Eye care for adults after cataract surgery

After surgery to remove a cataract, you will need to:

  • 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.
  • If you have pain, use a pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol). 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. However, you need to take certain precautions:

  • 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.

Last Updated: September 9, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.