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Cataract Surgery Recovery

The procedure of cataract surgery involves the removal of the crystalline lens of the eye which has developed a cataract. The crystalline lens is also called the natural lens of the eye. The process of recovery after cataract surgery is simple, if we follow certain standard guidelines.
Charlie S
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2018
Now that we know that the developed cataracts are the responsible elements for cataract surgery, let us understand how the cataract actually develops. The cataract development is the result of the various metabolic changes in the lens fibers which are crystalline in nature over a long period of time. The developed cataract is dangerous and troublesome in the sense that it affects the transparency which in turn leads to slight or major loss of vision. Eye surgeons replace the defective natural lens of the patient with an artificial synthetic lens in the course of the surgery. According to medical research, cataract surgery is very safe and the chances of any side effects and difficulties after the surgery are almost nil. Serious complications are observed in less than one percent of all the cases, according to a research.
Associated Risks
Cataract surgery is a complicated process as compared to other surgeries. The word complicated has been used because it is related to the most sensitive and important part of the human body - the eye. Though the risk factor associated with the surgery is low, you may experience some of these related eye problems. Consult your doctor immediately, if you face the following problems:
  • Bleeding
  • Irritation and pressure in eye
  • Displacement of the lens
  • Serious infections
  • Blindness
  • Swelling of eyes
Recovery
Complete recovery after cataract surgery is possible within a few weeks. However, the recovery time may be different for different patients. It is advised to all patients who have undergone this surgery, not to compare your time taken for recovery with that of other patients. The reason behind this is that the surgery techniques used for you and for the other patients may be different. If your surgery was a small incision surgery, you could consider starting your daily activities immediately. If your surgery was a large incision surgery, you will be asked to refrain from doing heavy-duty bodily activities like lifting objects, athletics, etc. Laser eye surgery is also a popular and widely accepted surgical option.
Some people need a helper to drive them home. After you reach home, take complete rest for a day or two. This will help to heal the eye quickly. Do wear a protection over the eye to avoid eye infections and take the eye drops prescribed by the doctor for the said time period. For majority of the patients, the recovery time is two to six weeks. Your doctor will suggest you to avoid doing anything which will cause injury or damage to the eye. This will interfere in the healing process. While bathing, take proper eye care to prevent water from entering it. Avoid visiting places where there is a lot of dust and pollution. During the recovery period if you experience complete or partial vision loss, eye becoming red, eye-pain, vomiting or cough, immediately visit your eye surgeon.
It is suggested that you should not indulge in activities like driving after surgery. Do not rub your eyes even if you feel discomfort due to irritation. Some patients complain about problems while facing bright light. By the end of the first week of surgery, patients experience grittiness. Avoid applying make-up and eye make-up till your surgeon gives you the permission to do so. After a time horizon of say one month after your surgery, you will recover completely, under normal circumstances. If you have a monofocal lens implant, you will see an improvement in your distant vision. Your brain will definitely adapt to your lens implant if you have a near vision presbyopia correcting lens implant.
After two or three months from the surgery date, your life will be back to normal, as it was before the operation. Still, you may be prescribed a mild eyeglass medicine. The surgeon is likely to follow YAG Laser Capsulotomy if you develop secondary cataract, as seen in some patients. Even after completing a year, do consult your doctor for suggestions, especially if you have other eye diseases or diabetes.
With the advancement in medical technology, recovery after cataract surgery has become easy as compared to the situation several years ago. You can indeed live a normal life after taking the necessary precautions and care.