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How Long Does It Take To Recover from Cataract Surgery

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As we age, our body changes, including our eyes. 

Cataracts often develop due to aging, and the only way to remove them is with surgery. Laser cataract surgery may sound daunting, but it typically takes 5 minutes to perform

When it comes to recovery, it’s short and uncomplicated as long as you are in good health and have no other eye complications.

With surgical expertise and advanced technology, cataract surgery can be tailored to your unique eyes and is a precise way to protect and preserve your vision. 

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts occur when the natural proteins in the lens of your eye break down and cause your vision to become blurred or cloudy. The lens is responsible for bending light rays to help focus light on the retina so you can see. 

A cloudy lens makes it difficult for light to focus effectively. Think of looking through a frosted glass window; it will be tougher to see clearly than when you look through a completely transparent window. 

A few different factors that can cause cataracts include:

  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Eye injury or eye surgery
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Certain medications such as corticosteroid

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign of cataracts.

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Extra sensitivity to light
  • Colors appear faded or yellow

Luckily, cataracts can be corrected with surgery that results in long-lasting clear vision. 

How can Cataract Surgery Help?

Cataract surgery replaces your natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). What’s great about IOLs is they are made of biocompatible material, they don’t break down over time, and there are different types of IOLs that contain your individual prescription to best suit your needs. 

Laser cataract surgery can be completely customizable to you and offers long-lasting benefits. Your ophthalmologist will assess your eyes and determine the right IOL for you.

The Process of Cataract Surgery

A lens replacement may be suggested if your vision stops you from activities you need or want to do. If you have been recommended for cataract surgery, here’s what you can expect from the process:

  • Your eye will be numbed with drops You may be given medication to help relax
  • You will be awake during surgery and may see light or movement (you will not be able to see what the doctor is doing)
  • Your surgeon will make a precise incision with a laser near the edge of your cornea 
  • Through the small incision, your surgeon will break up the natural lens and remove it
  • The new intraocular lens (IOL) will be put into place

A family member or friend will need to drive you home from the procedure. You will be on your way to clear vision in no time at all!

Recovery Time

For successful results, it’s important to follow the specific post-care instructions given to you. You will be prescribed eye drops to reduce the risk of infection and inflammation. 

After cataract surgery, you may notice your vision is blurry. This is normal as your eye heals and adjusts. You will see a noticeable improvement in just a few days. Complete healing usually takes around 8 weeks.

Here are some precautions to follow in the first week after surgery to avoid infection or eye injury:

  • Don’t drive on the first day of recovery
  • Avoid heavy lifting or vigorous activities 
  • Immediately after surgery, avoid bending over as it puts extra unwanted pressure on the eye
  • Avoid swimming and hot tubs to prevent infection
  • Don’t press on or rub your eye
  • Consider wearing a protective shield when you sleep

If cataract surgery is needed in both eyes, your surgeon will wait for your first eye to recover before performing surgery on the other eye.

There will be follow-up appointments with your eye doctor to ensure your recovery is on track. These appointments are usually a day after surgery, a week after, and about a month after. 

See the World Through a New Lens

Don’t let cataracts stop you from experiencing clear vision. See the benefits of laser cataract surgery and expert care from the team at Center For Sight. Your eyes are unique, and your treatment should reflect that.

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Written by Center for Sight

Center For Sight is one of the nation’s leading multi-disciplinary physician groups. We provide ophthalmology, optometry, dermatology, audiology, and aesthetic services. With several locations throughout Southwest Florida, we proudly offer our patients convenient access to nationally-renowned surgeons, compassionate staff members, and cutting-edge technology.

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