Cataract Surgery: What to Expect During Recovery

By Eye Institute of Houston
February 15, 2019

Cataract, Bellaire, TXMillions of people are diagnosed with cataracts. Fortunately, most have time to understand their condition and make confident decisions about the timing of cataract removal surgery. Also, fortunately, patients who undergo cataract removal can expect to regain clear sight. Our patients tend to understand the value of cataract removal surgery. What they usually have questions about is the recovery process.

We can understand the apprehension that any person may have about undergoing eye surgery. Cataract removal is one of the most commonly performed procedures and one that we conduct frequently. Because of this, we know that it is important that we communicate clearly with each patient about what they can expect from their eye surgery experience.

Cataract removal is an outpatient procedure that is performed under local anesthesia. Before surgery, medicated eye drops are inserted into the eyes to numb them. A mild sedative may also be administered, but the patient is awake during their procedure. In many cases, the clouded lens can be replaced with the selected intraocular lens in under 15 minutes. However, we may keep the patient in the office for another thirty minutes or so to observe them while anesthetic wears off. Patients can then be driven home by a loved one.

Post-Treatment Precautions

The strongest suggestion we have for cataract removal patients is to take it easy for a few days. Recovery from this eye procedure is mild and does not severely impact activity for very long at all. Many routine activities can be resumed within a few days. Patients can get around their home and are typically only mildly uncomfortable, if at all. Some precautions that eye doctors recommend include:

  • Use eye drops as recommended. This will minimize eye dryness, itching, redness, and soreness.
  • Protect eyes from debris and wind by wearing glasses when outside. Also, refrain from household chores such as dusting in the week following cataract surgery.
  • Avoid swimming pool and hot tub use for a week to ten days after surgery as these pose a risk for infection.
  • Do not rub or press on the eyes while they are healing.
  • Refrain from wearing makeup for several days as the eyes heal.

Are you seeing signs of cataracts? Call our Houston area office at (713) 668-7337 to learn more about cataract removal.

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