Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

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

Juvenile Macular Degeneration: Stargardt's and Best Disease

Juvenile macular degeneration is the term for several inherited eye diseases -- including Stargardt's disease, Best disease, and juvenile retinoschisis -- that affect children and young adults. These rare diseases cause central vision loss that may begin in childhood or young adulthood. Unfortunately, there is no treatment available for these diseases, which are caused by gene mutations passed down in families. Visual aids, adaptive training, and other types of assistance can help young people with...

Read the Juvenile Macular Degeneration: Stargardt's and Best Disease 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.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    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.
    Next Article:

    Cataracts: Eye Care After Surgery Topics

    Today on WebMD

    Woman holding tissue to reddened eye
    Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments.
    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
    human eye
    eye exam timing
    vision test
    is vision correction surgery for you
    high tech contacts
    eye drop