Cataracts are often simply part of the natural aging process – most people will get them at some point in their lives. Characterized by a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, cataracts can lead to complete vision loss if left untreated. The good news is, cataracts can be effectively removed and vision improved with routine cataract surgery or laser refractive cataract surgery.
In today’s blog, we talk with Dr. Alison Gordon, one of our experienced cataract surgeons here at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute. Dr. Gordon’s answers to some commonly asked questions can provide you with good insight as to what can be expected throughout the cataract surgery recovery process:
What kind of aftercare is typically required during cataract surgery recovery?
“In terms of aftercare, patients need to use eyedrops – usually three different kinds of prescription drops for varying amounts of time – anywhere from one week to about six weeks. Vision will be a little blurry initially – patients will need someone to drive them to their first day visit.”
Is there anything patients should watch out for during recovery?
“If you start having an increase in pain or a sharp drop in vision, you should definitely contact us and tell us what’s going on; but, some vision fluctuation can be expected during early healing periods. That’s very normal since the eye is healing. As the inflammation and the swelling settles down, vision should get better and better.”
How long is downtime after cataract surgery?
“Assuming the healing process goes well, cataract patients can typically start driving again the next day and return to work the next day as well; however, there are certain restrictions depending on the type of job patients have. Lifting of heavy objects (over 15 pounds) should be avoided for at least two weeks. Bending over to the point that one’s head is below the waist should also be avoided. It’s important not to increase blood flow to the head, where it may increase the pressure there. We also advise patients not to engage in strenuous activity or swimming for two weeks. Other than that, patients can travel on airplanes and do most everything else during the recovery process.”
Is there any other general advice you give patients to be aware of during recovery?
“Try and be patient during the recovery period. Don’t be alarmed if you have some fluctuation with vision, it’s normal for healing to take a little time.”
Contact Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute
Cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the United States, and it’s often a very quick treatment that requires only minimal downtime. If you would like to learn more about the cataract surgery procedure and the recovery process, or if you would like to schedule a consultation here at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute, please contact us today.