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After Small-Incision Cataract Surgery: The First 24 Hours

After surgery, you’ll rest in a recovery area for about an hour. Even though you may feel fine, you should take it easy. Your doctor will let you know what you should and shouldn’t do once you get home. You may need to wear eye protection the first day. Also remember to take any eyedrops or other medicine your doctor prescribes.

Woman and man sitting on couch looking at book.

Back at Home

Spend your first day relaxing at home. Watch TV, read, or talk to a friend.

  • Don’t rub your eye.

  • Don’t lift anything that makes you strain.

  • Don’t drink alcohol within the first 24 hours.

Getting Back in Action

You may be able to get back to much of your routine in the first day. But with some tasks, your doctor may ask you to wait.

  • Driving: You can drive again in 5–7 days.

  • Bathing: You can shower again in 2–3 days.

  • Cooking: You can cook again in 2–3 days.

  • Exercising: You can exercise again in 14 days.

What to Expect

It’s normal for your eye to be bruised or bloodshot at first. These won’t last long.

When to Call Your Doctor

  • Your pain is not relieved by over-the-counter medicine.

  • You have nausea or vomiting.

  • Your vision suddenly becomes worse.

 

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