What is the Most Important Thing to Do After Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the lens from the eye and, in most cases, replace it with an artificial lens. Generally speaking, your vision will start to improve immediately in the first few days after cataract surgery. Rarely, complications from cataract surgery can occur that endanger vision, such as endophthalmitis, an inflammation of the inside of the eye, which is usually caused by an eye infection. If you're considering cataract surgery for yourself or a loved one, it's important to understand what you should do after the procedure to ensure a speedy recovery.

By far, the most important thing you can do is to avoid irritants at all costs. Keep water, soap, shampoo, hairspray and shaving lotion out of your eyes for at least the first week. Don't rub or put pressure on your eye for at least 1 week and don't wear eye makeup for 1 to 2 weeks. You may also want to avoid facial creams or lotions.

You'll usually have a follow-up appointment with your cataract surgeon the day after the procedure to make sure there are no complications. If you don't notice any improvement in blurred vision or you experience eye pain or significant discomfort in the days following this visit, let your surgeon know. Most people need glasses at least part of the time after cataract surgery. The doctor will let you know when your eyes have healed enough so that you can get a definitive prescription for eyeglasses.

This usually happens one to three months after surgery. Tell your doctor if you take any medications for prostate problems, as some of these medicines may interfere with

cataract surgery

. It may also be beneficial to evaluate and treat other eye problems before making a decision to undergo cataract surgery. Another key tip to follow immediately after cataract surgery is to attend each and every recommended follow-up appointment with your doctor.

If you have cataracts in both eyes, your doctor usually schedules the second surgery after the first eye has healed. You will be provided with a protective eye shield that you should wear during sleep (including naps) for at least the first week after cataract surgery. Less than 2% of eyes that undergo cataract surgery have sight-threatening complications after the procedure. For the best possible recovery from cataract surgery, follow your doctor's detailed instructions on how to protect your eye after the procedure. Compared to other notable eye surgeries, the recovery time from cataract surgery is relatively fast.

Your body needs plenty of time to heal, and it needs you to provide it. If you do, you'll find that you have a speedy recovery from cataract surgery within reach.

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