When you hear the word “surgery,” you probably first think of a complicated procedure that involves weeks of recovery. While that may be true of many types of surgery, that does not apply to cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is considered a surgery because it involves removing the eye’s lens, but the operation is gentle enough that the ensuing downtime is not substantial.
In this blog, Dr. Gabriel Lazcano and Dr. Abraham Awad of Laser Eye Center of Miami explain in greater detail what amount of downtime you can expect following cataract surgery.
Cataract Recovery Timeline
After returning home from cataract surgery, focus on rest and relaxation. It can take one to three days for your vision to stop being blurry. During those same few days, you may also experience residual discomfort, which should be manageable with prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication. Within two or three days, most people feel well enough to resume their normal activities, including work. That said, recovery times can differ between patients, so it is not a cause for concern if blurriness lingers for additional days.
While this downtime is remarkably brief, do not confuse this as being fully healed. Your eyes may need a few weeks or a few months to see at their full clarity after cataract surgery. Most of the blurriness you notice is due to swelling in the eye, which is a natural side effect of surgery. As this swelling gradually subsides, your vision should improve. Patients who have larger or denser cataracts often experience extra inflammation.
Some Restrictions Apply
Although you can enjoy most normal activities after a few days of downtime, Dr. Lazcano and Dr. Awad do put some limitations to ensure that your eyes heal without complications. First, you should not touch or rub your eyes, especially in the first week, as that can cause an injury or facilitate an infection. Second, avoid wearing eye makeup for the first two weeks for similar reasons. Third, do not engage in strenuous exercise as that can amplify swelling and prolong your recovery period. Fourth, do not go swimming for at least a month since water may contain bacteria that can infect your vulnerable eyes.
Most of our patients agree that these restrictions are a minor compromise for clearer vision that lasts a lifetime.
Correct Your Vision with Cataract Surgery
If your vision is permanently hazy due to cataracts, the good news is that you do not need to continue suffering from poor vision. Once you learn just how easy cataract surgery and the recovery period are, you will wonder why you didn’t schedule your surgery sooner. To meet with Miami’s best cataract specialists, please call (305) 443-4733 or book an appointment online.