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If you are preparing to have cataract surgery, you are probably anxious to have the procedure finished so that you can get your back your improved vision. The good news is, the procedure is nearly painless, plus any post-surgery discomfort experienced can be relieved by over-the-counter medication plus eye drops. Usually, the surgery itself takes less than one hour from the beginning to the end, and the recovery time of cataract surgery is minimal.
You should have your sight restored within one day or two. Any remaining irritation will be gone within four weeks. That being said, there are steps that you can take to minimise recovery time even more plus experience even less discomfort. The following are some of the tips for the best cataract surgery recovery.
Avoid Driving on the First Day
This rule is potentially the most important one. On the day that you have your surgery, your vision will remain compromised and the medication that you will be given during the surgery will have an impact on your judgement as well as reaction time. Thus, driving will leave you vulnerable to mistakes plus accidents. You should keep yourself (plus others using the road) safe by having a family member or a friend to drive you to as well as from the cataract surgery centre.
Avoid Strenuous Activities or Heavy Lifting for Several Weeks
Even if it feels like your eyes are back to normal after a few days, do not be tempted to do any strenuous work or lift weights. Your eyes need time to rest so that they can repair themselves optimally. Strenuous activities can build pressure in the optical veins plus inhibit healing.
Avoid Bending Forward or Even Having Your Head Below the Waistline
Immediately after the procedure, you should avoid bending over that cause more pressure to your eyes. Similar to strenuous activities, bending forward causes a rush of blood to go to your head, which interferes with your eyes that are recovering. If you have to pick something up, you can ask someone to do it for you or squat down, keeping your head upright without lowering your head.
Do Not Expose Your Eyes to Irritants
Avoid exposing your eyes to irritants like wind, dust and grime for a few weeks. If you want the shortest possible surgery recovery time, you should be mindful of any situation that can increase the risk of exposure to irritants. Wind, dust and grime are some of the irritants that can lengthen the time take it will take for you to recuperate.
Do Not Rub Your Eye or Put Yourself in Any Situation That Will Make You Sneeze
Sneezing is an involuntary reaction that’s hard to control or predict, and it can cause undue strain on your recuperating eyes. Even though you might not be capable of preventing a sneeze, you can still keep yourself out of scenarios that can potentially trigger sneezing. For instance, if you have a cat allergy, avoid going to the homes of your friends that you know keep cats.
Avoid Using Hot Tub or Swimming
You should not use a hot tub or swim the first week after a cataract surgery to avoid infection. The only thing that is worse than prolonging your time for recovery by disrupting the natural healing process of your eye is getting an infection.
When you submerge your head underwater, whether it is in a swimming pool, plain water or hot tub, it exposes you to an increased risk of infection. You can shower or bathe after your cataract surgery, provided you ensure your eyes remain shut and don’t allow the water to touch your eyes. But, you should avoid swimming for one or two weeks.
Many people will be asked to wear glasses for closeness or distance because artificial lens implants can’t focus on different distances. Usually, natural lenses can do that if you are under 50 years, but this capability is lost as you age.
Attend Follow-up Appointments
You will need to attend follow-up appointments to monitor your eyes’ health and make sure the recovery process is going well. During the appointments, the doctor will instruct you when to resume your daily activities plus whether you will have to use eye drops.
Cataract Surgery Recovery Plus Expected Outcomes
Cataract surgery is known to be one of the safest surgical procedures. Numerous cataract surgeries are performed annually, and most patients have excellent outcomes without cataract surgery complications. Studies reveal the following:
• Almost 96% of eyes without any other problems (for example, other eye diseases before a cataract surgery) achieved at least 20/40 distance visual acuity that is uncorrected, which is good enough to even drive without contact lenses or eyeglasses. In all eyes, including the ones having pre-existing eye conditions apart from cataracts, approximately 90% of the patients had good outcomes.
• In rare scenarios, sight-threatening cataract surgery complications like endophthalmitis, which is an inflammation of the interior of your eye that is often caused by an infection in your eye, can occur.
• Fewer than 2% of eyes had complications that are sight-threatening.
• Usually, patients who experience complications have other health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.
• A relatively common cataract surgery complication that can be easily be treated is called PCO (posterior capsular opacification). It can cause the patient’s vision to be cloudy months or even years after cataract removal. If this happens, a simple laser procedure is known as laser procedure can clear up the cloudiness in your eye and restore sharp vision.