Cataract Surgery Recovery FAQs

If you’ve recently been told that you need cataract surgery, you might have questions about the recovery process. The good news is that for most people, recovering from cataract surgery is straightforward. In fact, most people experience no serious complications.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions we hear about cataract surgery recovery.

How long does cataract surgery take?

Many people are surprised to learn that uncomplicated cataract surgery can be completed in as little as ten minutes! You will need to account for a bit more time than this though as the medicine used to sedate patients takes around 30 minutes more to wear off. 

If your cataracts present a complicated case, your eye surgery may take longer. Only your ophthalmologist can give you an estimation of exact timing. 

The vast majority of cataract surgeries are completed in out-patient clinics. A hospital stay in not required.

What can I expect after cataract surgery?

Immediately after the surgery, you might feel a bit groggy. This is the sedation used during the procedure. Your vision will be cloudy and/or blurry at first. Don’t worry, this begins to clear up within the first week.

You should go home after the surgery and try to sleep, your eyes will need a rest. Remember to ask a friend or loved one to drive you home.

An eye patch is given to you to wear at night. This is to stop you from inadvertently rubbing or scratching your eye as it heals. In the first few days, your eye may feel itchy. This is a normal part of cataract surgery recovery and usually stops within the first week.

How long does it take for vision to clear after cataract surgery?

Most people see improvement within the first three days. However, you shouldn’t panic if your eye is taking a bit longer. Some patients need a full month before the eye is fully recovered. Everyone differs in their physiology and this means everyone’s recovery time after cataract surgery is different.

How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?

The initial recovery period lasts just a few days but the ongoing recovery period takes a bit longer. Because serious complications are rare, most patients are fully recovered within a month post-surgery.

If after a month your eye still doesn’t feel right, speak to your ophthalmologist about how you’re feeling. 

How long do I wear an eye shield at night after cataract surgery?

You should wear your eye patch or eye shield at night for the first week after your surgery. You can secure the shield in place with some medical tape. The shield stops you from accidentally hurting your eye as it is healing.

It’s also not a bad idea to wear the patch while you nap. And don’t forget, sunglasses are an absolute must, particularly in the first few weeks after your operation.

Cataract surgery recovery is normally swift, pain free, and without complications. We hope these FAQs have helped, but if you have further questions about your surgery please get in touch with our friendly team today.