Cataracts are a common occurrence in older adults. Over half of Americans older than 75 have issues with them. One of the best choices for cataracts is surgery. With surgery, the elderly can get back their vision and lead healthy lives. But after the surgery, the recovery won’t happen overnight. In the days and weeks after the treatment, your ability to perform standard tasks will be diminished. Because of that, it is essential to know what awaits you after cataract surgery.
Moments After Surgery
It might be hard to believe, but this surgery lasts only ten minutes. What happens after waking up is a feeling of sensitivity and scratchiness. Both of these feelings will go away as time progresses. A protective shield will be put over your eye by a doctor. You will need sunglasses in the first hours after the surgery, and one hour after it’s completed you’ll be sent home. Driving right after cataract treatment is not the best idea, so you will need someone to take you home.
The protective shield that was put on your eyes can be removed hours after the surgery. What you will experience after removing it is a blurry, disordered, and cloudy vision. This happens because your eyes need to get used to functioning without cataracts. These impairments will disappear after a few hours. In the first few days after the treatment, you will most likely have bloodshot eyes. The anesthesia you received during the procedure will probably cause bruising similar to a black eye, because anesthesia was injected through your eye. The bruises will also heal in a matter of days.
In the first few hours after the treatment, you are free to take a shower, watch TV, or use a computer. All colors in your surroundings will look brighter. This is because cataracts are yellow-colored and they sometimes mute colors. During the first few days, you will need to use the protective shield during sleep or naps. Also, it is essential to be careful while walking, because your vision still won’t be at 100%.
What follows the cataract procedure is a period of healing. During this time, the eye is still vulnerable. It is essential that you avoid dust, wind, and other sources of irritation for eyes. Rubbing your eye, swimming, hot tubs, and makeup are not recommend at all. Being vigilant for at least one weak can significantly reduce the risks of infection.
Another thing that should be avoided after cataract surgery is exercising. No strenuous activity is welcomed in the weeks after the procedure. Even bending over should not be done. This motion can create additional pressure on the eye. Vomiting and sneezing also are not good for your eye, but the latter one can’t be influenced as much. One of the activities that should also be limited during the first few weeks after the surgery is driving. You don’t want to put yourself or others in danger.
Another thing that is usually required after cataract surgery is glasses. Your doctor will be the one that will tell you when your eyes are healed enough for prescription glasses. It takes from four to twelve weeks, depending on the severity of the case and the time of healing, to switch to glasses. The time necessary for eye focus to recover is also measured in weeks. It varies from case to case.
Unexpected Symptoms and Complications
Feeling discomfort after this procedure is normal. But some symptoms should not be experienced. They include flashes, floaters in the eye, and vision loss. Other unusual symptoms are nausea, vomiting, excessive coughing, and increased eye redness. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor straight away.
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