative that you take these drops exactly as prescribed! These eye drops are your defense against infections and inflammation.
It may seem annoying or even unnecessary, but you must take them as many times a day as directed. Not taking these drops could result in serious complications, even if your eyes begin to feel as if they are back to normal.
It's much easier to avoid this and take your eye drops as you are prescribed. It is also helpful to bring all of your drops in with you to avoid confusion.
7. Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments
Commonly, you'll need to attend various follow-up appointments. Like following all instructions from your doctor, you need to go to these!
Follow-up appointments are the only way your doctor can keep an eye on your progress. At your follow-ups, your doctor can see if your eyes are healing as they should.
Although it's rare, this is also when any infections or other complications can be spotted. With any kind of problem after surgery, catching it early is key!
the Eye Doctors of Chester County in Berwyn, PA or Levin Luminais Chronister in Thorndale, PA today! Our cataract experts have decades of experience helping patients like you regain their vision and enjoy improved eyesight.