Vision is restored in the majority of people who have cataract surgery. You can usually resume everyday activities within one to two weeks of surgery. NYU Langone doctors perform regular follow-up exams to monitor your recovery.
NYU Langone ophthalmologists typically prescribe antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eyedrops for the days and weeks following surgery. These eyedrops speed the healing process and help to prevent infection.
In the first few days after surgery, doctors may also recommend that you limit certain activities that can put strain on your eye, especially bending or lifting. You should also avoid rubbing your eye, swimming under water, and wearing eye makeup.
If you experience pain, bleeding, or sudden loss of vision immediately after surgery, contact your ophthalmologist. It’s important to make sure that you do not have an infection that could damage your vision.
Although the majority of people regain full vision after cataract surgery, some may still have difficulty seeing clearly. If a cataract is severe and has been present in the eye for a long time, or if a condition such as glaucoma or diabetes complicates healing, it may be difficult to completely restore vision with surgery. Your NYU Langone doctor may recommend visual rehabilitation to help you adapt your daily routine accordingly.
If cataract surgery does not fully correct vision loss, it’s natural to feel frustrated or nervous about living with compromised vision. At NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, our occupational therapists and physiatrists work with our eye doctors to help make everyday activities—such as reading, writing, cooking, shopping, and moving around your community—easier.
If your vision loss cannot be fully corrected with cataract surgery, visual rehabilitation specialists can help you to obtain and learn to use adaptive technologies such as screen readers that enlarge the size of a digital screen to make reading easier; large-button keyboards for easier typing; and “text-to-speech” software that allows you to listen to rather than read something.
Other adaptive devices include hand-held magnifiers or those that are worn on your head. These can enlarge images from the television, for instance, or enhance your vision at a sporting event. Telescopic devices worn over your glasses can magnify objects in front of you. Special eyeglasses equipped with prisms can increase your side vision and help you to avoid obstacles.
NYU Langone clinicians are committed to helping you preserve your vision. Your doctor is available to answer any questions you may have after surgery and to provide necessary follow-up care as you resume your daily activities.