Cataract Surgery Recovery Do's & Don'ts

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Cataract surgery involves removing the eye's natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens, or an intraocular lens (IOL) implant. Post-surgery instructions are important, since the eye requires proper healing to function correctly with the new implant.

Rest (Do)

  • On the day of surgery, as well as the day following surgery, it is important that the patient only rest and relax to promote healing.

Eye Drops (Do)

  • Strictly follow the doctor's instructions with the eye drops that will be provided after surgery. Eye drops require multiple daily applications for a few weeks after the procedure.

Swimming (Don't)

  • Do not swim or use a hot tub for at least two weeks after surgery. A splash of water in the eye makes it susceptible to infection, according to AllAboutVisiton.com, so avoid water contact with the eye while bathing as well.

Strenuous Activity (Don't)

  • Avoid heavy lifting (over 25 pounds) and any strenuous exercise or activity for at least the first week after surgery. AboutCataractSurgery.com says that the eye requires about a month to fully heal, so it may be safest to avoid strenuous activity during this time.

Dust (Don't)

  • AllAboutVision.com suggests that any activity that exposes the eye to dust or dirt should be avoided. Patients in dry, dusty climates should avoid the outdoors (or use protective eyewear), and those who live near the ocean should avoid the beach, since sand particles can scratch the eye's surface and make the eye more prone to infection.

Eye Shield (Do)

  • A protective shield will be provided by the surgeon, and it should be worn over the treated eye for the full day after surgery. The eye shield should also be worn during sleeping and napping times for about a week. Special eye shades are also provided for the patient to wear outdoors.

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