Blog post by: Eye Physicians of Long Beach

Considering whether it may be time for cataract surgery in Long Beach? Whether you’ve scheduled your procedure or you’re just getting started, it’s important to know some things to expect.

But what about recovery? Cataract surgery is an amazing procedure, but it is a surgery that comes with a recovery period. Keep reading for 8 tips for your best cataract surgery recovery!

1. Drink more water before your procedure and while recovering

This is something that not a lot of people think about but should before having any surgical procedure. Before any surgery, you should try to increase your water intake.

The human body is made up of up to 60% water! Though you are not put to sleep during cataract surgery, it can still be quite taxing on your body.

Water is one of the best things you can put into your body, especially while it’s healing. After cataract surgery, your eyes may need a few days to get used to their new normal.

They may even feel a little drier than you’re used to. This is another way that drinking enough water is incredibly beneficial! You may be able to avoid your eyes feeling too dry by staying sufficiently hydrated during the cataract surgery recovery process.

2. Plan ahead before your procedure with pre-cooked meals

paste casserole GIF

With a procedure like cataract surgery, there’s plenty that you can do to prepare and plan ahead. One of the easiest ways to do this is by stocking your fridge and freezer with pre-cooked meals.

You can make things like lasagna, casseroles, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, and even stir-fries! The sky is truly the limit!

Don’t exactly love to cook? Call on some friends and family and let them know that you’re having cataract surgery and won’t be able to cook for a while.

There will definitely be people who will be more than willing to help you out if being in the kitchen isn’t your thing!

3. Take a few days off from work to relax

happy relax GIF

Another great way to prepare before having cataract surgery is to take a few days off from work. In most cases, you should be able to go back to work after a few days, but it depends on each patient.

At the very least, don’t expect to go back to work on the same day that you have cataract surgery. Your eyes will be more sensitive than normal and may feel irritated or uncomfortable.

The best thing you can do? Go home and relax! You won’t be able to drive yourself home from your procedure either, so you’ll have to wait until your doctor clears you to drive again.

4. Take all eye drops exactly as prescribed

One of the most important parts of recovering from cataract surgery involves taking eye drops. Your cataract surgeon will prescribe two different kinds of eye drops.

The first kind is antibiotic eye drops to help prevent any infections. The second kind is anti-inflammatory eye drops to help reduce inflammation after your procedure.

It is very important to take these eye drops exactly as prescribed! For most patients, this means taking them several times a day in the first week after cataract surgery. If you do not take these drops, you could suffer serious complications or vision problems.

The eye drops may be a bit annoying but they are one of the most important parts of your cataract surgery recovery going smoothly!

5. Avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous exercising for a few weeks

do you even lift joe biden GIF by Obama

Remember when we talked about how important relaxing during your cataract surgery recovery was? This also applies to anything with heavy lifting or strenuous exercising.

You may be wondering, why is heavy lifting an issue? Heavy lifting can cause intraocular pressure levels to rise.

It can also cause serious complications like retinal detachment, dislocation of the new lens that was implanted, corneal swelling, or fluid buildup in the eye. Your doctor will let you know when you can return to your normal activities, including vigorous exercising.

6. Don’t go swimming in the ocean, lakes, pools, or use hot tubs for a month

Living in Long Beach, it can be tempting to want to go to the beach if the weather is nice, but you should not go swimming for a month after cataract surgery.

After having cataract surgery, your eyes will be more sensitive and susceptible to infections. All bodies of water, including lakes, the ocean, pools, and even hot tubs are filled with various types of bacteria.

Because you’ve just had a procedure like cataract surgery, you’re more likely to get an infection from these bacteria. It’s safest to wait to do any swimming until you have been in recovery for at least a few weeks to a month.

7. Don’t rub your eyes even if they feel irritated

There are never any circumstances where you should rub your eyes because it’s a bad idea. It can bring bacteria from your hands into your eyes and lead to infection.

But you should especially refrain from rubbing your eyes after cataract surgery. The eye that you had surgery on will be very sensitive.

Rubbing your eye could damage the fragile flap created during the procedure. Damaging this flap could lead to complications or other problems.

So what do you do if your eyes feel irritated if you can’t rub them? Use artificial tears or eye drops, of course!

If your eyes feel irritated (which is a normal side effect in the first day or two after cataract surgery) artificial tears can be a lifesaver!

Your eyes may feel dry and artificial tears help replenish the moisture your eyes are missing. Using artificial tears when your eyes feel too dry is the best solution rather than rubbing them.

8. Ask your eye doctor any questions at your cataract screening

It’s natural if you’re nervous about having cataract surgery. If you have a lot of questions, do yourself a favor and write them down.

You can ask your questions during your cataract screening! It’s important to ask questions because it will help put your mind at ease before your procedure.

It’s much easier to build a foundation of trust with your doctor or surgeon if you have peace of mind, so don’t hold any questions back. Remember that there’s no such thing as a “stupid question”. In fact, they’ve probably heard them all before and welcome your questions!

Think that you may need cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Eye Physicians of Long Beach in Long Beach, CA today!

We’ll make sure you feel comfortable with the procedure from start to finish so you end up with the clear vision you’ve always wanted. What are you waiting for?