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How Long Does It Take to Recover From Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts are a common eye condition where the eye lens becomes clouded. The condition usually affects older adults—over 50 percent of adults over 80 have had cataracts. If you have this condition, your eye doctor may recommend ways to manage the condition. Updating your eyeglasses and using brighter lighting can help, but ultimately, you will need surgery. 



Getting Cataract Surgery 



Using eyeglasses and brighter lights can manage the early stages of cataracts. But cataracts may worsen over time, impacting daily activities performance. When it gets to this point, your eye doctor may recommend surgery, the only way to treat cataracts. 


Cataract surgery aims to replace the cloudy natural lens with a clear artificial lens (IOL). The outpatient procedure is relatively simple, but patients require significant recovery time.



Cataract Surgery Aftercare 



Cataract surgery is a procedure involving removing and replacing part of the eye. There are certain things you should do when recovering from the surgery. 


  • Follow the surgeon's guidelines, rest, and protect your eyes as much as possible. 
  • Use medications or eye drops as directed.
  • Reduce your physical activities as your eye heals.
  • Wear eye protection to sleep and when taking baths or showers.
  • Wear sunglasses when you go outdoors. 
  • Keep all follow-up appointments to allow the doctor to monitor the healing progress.



How Long It Takes to Recover 



It can take one or two months to recover from cataract surgery. You may be unable to use your computer or read for the first few days after the surgery. You may experience blurry vision, redness, eye aches, and a gritty sensation in the first 24 to 72 hours. 


After one or two weeks, you should have reduced inflammation and no itchiness or aches. You should be able to see clearly at this point, and you may be able to halt some medications. After one month, you should not experience any inflammation or pain and may be able to resume your regular activities. 



What to Avoid After Cataract Surgery



There are also things that you should avoid soon after cataract surgery. They include:


  • Straining the eyes by using computers and other digital devices and driving.
  • Performing strenuous exercises or activities that move or shake the eye.
  • Getting water or soap in the eyes while showering or bathing. 
  • Swimming or using hot tubs.
  • Touching your eyes or wearing eye makeup.



When to Contact the Doctor 



You should feel better one or two days after cataract surgery. Following the surgeon's directions will help ensure that you recover well. You may need to call the doctor if you experience certain symptoms. 


They include increased pain, infection, increased eye redness, decreased vision, or increased light sensitivity. You may need emergency care if you experience sudden flashes of light, shadows in the peripheral vision, or vision obstructions. 


Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure. Most people see better and recover fully after surgery. Situations are different, and your doctor will tell you when you can return to work or participate in daily activities. 


For more on how long it takes to recover from cataract surgery, visit Fier Eye Care & Surgery Center at our Port Saint Lucie or Stuart, Florida office. Call 772-400-2400 or 772-286-0007 to schedule an appointment today.

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