Oculase Articles

Top tips after cataract surgery

Mr Tariq Ayoub - 1 Oct 2020

eye with cataract Cataract surgery is the removal of the cloudy natural lens in your eye which is replaced with an artificial lens implant. This new lens implant helps you see well again.

If you are planning to have cataract surgery, you may have a number of questions about your recovery. Can you go home after the surgery? When will your sight return? Can you exercise after surgery? What about driving?

This blog post answers all your post-cataract surgery concerns. Read on to learn about the dos and don’t after cataract surgery, so you can prepare for your treatment.

How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is a day surgery. You don’t normally need to stay overnight and can go home the same day.

Here’s what to expect as you recover:

You will need to wear an eye shield overnight after your surgery to protect your eye. You can remove this at 8am the next morning.

At first, the eye that has been operated on will still feel numb. After a few hours, the feeling will return to normal.

It will take a little longer for your sight in that eye to return. You will be able to see well again after around three days.

In the first few days after surgery, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • A gritty feeling in your eye
  • Eye redness or a bloodshot look
  • Eye-watering

These side effects will normally subside after a few days. Full recovery may take a few weeks. If you need new glasses, you will have to wait to order these until you have fully recovered. Want to live glasses-free? Talk to our specialist about our advanced technology lenses.

If you start to experience decreased vision, swelling, a raised temperature, increased eye redness, pain or stickiness, contact your doctor. These symptoms mean your eye needs to be looked at.

Post cataract surgery tips

Here are some tips following surgery.


  • Do try to rest or reduce activity for the first few days.
  • Take particular care when stepping off pavements and going up and down stairs.
  • Do gently clean your eye twice a day, with boiling water that has cooled and cotton wool.
  • Do use your eye shield at night for the first week.
  • Do use eye drops as the doctor has instructed.
  • Do wear sunglasses outside for the first week.
  • Do avoid smoky and dusty atmospheres for the first week.
  • Do bath and shower as normal (after the first two days) but use your eye shield when washing your hair.
  • Do take painkillers to manage any pain.
  • Do practice using your eyes for reading, watching TV or using the computer.
  • Do attend your follow up appointments.


  • Don’t drink alcohol, until your vision has cleared and your eyes are comfortable.
  • Don’t rub or put pressure on your eyes for at least one week after surgery.
  • Don’t squeeze your eyes for at least one day after surgery.
  • Don’t wet your eyes for one week.
  • Don’t shower for two days.
  • Don’t let soap get into your eyes.
  • Don’t do vigorous exercise or contact sports for at least a month.
  • Don’t wear makeup for one week.
  • Don’t take any flights for one week.
  • Don’t swim for at least four weeks and then use goggles for a month after.
  • Don’t go back to work straight away if your job is physical or involves driving.
  • Don’t drive until your vision has cleared and you feel comfortable doing so.

Exercise after cataract surgery

You should avoid vigorous exercise for the first four weeks, as it is important not to put too much strain on your eye. This includes swimming, which is best avoided until you are fully recovered as swimming pools can spread infections. When you do return to swimming, wear goggles for at least a month.

You can do light exercise after the first two days, like going for a brisk walk. Moderate exercise like cycling is safe to two after around two weeks. But listen to your body — if your eye starts hurting, reduce what you are doing.

Driving after cataract surgery

You will not be able to drive home from your cataract surgery. The operation requires anaesthesia and affects your vision, which makes driving after unsafe.

You can drive again once your vision has cleared and you feel comfortable doing so.

Booking cataract surgery

Are you still thinking about booking cataract surgery? Here’s why you should choose Oculase:

Our award-winning Lead Surgeon and Medical Director, Mr Ayoub, has done thousands of cataract surgeries with excellent outcomes. Our outstanding reviews are a testament to this.

Oculase will tailor your treatment to give you optimal vision after cataract surgery. We use premium lenses with advanced lens technology to give our patients the best visual outcome.

Using advanced diagnostic scans and AI, we are able to predict the best lens implant to treat your myopia, hyperopia and/or astigmatism associated with your cataract.

We also offer refractive surgery including LASIK, PRK and ICL implants to suitable patients. As such we have specialist knowledge to treat patients who have had these treatments if they develop a cataract.

Plus, we specialise in dealing with complex cataracts associated with conditions including Fuchs, keratoconus, corneal transplants, glaucoma and retinal conditions.

We can also perform top-up laser eye surgery to achieve optimal results after cataract surgery.

Looking to pay with your insurance? We are recognised by most major insurance providers and are able to treat people with insurance.

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About the author

Mr Tariq Ayoub
Mr Tariq Ayoub, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Mr Ayoub has been rated as one of the top eye surgeons in the UK. He is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in London, based at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, where he is also the Lead for the Emergency Department at Western Eye Hospital.

0330 128 1616

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