If you are preparing for cataract surgery, you will probably be wondering about the recovery process, and how long your vision will be affected. Cataract surgery is extremely common, with more than 3.6 million being performed in the United States every year.
The procedure is straightforward, and usually takes no more than 15 minutes to be performed, excluding preparation time. However, the recovery can take significantly longer. For your convenience, Dr. Sonny Goel has compiled a list of our top tips to help you make a speedy recovery from your cataract surgery.
Immediately after your cataract surgery
Immediately after your cataract surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area while the effects of the anesthetic or sedation wears off. The length of time that this takes can vary from person to person, but should be less than an hour. During this time, you will feel groggy and disorientated, and some people find that they also feel nauseous. Shortly after this, you will be allowed home with a protective shield over your eyes.
Going home after cataract surgery
You will not be able to drive yourself home, so you should arrange for someone to take you. It would also be beneficial if they can stay with you for at least the first few hours after you arrive home, as your vision may still be disturbed for some time. You will need to protect your eyes from bright light and glare when you first go home, so you will be provided with protective sunglasses that should be worn with Dr. Goel’s instruction.
Your protective eye shield after cataract surgery
The shield provided when you leave surgery is very important, as it will help to protect your eyes. Depending on the advice you receive from Dr. Goel, you may be able to remove the shield a few hours after returning home. However, you must put the shield back in place and tape it securely while you sleep at night and if you nap during day, for at least the first few days after the procedure.
It is common to experience hazy, cloudy, or distorted vision for an hour or so after removing your protective shield. This is because it can take some time to get used to the new, artificial lens replacement. If this doesn’t clear up, you should contact Dr. Goel for more information.
Taking it easy after cataract surgery
Although you might feel completely normal within 24 hours of your cataract surgery, you should still take it easy for a few days as this will encourage the natural healing and recovery process. Here are some other things you should take into consideration.
- Avoid bending over as much as possible, as this will place added pressure on your eye.
- Try not to sneeze or vomit in the first 24 hours after surgery.
- Do not drive for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
- Under no circumstances, you should not rub your eye or expose it to any irritants such as dust, wind or grime within the first few weeks of surgery.
- Reduce the risk of infection by avoiding swimming and hot tubs in the first week after your procedure.
- Don’t do any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for at least a fortnight.
- Use the eye drops given to you by your surgeon exactly as directed.
By following these guidelines, along with any other given to you by Dr. Goel, you can make the most efficient recovery from your cataract surgery. Call our Baltimore office today to learn more at 410-888-2020.