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How Long to Recover Following Cataract Surgery


With cataract surgery, the natural lens is removed, and it is replaced with a permanent implant to restore the eye’s focusing power and improve the patient’s vision. After having the procedure, you will be asked to spend a brief period in the recovery area before returning home.

To ensure that proper healing will take place:

  • Do not rub the eye or press on it.
  • If the need arises, use over-the-counter pain medicine.
  • Resume your usual daily activities, along with moderate exercise.
  • If your doctor recommends it, wear an eye shield or eyeglasses.
  • Find out when you can start driving again.

Risks Related to the Surgery

More than 95% of those who undergo cataract surgery find that their vision has improved, but a few patients also have some problems. You should contact your eye doctor at once if you experience pain that is not relieved by over-the-counter medication, any loss of vision, excessive coughing, nausea, or vomiting, or injure your eye.

Usually, the outcome of having this procedure is excellent. The surgery is low-risk, the amount of pain is insignificant, and the recovery time is relatively brief. You will probably have a follow-up visit with your doctor the following day, and you may be asked to wear a patch over the eye until you keep that appointment. Also, to promote healing, your physician may prescribe anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops for at least a week, and complete healing of your eye will take approximately 10 weeks.

After having cataract surgery, most patient rely on wearing eyeglasses, at least for reading, and your physician will tell you when your eyes are sufficiently healed for you to be given the right prescription. In addition, if both of your eyes have cataracts, you will probably be scheduled for a second procedure within a month or two, so that the first eye can heal properly before you have any additional surgery.



“Cataract Surgery .” University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010.

“Cataract removal: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010.

“Cataract surgery: What you can expect –” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010.

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