When your cataracts begin to interfere with your quality of life, your eye doctor will likely recommend cataract surgery. Cataract surgery can restore your vision and possibly even allow you to reduce your dependency on visual aids.

Deciding to have cataract surgery is the first step in reclaiming your vision. The second step is finding the right surgeon for you.

At Chicago Cornea Consultants, we make that process easy as all of our doctors are among the best in the Chicago area. Recovery from cataract surgery is relatively quick and easy, as cataract surgery is a minimally invasive surgery with a low risk for complications. 

You can also ensure a comfortable, speedy recovery and minimize any risks of complications by following your eye doctor’s recovery instructions. Keep reading to learn five tips for good recovery from the best cataract surgeons in Chicago!


It’s best to prepare for recovery from cataract surgery before the procedure to ensure that it is as smooth as possible. The first step is to make sure you have the post-op eye drop prescriptions your eye surgeon has sent to your pharmacy.

These eye drops may be anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, or both. They are vital to making sure your eyes heal properly. 

Having the prescriptions filled and ready before you have surgery makes the day after surgery a lot simpler. Also, make sure that you arrange a ride to and from surgery. 

You won’t be able to drive immediately after surgery and may not be cleared to drive for a few days. Having someone available to transport you and also help out for at least the first few hours after surgery can be helpful.

Avoid Bending Over

After surgery, your eyes may be tender for a few hours. They may also be more sensitive to light while they’re healing. 

One important thing you must avoid during the first 48 hours after surgery is heavy lifting or bending over. Bending over may cause your eye pressure to spike.

When your eye pressure increases dramatically, it can interfere with the healing process and cause vision loss. To avoid this, try not to bend over where your head is below your waist for the first two days after surgery. 

Also, be careful that when you have to sneeze or cough, you do so as gently as possible. Intense sneezes and coughs can also quickly raise your eye pressure.

Take Prescriptions as Instructed

Your doctor will make sure you have detailed instructions on how and when you need to take your post-op eye drops. Sticking to these instructions and following them in detail ensures that your eyes heal properly and that you don’t get any infection.

Your doctor may provide a chart for you to use to help track your daily doses. If they don’t, you may find it helpful to make your own. 

You can also use a note on your phone and even set an alarm on your phone to remind you when it’s time to take more eye drops. Your eyes may feel a little dry for the first day or so after cataract surgery. 

If this happens, you may want to use over-the-counter lubricating eye drops, also called artificial tears, for relief. Talk to your doctor before surgery about artificial eye drops so you can use them safely while your eyes are healing.

Keep Your Eyes Clean

Keeping your eyes free and clear of any foreign substances while they’re healing minimizes the risk of infection and other complications. You should avoid getting anything in them at all besides prescribed eye drops.

This means you should avoid wearing eye makeup or any lotions you apply to the top half of your face. You should also make sure your home is clean and dusted before you have cataract surgery, so there are fewer particles in the air.

Also, be sure not to get any water in your eyes, even clean water, for the first week or so after cataract surgery. Running water can introduce bacteria to your eyes, so refrain from washing around your eyes or getting water in your eyes during showering.

To ensure you do not get water in your eyes during showering, be sure if you take a shower to have the head pointed below your face so none of it can spray into your eyes. It is very important that you do not go into chlorinated water during your recovery.

Even the smallest amount of chlorinated water can harm your eyes while they’re healing. Avoid pools and hot tubs altogether for at least two weeks after surgery. 

Take It Easy

Cataract surgery is a relatively minor operation, and you’ll likely be able to do most of your normal activities within a day or two. However, you should avoid doing any heavy activity for at least a couple of weeks after the procedure. 

This includes any heavy or intense exercise. Your eye doctor will also likely ask you to avoid lifting anything heavy during the recovery period.

However, this doesn’t mean you’re confined to bed rest. Within a few days of the procedure, you will be able to do most activities in your home as usual. 

You will be free to go for a walk or run errands, but it’s best to take this time to rest from strenuous activities. As long as you follow all these tips, your recovery from cataract surgery will be easy and simple.

Do you want to learn more about how to best recover from cataract surgery? Schedule an appointment at Chicago Cornea Consultants in Chicago, IL, today!

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