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What You Need to Know About Post-Operative Care for Cataract Surgery

Sep 02 2020

by Anica Oaks

Cataracts occur when the lens of the eyes becomes cloudy. This condition generally occurs with aging, but other factors can also be a cause. Cataract surgery is a very common procedure and has been done on millions of individuals, with a high percentage of excellent outcomes. You will be provided with instructions to care for your eyes after surgery. These instructions are to ensure fast healing and will help you to avoid complications.

Cataract Surgery Is Common with a High Success Rate for Most Patients

About 2 million cataract surgeries are done in the United States each year. In most cases, these surgeries are accomplished without any complication and provide better vision for the patients who undergo the procedure. The surgery only takes a few minutes. It is important to attend your follow-up visits to the eye doctor to monitor healing.

Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions for Post-Surgery Eye Cleaning

Your eye doctor will instruct you on how to wash your eyes while you are healing. Warm water and a cotton ball should be used to gently clear the eyes of crusting or other matter. Do not rub the eyes until your doctor tells you they are completely healed. Do not use eye makeup or face lotions until your doctor allows it.

Administer Medications as Directed By Your Eye Doctor

Your eye doctor will provide antibiotic drops to place in your eyes to prevent infection during the healing process. The doctor may also use an ocular steroid treatment to reduce inflammation after surgery.

Avoid Vigorous Activity

You should avoid heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for the first few weeks after your cataract surgery. Also avoid bending over immediately after surgery. These measures will prevent excessive pressure on the eyes that can inhibit proper healing.

Wear Your Eye Shields

Your doctor will provide eye shields, which you should wear to protect the incision when bathing. The shields will keep dust and dirt out of the eyes and will help prevent infection. The shields can also be worn during sleep to protect and prevent rubbing or bumping of the eyes.

Avoid Swimming and Hot Tubs Until Healing is Complete

You should avoid swimming and the use of hot tubs, because of the danger of introducing bacteria that can cause an infection in the eye wounds. Once the eye incisions are healed, you can resume those activities.

Although any surgery on the eyes can produce anxiety in patients, cataract surgery is relatively simple and painless. The healing process is generally quick, and you will be able to enjoy clearer vision for all your usual activities in a short amount of time. Following your doctor's instructions carefully will ensure a fast recovery.