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What to do after your cataract surgery

You are entitled to hospitalisation or medical leave after your cataract surgery, so try to take a rest. 

You may read and watch TV. Gentle exercises are fine too. You can go out, but try to avoid crowded and dusty places. Wearing sunglasses when you are outdoors may help to keep your eyes comfortable and less sensitive to light.

You will be given eye drops for about a month to prevent infection and reduce inflammation. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. If you need to, ask a family member or friend to help instill the eye drops.  If you were to go out, make sure you have access to hand hygiene facilities so that you can clean your hands before you instill your eye drops.

For mild pain, you may take paracetamol. If you have pain that is not relieved by this medicine, call your doctor.

When you sleep, please put on the eye shield given to you for at least 1 week so that you don’t press on the operated eye. 

What NOT to do after your cataract surgery

For the first few days, your vision may be blurred, so be careful to avoid falling over or hurting your head or eye, especially if the operated eye is padded and the other eye also suffers from poor vision.

It is common to experience some eye irritation and discharge after surgery. However, for the first month, refrain from rubbing or touching your eye. Also avoid getting dust or soap water in your eye. Do not swim; do not use a hot tub, visit a sauna or spa. This is because there is a small wound in your eye, and you need to prevent it from getting contaminated. 

No matter how small your wound is, try to avoid exerting yourself. Try not to bend over, carry heavy loads or perform strenuous exercises. Leave that 10km marathon to the next few months, and take a break from carrying the grandchildren for 2 to 3 weeks. Let your eye heal. 

You may find that your pre-existing spectacles are not right anymore after the cataract operation. This is because the power of your operated eye has changed due to the surgery. Usually the power of the operated eye would stabilize at 1 month after the operation, at which time you can be measured for a new power for your glasses.

Refrain from driving or riding a motorcycle till you are confident that your vision is clear.

Medications and Diet

For the first few days, please clean the operated eye gently with the sterile saline wash and cotton balls given to you. You can continue to clean your eye with cool boiled water and clean cotton gauze thereafter.

Please use the eye drops and medications as the doctor prescribed, even when you feel that your eyes are fine. Do not instill anything else into your eye apart from the prescribed eye drops. Always wash your hands before your instill your eye drops. 

Store your eye drops and medications as instructed. Do not keep them for longer than the instructed period as they may become contaminated.

Shake the eye drop bottle before use. Tilt your head back, look up and pull the lower eyelid down. Instill just ONE drop into the eye, avoiding contact with the eye lashes. Wait 5 minutes before instilling a different eye drop.

You can keep to your usual diet. There are no new dietary restrictions following your cataract surgery.  Any pre-existing diets should be continued.

When do I see the doctor after surgery?

You will need to return for an eye examination the day after your surgery. Further appointments are usually called for at 1 week and 1 month after your operation. Keep all your appointments, even if you feel and see well.

When should I call my doctor?

Do not hesitate to contact us should you experience any of the following:

  • Pain that is not relieved by medication.
  • Deterioration of vision.
  • Excessive discharge from the operated eye.
  • Sudden onset of flashes or floaters.

Please visit the following relevant links:

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