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Cataracts: Eye Care After Surgery

Overview

The day after surgery to remove a cataract, you will most likely be allowed to return to your normal activities. But you need to take certain precautions.

  • Use eyedrops as prescribed by your doctor.

    Wash your hands before putting drops in your eye. Be careful not to touch your eye with your hands or the tip of the medicine dropper.

  • Protect your eye.

    Do not rub or press it. You may need to wear a rigid shield over your eye.

  • Use an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), if needed.

    Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. It is common to have a scratchy feeling in the eye or mild discomfort. If you have pain, contact your doctor immediately. Pain may be a sign that there is a problem.

  • Watch for signs of infection (redness, pain, and swelling) or other problems in the eye.
  • Notify your doctor if you have loss of vision, nausea, vomiting, excessive coughing, or pain in the eye.

    These may be signs of a complication from the surgery.

  • Wear your glasses or sunglasses when you are outside.
  • Do not get anything in the eye from which the cataract was removed.
  • Carefully clean around the eye from which the cataract was removed.

    Use warm water and do not use soap. It is normal to have some drainage around the eye.

  • Do not let water run over your eye or into your face.

    Shampoo your hair by leaning your head back.

  • Do not swim for about 3 weeks.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: January 24, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

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