Recovery from cataract surgery is relatively short. You may be surprised at how quickly you can resume certain activities! However, following the ophthalmologist's recommendations is necessary after the operation. How long is the recovery period? What activities are allowed after surgery? Find out what you can expect after cataract surgery.

How long is the recovery period after cataract surgery?

After cataract surgery, you will not be able to drive, and you will need a ride home. You will be given a pair of sunglasses for the trip home. They will be used to protect your eyes from light and glare.

Post-operative follow-up visits will be scheduled. These include 24 hours, 1 week and 3 months after your surgery.

Your recovery should be almost complete after 3 months. Your ophthalmologist will inform you when you can resume your activities. However, it is possible to resume certain activities before that time, within the restrictions given to you.

How does it feel after cataract surgery?

You will quickly notice the difference in your vision shortly after surgery. Here are the symptoms that some patients experience:

  • Disturbed by bright light
  • An itchy feeling in the eye during the days following the operation
  • See luminous halos around the light sources
  • All of these symptoms are normal and will eventually go away.

How to care for eyes after cataract surgery

The ophthalmologist may cover the operated eye with a protective shell. Once at home, you can remove this transparent shell. However, don't hesitate to wear it if your eye is itchy. It is perfect for preventing patients from inadvertently rubbing their eyes. And that's also why it's recommended to wear it at night for three days.

On Day 1, you will start your antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops. If you feel pain on the day of the operation, you can take a painkiller like Tylenol. And to ease discomfort and itching, eye drops are ideal.

What activities are allowed after cataract surgery?

During the 2 weeks following the operation, only quiet activities are allowed:

  • Take a shower or a bath (without the whirlpool option)
  • Read a book
  • Watch television
  • Work on screens (computer, smartphone, etc.)

Any sports activity should be avoided, even the gentlest ones like indoor cycling or golf. Any activity that requires bending forward should also be avoided, such as stretching or yoga.

To make your recovery as smooth as possible:

  • Don't wear eye makeup for 1 month
  • Don't wash your eyes with soapy water for 1 month
  • Don't do any heavy lifting during your recovery
  • Avoid exposing your eyes to irritants (pollen, smoke, dust, perfume) during your recovery

Finally, you should know that the risks of complications from cataract surgery are rare. Serious complications occur in less than 2% of cases. If in doubt, do not hesitate to call your ophthalmologist.

Do you need cataract surgery? IRIS Ophthalmology Clinic is a private clinic offering personalized care at every step of your process. If you'd like to learn more about what to expect during surgery, check out our article "What to expect during cataract surgery."