You will be given instructions for your cataract surgery aftercare following your operation. This will include information regarding follow-up appointments, when you can resume your usual activities and return to work, which is normally a few days after surgery.
Following surgery, you should be able to:
- See things in focus
- Look at lights without experiencing glare
- Tell the difference between colours more easily
It is normal for your vision to take a few days to improve after cataract surgery. Your eye may additionally be sore, scratchy and light sensitive during this period. You will have both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops to use, typically starting the day after the surgery.
If you need glasses after cataract surgery, your consultant will advise you to wait a few weeks after the operation before seeing your local optician to ensure the prescription has stabilised. Temporary off-the-shelf reading glasses generally work very well after cataract surgery.
Frequently asked questions:
How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?
Recovery is different for every person; usually there is a fairly quick recovery time for cataract surgery, approximately 3-4 days.
How long are you off work after cataract surgery?
You should be able to return to work a few days after your operation, depending on your occupation. If you perform a job that is physically demanding you may require a longer period of recovery. Discuss with your consultant what is right for you.
Can cataracts come back?
Once the cloudy (cataractous) lens has been removed as part of cataract surgery, it doesn’t come back. However, the thin membrane behind the new lens implant (posterior capsule) may become opaque during the first few months or years after cataract surgery. This creates a filter-effect and can cause your vision to deteriorate.
A simple laser treatment (YAG laser capsulotomy) can be performed in the out-patient clinic to clear this membrane and restore clear vision. Approximately 1 in 5 (20%) patients may benefit from YAG laser capsulotomy after cataract surgery. Your consultant will discuss whether this treatment is suitable for you.
Can you drive after cataract surgery?
You can usually drive if your vision meets the DVLA requirements, this is normally 3-4 days. The DVLA standard is reading a number plate with both eyes open at 20.5 meters (approximately 25 strides). Your consultant can advise you at your follow-up appointment if your vision meets this standard.