A cataract patient

Getting back to your routine after cataract surgery

Cataract surgery can make a big difference to your life quality, improving your vision and your ability to see things in focus and in full colours. It is a day procedure where most of the patients go home on the same day and while the cataract surgery recovery time can vary from person to person, it usually takes around 1 week to get back to your day-to-day activities.

Housework after cataract surgery

Just before you are discharged home, you would be given a set of instructions on how to support your recovery. It’s very important that you take it easy and don’t rush straight back into some activities like housework. Anything involving strenuous activities, bending over, reaching for things overhead or heavy lifting should be put on hold until after your follow up appointment to keep your eye pressure stable and not jeopardise your healing. Dusting and using chemicals is also not recommended during your recovery to minimise the risk of infection. You could also be asked to wear a protective eye shield after your cataract surgery, and this too may make you want to delay any active housework.

The same advice applies to cooking after cataract surgery which may involve bending, lifting groceries as well as risks of coming close to potential irritants such as steam and hot oil.

Exercising After Cataract Surgery

In the first few days of your recovery, it’s best to keep exercising very light, giving your eyes time to heal. Gentle walking or meditation could be considered, but it’s important to avoid dusty environment and protect your eyes with eye shield, glasses or sunglasses when outside.

A more strenuous exercising like running, cycling, yoga, gym, tennis, golf can affect your eye pressure and therefore are best paused until after your follow up appointment. Your consultant will advise when it is safe for you to get back to these activities.

It’s recommended that you don’t swim or use saunas or hot tubs for at least 4 weeks following your operation to minimize risk of infection and irritation. You can ask your consultant for further information on when you can restart water-based activities after the procedure.

Driving after cataract surgery

Due to the anaesthetising eye drops and mild sedatives used during the procedure, it is advisable not to drive straight after cataract surgery and instead arrange for someone to take you home after your operation.

You can resume driving once you vision meets the DVLA requirements. Your consultant can advise you at your follow-up appointment if your vision meets this standard.

Returning to work after cataract surgery

You should be able to return to work a few days after your operation, depending on your occupation. If your job is physically demanding, you may need more time before you resume it. Your consultant will advise you appropriately.

Tee, James

Written in association with

Mr James Tee

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

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