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Private Cataract Surgery Recovery tips and what to expect

How long is recovery after private cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery recovery is fast. The discomfort in the eye should settle in a few days. Full recovery depends on the type of cataract and your ability to heal and can take from four to six weeks.

Do and don'ts after cataract surgery


  • Take your eye drops as prescribed as per your doctor's instructions

  • Watch TV as normal

  • Use your protective shield at night

  • Seek help if there is ongoing pain, nausea or vomiting

  • Continue everyday activities so long as you avoid water in your eye and anything strenuous


  • Rub your eye as this can push the new lens out of place

  • Wet your eye for the first week after the operation

  • Carry out any heavy lifting

  • Get new glasses until six weeks after the procedure

  • Ignore any new floaters and flashes and get them check out urgently to make sure there is no retinal detachment that can permanently affect your vision

  • Ignore any vision loss following the operation and seek your surgeon's advice

  • Forget to use your plastic shield at bedtime

How long does it take for vision to clear after cataract surgery?

The vision may not be clear immediately after cataract surgery by your private cataract surgeon. The vision will start to clear over a few days and will take up to 2 months until it stabilises. You should be able to continue normal activities but avoid anything strenuous for the first few weeks.

Why is my vision still blurry after cataract surgery?

Blurry vision after cataract surgery is common. Following cataract removal the distance vision should clear but you may be sensitive to bright light during the healing process. Wear sunglasses when outdoors. If the sensitivity persists, this could be a sign of inflammation in the eye that you will need to see your eye doctor for. Double vision is a rare complication which may settle. If it does not then your private eye surgeon will need to assess you and examine the position of your new intraocular lens. People who have had an artificial lens used during surgery for distance vision will find that their reading vision continues to be blurry. This should correct with glasses.

If you have other medical conditions such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy you find that your vision is still blurred after the cataract operation.

Can vision get worse after cataract surgery?

Generally after cataract surgery the vision does not get worse if it was a straightforward procedure. During the first few days of the recovery time the vision may still be worse but should clear as the eye heals. During the operation the eye's natural lens which is a cloudy lens is removed and an artificial lens is place in the existing lens capsule to give clear vision. If there are complications or other conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration the vision may get worse. Make sure to discuss this with your private ophthalmologist.

Can private cataract surgery give you 20 20 vision?

Cataract surgery can give 20 20 vision if there are no other medical conditions. Other conditions can affect the possibility of getting 20 20 vision such as astigmatism, keratoconus, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration, diabetes and previous retinal detachment surgery. Some patients who don't get 20 20 vision may get it if they wear glasses or use contact lenses.

What is ghosting after cataract surgery?

Ghosting following cataract surgery is where there are white or dark areas within the field of vision. The medical term to describe these is dyphotopsia. They occur in a small number of patients. They are not common but occur in a small number of cases following the surgical procedure. Neuroadaptation is the process where the brain adapts following the procedure and this can take a few months. You should continue your daily activities as much as possible whilst you adapt and they should improve with time. You might want to delay having your second eye operated on until you have a complete recovery.

How long after cataract surgery can I sleep on my side?

You may want to avoid to sleep on your side for the first 24 hours following the surgery. Sleeping on your side is possible so long as the eye shield is used after that. There may be some mild discomfort to the eye following the operation but this should settle in a few days.

How long after cataract surgery can you drive?

It is not advised to drive on the day of having your cataract surgery. You may feel fine to do so as it is done under local anaesthetic as an outpatient procedure but it is still advised not do so. You should be able to drive once the vision clears and you meet the legal requirement of being able to read a number plate at 20 metres.


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