With Proper Steps, Cataract Surgery Recovery Can be Simple and Smooth.

When the proper steps are taken and followed, cataract surgery recovery is straightforward. Learn what the eye care professionals at Wills Eye Physicians Bailey Weber Wisner recommend for the quickest and easiest recovery possible.

What is the typical cataract surgery recovery time, and what would a patient be asked to do and not do?

Before cataract surgery, the patient has no limitations other than they can’t wear their contacts a week ahead of time.  Once the surgery is completed, vision improves quickly for the first few days, and most people don’t have any discomfort. Some patients can have a little bit of irritation or temporary dryness

During recovery, an eye surgeon will ask patients to avoid eye rubbing, lifting anything over 50 pounds and swimming with their head underwater for one week. The patient will also be asked to wear a shield at night to prevent any accidental eye rubbing, but those are the only restrictions. Patients can still wash their hair and face, and they can use their eyes.

Is any kind of rest required?

No. Patients need to wait 24 hours to drive to ensure the anesthesia has worn off, but there’s no rest required.

Is there any medication or eye drops associated with cataract surgery recovery?

Usually, patients are given eye drops to use for about one month after the surgery. These drops help the eye heal and prevent infection. Some medications can be added to the eye at the time of surgery that can help patients who may not be good at using eye drops. This is called Dropless cataract surgery. Maybe the patient can’t get the drops in their eye, or they have arthritis, and they can’t squeeze the bottle. It’s a discussion patients can have with their surgeon to see if they’re a good candidate.

Should a patient take time off of work for the surgery?

We ask that people take off work the day of the surgery. They can go back to work the next day as long as they don’t do any kind of intense work, but most eye doctors recommend taking the day after off. Sometimes patients are still tired from the anesthesia the next day, or their vision might still be a little blurry.


an older man administers eye drops as part of his cataract surgery recovery