Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States. The procedure itself is simple and very low-risk — in general, cataract surgery requires making a small incision in your eye to facilitate the removal of the cataract and insertion of an artificial lens. While the incision is tiny, it’s left to heal without the aid of stitches or sutures, which means your eye can be susceptible to damage as you recover. It’s important to take proper care of your eyes (and yourself) after cataract surgery in order to avoid infection. Here are five ways you can ensure an effective cataract surgery recovery:
Take It Easy
It’s important to limit your physical activity after surgery. Engaging in activities such as lifting weights or playing group sports puts you at risk of having an accident. Even a minor accident like tripping or bumping into something can be disastrous, especially if anything hits your eye. Your eyes are very sensitive to injury as they heal after cataract surgery — the best way to make sure nothing happens to them is to avoid rigorous activity during the first week after your procedure.
Get Plenty of Rest and Rehydrate
Fatigue is normal after having cataract surgery. The first thing to do is rehydrate since you have been off food and liquids prior to surgery. If you feel physically and/or emotionally tired from your procedure, make sure to get plenty of rest. Sleep helps you recover faster, as your body repairs and restores itself as you rest. Your eye will be sensitive to light so try not to spend too much time reading, driving, or on any other activity that may strain your eyes and limit how long you spend with a screen, whether that be a TV or laptop, to twenty minutes at a time during the first 24-48 hours.
Keep Your Eyes Clean
The best way to prevent corneal infection after cataract surgery is to avoid getting anything in your eye. This includes dust, grime, and even water. Don’t swim or use a hot tub for at least the first week after surgery. Close your eye when showering to avoid getting soap or water in your eye. It is alright to gently dab your eye but avoid vigorous rubbing for any reason — the friction could irritate your cornea and cause damage.
Use Prescription Eye Drops
Your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory eye drops to use after surgery. Even if you feel your eyes aren’t especially irritated, you should use the eye drops for as long as your doctor tells you to. This will help prevent infection and speed up the healing process.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
In general, you should follow whatever advice your eye doctor gives you, whether it’s taking prescribed medicine or avoiding strenuous exercise. It’s important to listen to your doctor’s instructions in order to have the best recovery possible. If you ignore professional medical advice, your recovery from cataract surgery could take longer than necessary, and you could be more at risk for an eye infection or prolonged inflammation.
Want to learn more about cataract surgery or cataract surgery recovery? Contact Montgomery Eye Center to schedule a personalized evaluation. Our team of eye care experts is proud to provide compassionate, easy-to-understand information on cataract surgery in Naples, FL.