Skip to content

Eye Health Center

Font Size

Cataracts: Eye Care After Surgery - Topic Overview

After surgery to remove a cataract:

  • 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.
  • You can use an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. It is common to have a scratchy feeling in the operated eye and pain or soreness in the jaw on the operated side. If pain is not relieved, contact your doctor immediately. Pain may be a sign of complications.
  • 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.
  • Watch for signs of infection (redness, pain, and swelling) in the eye.

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

Recommended Related to Eye Health

Eye Doctors: Optometrists and Ophthalmologists

There are two main types of eye doctors: ophthalmologists and optometrists. Confused about which is which and who does what? Here's an outline of the differences between eye doctors.

Read the Eye Doctors: Optometrists and Ophthalmologists article > >

  • 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.

It is normal to have blurred vision after surgery. Most likely you will need to wear glasses to have clear vision.

Contact your doctor promptly if you notice any signs of complications following cataract surgery, such as:

  • Decreasing vision.
  • Increasing pain.
  • Increasing redness.
  • Swelling around the eye.
  • Any discharge from the eye.
  • Any new floaters, flashes of light, or changes in your field of vision.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 08, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Cataracts: Eye Care After Surgery Topics

    Today on WebMD

    Woman holding tissue to reddened eye
    Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments.
    eye
    Simple annoyance or the sign of a problem?
     
    red eyes
    Symptoms, triggers, and treatments.
    blue eye with contact lens
    Tips for wearing and caring.
     
    Understanding Stye
    Article
    human eye
    Article
     
    eye
    Video
    eye exam timing
    Video
     
    vision test
    Tool
    is vision correction surgery for you
    Article
     
    high tech contacts
    Article
    eye drop
    Article
     

    Special Sections