A Comprehensive Guide for After Cataract Surgery Care

after cataract surgery

What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of your eye which has become opaque or cloudy with age. There are many bad habits that cause cataracts, however, it is directly related to age. It is replaced with an artificial clear lens to restore crystal clear vision. It is the most common and quick eye surgery when performed by a skilled surgeon.

There is an extremely high success rate and a chance at better eyesight when it comes to cataract surgery. You can expect to return home within hours after the surgery. The sensation of the eye will return in a few hours after the operation but it may take a few days to restore complete clear vision. Till then you need to take care of your eyes.

A few Pointers for After Cataract Surgery

After cataract surgery, it is important that you take precautions. This allows for your vision and eyes to heal quickly. Taking these precautions are necessary in order to prevent any infections that may prevent you from restoring your vision. Recovery time for cataract surgery varies from person to person, which is why proper care is essential.

Eye protection

  • Wear an eye shield or sunglasses when you leave the hospital to protect your eyes from the dust and potential injury while you travel back home.
  • Use the eye shield for about a month through the day and for a week at least at night as well.
  • Clean your eye shield and sunglasses every day with soap and water and dry them well before wearing to prevent eye infection.  


Eye Washing Technique

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and dry them with a clean towel.
  • Use boiled water and cool it (distilled water) to clean the operated eye. Dip a cotton ball or gauze piece in this water and gently clean the eye margins and eyelid. Swipe the cotton across from the inner corner (near the nose) to the outer corner of the operated eye.
  • Clean the upper eyelid
  • Look up and gently wipe off any sticky discharges.
  • Clean the lower eyelid
  • Look down and gently wipe off any sticky discharges.
  • Repeat the process at least twice a day on the operated eye to maintain good hygiene.
  • Don’t swipe open eyes.
  • Don’t splash the water directly into the eyes.
  • Don’t press the eyes.
  • Guidance and assistance may be needed for a pediatric patient.



  • Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops will be prescribed to prevent infection and control inflammation for a few weeks after cataract surgery.
  • Use your eye drops as instructed by your doctor.
  • Take oral antibiotics or other medicines as prescribed.
  • Continue your advised routine, if any.


Eye drops

  • Do not rub eyes or keep touching them often.
  • Avoid eye cosmetics.
  • Avoid physically strenuous work or exercise.
  • Don’t strain at the toilet. Use laxatives if needed.
  • Sexual activities can be resumed in a week or two.
  • Avoid swimming till confirmed by your eye specialist.
  • Reading a paper is allowed, but minimize the use of TV, computer, and cellphone.
  • Don’t wash face with soap as it can enter the operated eye. Gently wipe the face with a wet cloth.
  • Bathing is allowed. Avoid head bath for 3-4 weeks.
  • Shaving is allowed, but don’t splash water on your face.
  • Don’t drive or fly.
  • Avoid too many visitors to prevent infections.
  • Don’t skip follow-ups with your doctor.


Symptoms to Watch Out for

It is normal to have the following after cataract surgery:

  • watery eyes
  • blurred or double vision
  • red eyes

Contact your ophthalmologist immediately after cataract surgery you notice the following

  • Loss of vision
  • Multiple floating spots or light flashes in the eyes
  • Persistent pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive coughing or sneezing
  • Worsening vision

Taking good care after cataract surgery is essential to prevent eye infections, minimize side effects and restore clear vision at earliest. This post-surgical guide is meant to guide you to the path of a successful recovery.


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