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A simple, uncomplicated cataract surgery should not take more than 10 minutes to perform. The best part about a cataract surgery is that most people see almost immediate results and improved vision. However, full recovery can take awhile. Each person heals at a different speed but ideally, your eyes should heal completely in a month.
Here are a few tips to help speed up this process and avoid infections and eye injuries:
- Take it easy: Just because the surgery takes a short time is no reason to underestimate its importance. Do not drive on the first day and as far as possible avoid driving for the next few days as well. Do not put any extra pressure on your eyes by bending, lifting weights etc. This will ensure that your stitches do not tear open. Try to avoid excessive sneezing and coughing as this can jerk the lens out of place.
- Protect your eyes: Wearing sunglasses is a good idea after a cataract surgery. This will protect your delicate eyes against dust, wind etc. Avoid using community swimming pools and hot tubs immediately after such a surgery to lower the risk of infections. Avoid rubbing your eyes aggressively. For the first week, keep your face out of the shower so as to avoid feeling the need to press or rub your eyes as well as to protect them from bacteria in the water.
- Lubricate: Your eyes may feel dry and scratchy after a cataract surgery. This is normal and not something to worry about. Your doctor will prescribe eye drops to be taken after the surgery. Use these regularly. Once this is over you may need additional artificial tears or lubricating eye drops. However, do not take these drops without first consulting your doctor. If your eyes are sensitive to the preservatives in bottled eye drops, look for single use ampoules. Ensure that you always wash your hands well before administering the eye drops.
- Keep the eye clean: Though washing your face is avoidable, you must still keep the eye clean. Use cotton and a sterile saline wash for the first few days. You can later replace the saline with cool boiled water.
If you feel any deterioration in your vision, pain or excessive discharge in the operated eye, you must immediately consult your doctor. Seeing sudden flashes of light or floaters in your vision should also not be ignored.