What to Expect After Cataract Surgery

Each experience after cataract surgery is unique, however most patients experience the following:

  • The light anesthesia may make you groggy. This is typical and it should wear off quickly. Take it easy the day of surgery
  • The doctor usually places antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops in your eye to prevent infection and swelling. An eye shield is provided and should be kept on. Wear dark sunglasses for the ride home.
  • You will receive aftercare instructions along with prescription medication, if required. Follow these instructions.
  • You will need someone to drive you home. If you haven't already filled your prescriptions prior to surgery, enlist someone to do this for you as you rest and recover.
  • Avoid removing the protective covering and touching your eye.
  • For a few days, your eye might be sensitive or itchy.
  • You may see slight glare or haloes. These symptoms will resolve as you heal.
  • Do not lift objects over 15 pounds. This can increase intraocular pressure in the eye.
  • Keep the protective covering on while you sleep and avoid sleeping on the side that has been operated on. Continue this as instructed by your doctor.
  • You'll be seen for a follow-up on the day after your procedure.
  • Avoid wearing eye makeup until you get the OK from the doctor.
  • You can return to intense exercise after three weeks if you are in good health.

It is important to always listen to your doctor's advice first and only use this information as a supplement for your knowledge and understanding.

Cataract surgery and your future:

  • Your eye should fully recover within the first month after your surgery as your brain learns how to use the new IOL. You may be administered mild lubricating eye drops if you have dry eyes. 
  • You will experience optimal vision after six months.
  • Your next follow-up visit may be scheduled after a month
  • If needed, you may undergo cataract surgery in your other eye as soon as you obtain good vision in the first eye.
  • At one month after surgery, if you are not having surgery in the other eye and have a monofocal IOL, you may be fitted for glasses or contact lenses.
  • You will have better results the more you use your eyes. Engage in new and exciting activities to challenge your vision.
  • The adjustment period may continue for another two to four months and your doctor will keep track of your progress. If you have another eye condition, you may be watched more closely.
  • Many people develop secondary cataracts after surgery.  These are easily treated with a laser procedure.  Monitor your vision and seek care if your vision becomes blurry.
  • Continue to have yearly eye exams by your eye care provider.

If cataracts have limited your lifestyle, please call or email us to learn more about the cataract removal procedure and vision restoration. Schedule a consultation with San Diego cataract surgeon, Dr. Sandy T. Feldman. There's no better time to rejuvenate your vision and improve your quality of life.