Tips to minimise cataract surgery recovery time
So you’ve booked your cataract surgery appointment, and you’re wondering how to make the recovery go by faster. You have a busy life, things to do and places to see!
There are many things you can do to make sure you recover well from your eye surgery. The 6 core ways to prevent complications and reduce healing time from your cataract surgery are as follows:
Keep Your Eyes Safe by Saving Your Energy
Lifting heavy objects causes the pressure inside your eyes to increase. This can make healing very difficult and can actually damage the cataract surgery site. Try to not be too active too soon after your cataract surgery.
There are other activities that can also raise your intraocular pressure.
- Bending below your waist to pick something up
- Rigorous exercise or strenuous activity
So allow your friends, spouse or anyone else that is helping you out— to pick things up for you.
The Most Important Prevention of All
Avoiding infection after your cataract surgery is imperative.
After your cataract surgery is complete, it can be tempting to touch your eyes or rub them. Unfortunately, this is an easy way to introduce bacteria and foreign particles into your eyes. Once those bacteria are in there, they can multiply and quickly cause an infection. Even when you aren’t recovering from surgery, rubbing your eyes is never a good idea.
Make sure you are preventing germs from spreading by washing your hands with soap and water. You can also wipe down your phone with antiseptic wipes.
Here are some other things you should do in order to prevent infection:
- Avoid swimming
- Avoid hot tubs or jacuzzi’s
- Make sure you put your protective eye shield on at night before bed
- Make sure you are eating and drinking healthy foods and beverages to aid your immune system.
Take it Easy on Yourself and Prevent Straining
There are many ways you can put a strain on your body and on your eyes after cataract surgery. Straining causes the pressure in your eyes to increase just like lifting heavy things does. You need to make sure you are getting sufficient rest so that you can heal faster. Straining your eyes does not allow them to rest properly. It is advised that after your eye surgery, you go home to take a nap or go to bed. This allows for proper rest.
Here are the ways you can prevent straining after cataract surgery:
- Don’t watch too much TV. If you find yourself watching TV, try to give yourself a break every 20 minutes or so. It helps if you set a timer.
- Protect your eyes from the sun. Make sure you are wearing sunglasses when appropriate.
- Avoid vigorous coughing, sneezing and vomiting.
- Try not to strain when you use the bathroom. If you are constipated, talk with your doctor about taking a laxative.
Protect Your Eyes from Common Irritants
Staying away from dusty or crowded places will help to make sure that your eyes don’t become contaminated. By avoiding crowded or dusty places, this also makes sure you don’t get an accidental injury to your surgery site.
Your eyes will be sensitive to airborne particles. It is a good idea to have your house vacuumed and cleaned before your surgery. This makes sure that your eyes are safe from contaminants such as pet hair, dander, dust, and dirt. You may also want to avoid windy places for this reason.
This One Thing Is Easy to Avoid and Dangerous If You Don’t
Driving immediately after cataract surgery is dangerous. Because of the use of anaesthesia, you will not be able to drive home. You will need to have a trusted driver come with you to your surgery so that you have someone to take you home.
Your vision will also be affected by having eye surgery. Light sensitivity and depth perception problems are two common issues that may delay your return to driving— so pay attention to them and ensure they aren’t affecting your vision. Most of the time, these issues are temporary and recovery will be faster than you expect. But don’t worry— your vision will return and you should be back behind the drivers’ wheel in no time.
Having your cataracts removed will make your vision clearer, so after you recover you’ll be able to see better. Colours will be brighter. Road signs will appear unclouded. And your vision will be better in bad weather.
Take That Mascara and Throw It Away
During your cataract surgery recovery, you should avoid wearing makeup. Makeup is an irritant. If some of it gets into your affected eye— you can develop symptoms such as pain and itching. This will delay healing and can hurt the surgery site.
Taking your makeup off can also turn into a problem. If water and soap get into your eye while washing makeup off— it will greatly aggravate your eye and cause pain. Tap water can also introduce microbes and cause an infection.
When you’re cleared by your doctor to wear makeup again, you’ll want to purchase new makeup as another precaution against infection. Bacteria builds up in makeup as you use it and can cause infections. While you’re thinking about it, don’t forget to clean your brushes as well— these can harbour bacteria.
Overall, in order to heal faster, you need to avoid infection and straining. You should also help your body’s immune system work. You can do this by eating healthy foods, drinking enough water, avoiding sick people and getting enough rest.
Always follow your health care providers post-op instructions, such as when to apply eye drops. Remember, your recovery from cataract surgery is only a little bit of time compared to the length of time you will have improved vision. It is worth it, just try to be patient with the process.
If you have more questions about cataract surgery, please feel free to book an appointment at our next cataract information event.