Mr Nicholas Glover  - Consultant Cataract Surgeon

  After Care

After surgery, you can usually go back to your everyday activities as soon as you feel able. 

Apart from taking eye drops, you can usually carry on as normal but you may need to avoid the following for the first week to ten days:

 •   rubbing your eye. You may have to wear an eye shield (patch) when you are sleeping 
 •   swimming (until your ophthalmologist says you can) to avoid contact with dirty water  while your eye is healing 
 •   strenuous exercise, contact sports and heavy lifting. Everyday lifting like light shopping is usually fine, but heavy lifting like moving furniture is best avoided
 •   wearing eye makeup until your surgeon is happy with your recovery 

You also need to take extra care:

 •   when it is windy or dusty outdoors, in case something blows in your eye, but you don't need to stay indoors
 •   washing your hair - avoid soapy water in your eye. 

Usually, you will see the ophthalmologist about two weeks after the operation. At this appointment you can ask them about returning to all your usual activities.

When should I have new glasses

The lens that is implanted in your eye is usually designed to give you clear distance vision without needing glasses. Sometimes this is not quite achieved and you will need a pair of distance glasses to fine tune the focus and get the best possible distance vision. 

Because the lens implant isn't able to provide in-focus near vision, nearly everyone needs to wear reading glasses after the operation and usually this is a different pair than you had before the operation.

In most cases an eye test, can be done four to six weeks after the operation, this will be performed by your own optometrist.

If you have cataracts in both eyes, the period between having the first and second operation can be difficult. This is because your eyes will not be balanced in terms of glasses and correction for any short or long sight you may have. Normally, people wait until they have a second operation before getting new glasses. This avoids the need to buy glasses that would only be useful for the short time between the operations.
Most people find they can manage with their old reading glasses. The gap between the two operations is usually less than four weeks so most people can manage.

Thickening of the lens capsule which holds the lens in place may occur a couple of months or even years after the original operation. If this happens, your sight will become cloudy again, as though the cataract has come back. 

Doctors call this complication posterior capsule opacification or posterior capsule thickening and it is usually easily dealt with by a small laser operation done through an outpatient appointment.