3 Ways To Help Speed Up Healing After Cataract Surgery

If your latest eye exam revealed an opacity in one or both of the natural lenses in your eye, you probably have cataracts, especially if this finding is accompanied by blurred or hazy vision. Cataracts may also affect the way you see colors, making them look less vibrant.

If you do have cataracts, you will likely require cataract laser surgery. While recovery from cataract surgery is usually rapid and uneventful, there are certain things than can speed your healing:

Use Your Eye Drops

Some people avoid using eye drops because they are squeamish about placing anything in their eyes, and other people avoid them because they can burn and further irritate the eyes. However, while instilling eye drops can be challenging, this practice is very important. 

Eye drops are often prescribed after cataract laser surgery to help keep intraocular pressure from getting too high and to help prevent an infection. It is common for your eye pressure to moderately rise after surgery; however, if it gets too high, your vision may be in danger. High eye pressure is a typical symptom of glaucoma, but when you have glaucoma, your eye pressure usually stays high, unlike the rise in eye pressure that occurs after surgery, which is usually temporary. 

Don't Stoop

Stooping or bending over after your cataract surgery can raise your intraocular pressure. While bending down or stooping may be unavoidable, try to keep your head up when tying your shoes or picking something up off the floor.

Another reason why you should avoid stooping is because when you get up you might bump your eye and damage the surgical site. Your eye surgeon will place a metal shield over the affected eye to protect it until your first post-operative appointment, so if you accidentally bump your eye, it will be protected. Do not remove the shield under any circumstances, as it should only be taken off by the doctor.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking can damage the tiny capillaries in your body, including those inside your eye. Cigarette smoke can also decrease circulation and diminish blood flow to your surgical site. If you are unable to quit smoking on your own, ask your doctor to recommend a treatment plan to help you.

If you find it difficult to quit completely, at least try to cut down after your cataract laser surgery. Not only can smoking damage your blood vessels, it can also raise the risk for developing an eye infection because tobacco smoke contains toxic chemicals that can promote infection and depress your immune system. Smoking may also irritate your eyes and make them itch. Touching or scratching an itchy eye can disturb your surgical site and should be avoided if possible.

If you experience pain, bleeding, a worsening in your visual acuity, or drainage coming out of your eye, call your eye surgeon as soon as possible. These may be signs of infection which will need to be evaluated and treated right away. The sooner complications are recognized and addressed, the more likely you are to enjoy sharp, crisp vision following your cataract removal.