Cataract surgery recovery

Cataract surgery recovery

Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in the developed world. Recovery from a modern cataract operation is quick and typically uncomplicated due to the minimally invasive keyhole approach. No sutures are required and the procedure is performed as a day case without needing to stay in hospital.

Who needs cataract surgery?

A cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens inside the front part of the eye. Cataracts cause vision loss by making sight appear foggy or patchy, which cannot be rectified or improved with glasses or contact lenses.

ageing is the most common cause of cataract. They become increasingly common after the age of 70 by which time they affect approximately 20% of the population

According to the North London Eye Study, cataract was found to affect:

  • 16% in the 65 to 69 year age group
  • 24% in people of 70 to 74 years of age
  • 42% in those 75 to 79 years of age
  • 59% in those 80 to 84 years
  • 71% in people of 85 years or more

As the actual lens has become clouded, cataracts can’t be treated with laser surgery in the same way as LASIK is used for long- or short-sightedness. Instead, patients suffering with cataracts can undergo lens replacement surgery. This is where the clouded lens is removed from your eye and replaced with a new implanted plastic lens, known as an intraocular lens or IOL.

The actual surgery, in most cases, is performed while you are awake. You will be given anaesthetic eye drops to make sure you can’t feel any pain throughout the procedure.

Speed of cataract surgery recovery

cataract surgery recovery is usually painless and quick, with most patients seeing in soft focus immediately after surgery and good vision restored within just 24-48 hours

Despite sight being improved within 48 hours, it can take a week or two for your eyes to completely heal. As such, we recommend you follow the below simple steps to care for your eyes during the cataract surgery recovery period.

  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. Protective eye shields are provided for you to wear while sleeping
  • Avoid wearing eye make-up
  • Avoid underwater activities such as swimming
  • Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise
  • Keep soap and shampoo away from your eyes
  • Wear eye protection if going outside on windy days to prevent grit and dust from entering your eyes

It’s important to bear in mind that it is unsafe to drive until your surgeon has checked your site and approved you to drive again.

To learn more about cataract surgery, recovery from the procedure, or to learn if you are suitable for treatment, please call Focus Clinic on 0207 307 8250. Further details on our cataract treatment procedure can be found here.