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How Long Does it Take for the Eye to Heal After Cataract Surgery?

Cataract Surgery Recovery in Colorado

Cataracts are a normal part of aging, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with the cloudy vision from now on. Thanks to advancements in ophthalmology, you can reverse the clock on your vision with cataract surgery. This procedure removes the natural lens of your eye and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).

If you’re wondering what to expect after cataract surgery, keep in mind that most patients see clearly within a few days. Still, the full cataract surgery recovery time can take three months. Follow these cataract surgery post-op care tips to speed up your recovery.

Immediately After Cataract Surgery

As soon as your surgery is complete, the ophthalmologist will attach a lightweight protective shield over your eye using surgical tape. You will also be given dark sunglasses to wear on your ride home.

Expect to feel a little groggy after surgery, especially if you took medication to help you relax. You may spend a little time in the recovery area while the effects wear off.

Arrange to have someone drive you home from cataract surgery. If needed, stop by the pharmacy to pick up any prescriptions your doctor gave you.

Remove the eye shields when you get home, but wear them during sleep for at least a week. It’s normal to feel a burning, stinging, or gritty feeling in your eye as you recover from cataract surgery. Apply eye drops and artificial tears as instructed to combat these feelings, control inflammation, and reduce the risk of infection.

It’s safe to resume light activities immediately, including reading, walking, and watching TV. You can also bathe or shower as usual, but keep water out of your eyes. Then, don’t rub or put pressure on your eye while it’s healing.

A Few Weeks Following Cataract Surgery

You should have a follow-up appointment with your eye surgeon the day after cataract surgery. Make sure you have someone to drive you to this appointment. Expect to be able to drive, return to work, and resume other activities one-week post-op.

Continue applying medicated eye drops and wearing dark sunglasses while outside. Grittiness, eye sensitivity, glare, and halo around lights may linger for a few weeks.

Recovering Further from Cataract Surgery

While vision fluctuations are normal during cataract surgery recovery, your eyesight should stabilize within two to three months. Expect another follow-up visit within this timeframe to check your vision and make sure your eye has fully healed.

Be aware that a condition called secondary cataracts occurs in 10% to 30% of patients, creating the feeling that the cataract is “coming back.” Fortunately, a quick laser procedure can restore normal vision.

To work with an eye surgery team that has your best interests at heart, turn to Boulder Eye Surgeons. We have been performing cataract surgery and other procedures since 1997. Our goal is to provide professional, compassionate, and customized eye care to meet your vision needs without compromise. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a cataract surgery consultation.


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