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Top 5 Tips for Cataract Surgery Recovery

Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful operations performed in Australia. A big contributor to cataract surgery recovery can come from how you care for your eyes after surgery. This could be by preventing infection, avoiding excess eye pressure or just re-training your eyes to do the things you love. Your actions will go a long way ensure your recovery from cataract surgery goes smoothly.

Cataracts affect over 700,000 Australian’s and is one of the most common reasons people require eye surgery. Surgery success rates are over 99% in Australia and in the 1% of complications, only 1 in 500 of these are severe. So as long as you follow your post-operative instructions and attend your follow up appointments your cataract surgery should be uneventful.

Are both eyes operated on at once?

Not usually. Most patients have a cataract treated in each eye. Surgery is performed on one eye at a time allowing the other eye recovers. The gap between surgery can be from 1-4 weeks.

When will my vision clear after cataract surgery?

You will be able to see within a few hours after surgery although vision will be blurry while your eye adjusts to its new intraocular lens. Vision should improve drastically over the next 3 days with ongoing improvements continuing up to a month after surgery. So, if you are having both eyes treated for cataracts it is best to allow 2 months for a full recovery.

Cataract surgery recovery tips

1. Prevent infection

During the first week after surgery avoiding infection is key. This means taking the prescribed eye drops, avoid touching your face or rubbing your eyes. Don’t apply eye makeup and ensure your eye shield is worn whenever you are sleeping. Avoid getting your face wet when showering and swimming or using a spa bath should be be avoided within this critical week after surgery.

2. Avoid increasing eye pressure

Within the first few weeks after surgery you eye is healing and your new lens is settling into place. Eye pressure can be increased with strenuous physical activity, heavy lifting, bending down from the waist and also from involuntary actions such as sneezing, coughing or vomiting. Try to avoid all of these if possible or avoid situations where this is likely to occur.

3. Report any increases in pain or vision loss

There may be some mild pain, discomfort or irritation in your eye once the sedatives wear off. If after this pain increases significantly or your vision deteriorates drastically it is essential to contact your surgeon as soon as possible. 

4. Follow your doctors’ instructions

This includes using the prescribed eye drops, wearing your eye shield and attending the post-operative appointments usually held within one day, one week and one month after surgery.

5. Retrain your eyes

Your eye is a tool that improves with use after surgery. Adjusting to the new lens takes time for the eye and brain to recalibrate correctly so doing the day to day tasks that you are used to is important. If you need a new prescription for eyeglasses after surgery, this can be obtained 4-6 weeks following the procedure. If you opt for premium intraocular lenses, you may avoid the need for glasses altogether.

In most cases, if you follow your follow up appointments and your specific post-operative instructions from your surgeon along with these tips you should have a speedy and uneventful recovery from your cataract surgery.

Envision Eye Centre performs cataract surgery in our Sydney CBD and Darlinghurst Clinics. We have world renown cataract surgeons including our principle surgeon Dr John Males. Please contact us to discuss or diagnose your need for cataract surgery. Our mission is to improve your vision

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