A close-up image of a woman with a cataract in her eye

What Activities Should You Avoid After Cataract Surgery?

Vision care is an essential part of everyday life, and with the advancement in eye care technology, it is more accessible than ever. Your eye doctor is in your corner to deal with vision issues such as cataracts through surgery.

But what are cataracts? And what activities should you avoid after surgery? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts occur when your eye’s normally clear lens becomes cloudy. This clouding of the lens can keep light and images from reaching your retina. A cataract can be why sharp images become blurred, appear discolored, dull or distorted, or glare at night. 

A cataract occurs as you age—they start forming when proteins in the form of microscopic clumps cause haziness preventing the lens from sending clear images to the retina. Cataracts develop slowly and eventually interfere with your vision.

Some signs and symptoms of cataracts include:

Cataracts do not occur overnight and are a gradual process. The symptoms can also be gradual and may not be noticeable until cataracts become more advanced.

The development of cataracts can depend on some risk factors. While everyone may not get cataracts, they are age-related and become more common with age.

Some risk factors associated with cataract development include:

Cataracts can develop from eye injuries, certain diseases, or medications. It’s essential to monitor the symptoms and risk factors associated with cataracts.   

Cataract Surgery & Prevention Methods

Your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to check for cataracts and evaluate your vision to diagnose cataracts. This process will also include an eye chart test to assess your vision at different distances and tonometry to measure your eye pressure.

Surgery will be your only option to remove a cataract once you are no longer able to go about daily activities. These daily activities can be things like reading or driving. 

Your specialist will remove the cloudy natural lens from the eye during your cataract surgery. Your cataract surgeon will then replace the natural lens with a permanent intraocular lens implant to restore focusing power.

Beyond surgery, you can practice some prevention methods to reduce your risk of developing cataracts.

Some of these cataract prevention methods include: 

Cataract prevention is about monitoring your risk factors and being extra cautious with things that can damage your vision.

An older woman relaxing and taking it easy, sitting outside with her dog

Activities to Avoid Following Cataract Surgery

Following your cataract surgery, there are some precautions you should take to make sure the healing process progresses without any issues. Your eye doctor will lay out specific aftercare instructions for you, but there are some general guidelines to follow post-surgery. 

Avoid Driving Immediately After Surgery

You will not be able to drive immediately after surgery and should arrange to have someone drive you home ahead of time. While you may be able to drive several days after your surgery, you should first consult your eye doctor to get a specific timeline for yourself.

Exercising

Immediately after your surgery, you should avoid intense workouts and exercise. 

In the week following your surgery, you should opt for low-impact physical activities, such as:

Even with these low-impact activities, you should avoid bending and lifting anything too heavy that can increase pressure in your eyes and interfere with the healing process. 

Missing Work

Most people feel good enough to get back to work within a few days of surgery if they do not develop any post-surgery complications.

It does depend on what kind of work you do—avoiding certain activities such as lifting heavy objects or bending over is crucial to the recovery process.

Your cataract specialist will map out your recovery process, and it is essential to follow your doctor’s guidelines and report any irregularities. 

Some other general recommendations to protect your eyes following surgery include avoiding:

Avoiding these activities can help accelerate the healing process and get you back to your daily routine.

Being Cautious

Your eye doctor will take every precaution to ensure that your healing process progresses without any complications. Avoiding some activities can help keep the post-surgery healing on track and save you some stress. 

Contact your eye doctor today to learn more about cataracts and the recovery process.

Are There Non-Surgical Treatments for Cataracts?

Proper eye care is a vital part of everyday life. That means keeping up with any eye care appointments and reporting any eye care issues you may be experiencing to your optometrist is essential.

Cataracts are one of these eye care issues you need to look out for and understand.

Let’s look at what cataracts are, some risk factors, treatments, and if there are any non-surgical options for treatment.   

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding of your eye’s usually clear lens. This clouding of your natural lens can keep light and images from reaching your retina. A cataract starts when proteins in the form of microscopic clumps causing haziness prevent the lens from sending clear images to the retina.

The retina converts the light that comes through the lens into signals—it then sends those signals to the optic nerve and carries them to the brain. A cataract develops slowly and eventually interferes with your vision. While you may end up with cataracts in both eyes, they don’t usually form simultaneously.  

Cataracts can be the reason:

Cataracts can also be why your prescription glasses no longer work for you, and even a change of glasses does not help. 

Some common symptoms of cataracts include:

Cataracts don’t occur overnight, and it’s a gradual process. The symptoms can also be gradual and may not be noticeable until cataracts become more advanced.

Cataracts Risk Factors

Because cataracts develop over time, the risk factors involved are also drawn out. 

Some risk factors for cataracts include: 

Monitoring these risk factors can help fight against the development of cataracts. As with any eye issue, maintaining proper eye health practices and consistent check-ups can help with overall eye health.

Now that you know what cataracts are and some risk factors, let’s look at treatment options.

Can You Treat Cataracts Without Surgery?

When your cataracts prevent you from going about your daily activities, like reading or driving, surgery is the recommended treatment option. Cataracts develop slowly, so getting to the surgery option can take a while—your options leading up to that point will be determined by severity.

Surgery is the only way to treat and remove cataracts, but you may not need it immediately if you catch the problem at an early age. 

Surgery to remove a cataract is generally very safe and has a high success rate. The surgery is conducted to remove the cloudy natural lens from the eye and replace it with an artificial lens to restore focusing power. 

Once your cataracts get to the level of interfering with your everyday life, surgery is inevitable. The good news is the evolution of cataract surgery in the form of advanced technology intraocular lenses offers more benefits than ever.

If surgery isn’t your ideal option, your doctor may recommend stronger eyeglasses, magnifying lenses, or sunglasses with an anti-glare coating to manage your cataract symptoms.

Some prevention methods you can practice to reduce the risk of developing cataracts include:

While surgery is a safe and proven treatment option, some people may be unable or unwilling to get it. These prevention methods for eye care are vital to preserve eye health and delay the effects of cataracts. 

Managing Cataracts

Cataracts can interfere with your daily activities, and leaving them untreated can lead to more serious problems. Although some cataracts can stop growing, they don’t get smaller on their own. Surgery is the only option to remove cataracts completely. 

Book an appointment with your eye doctor today to learn more about cataracts and determine if cataract surgery is right for you.