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Cataract Free: Advice for Aftercare

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Undergoing any surgery is not something that we would choose to do with our time if we could. However, cataract surgery is one of the lower intensity surgeries that one can ever undergo. The eye is a very sensitive organ, thus it is very important to take care to avoid problems and complication.

The complete healing process may take several months so the first thing to do is to protect your eye from infection. Avoid direct touching or rubbing the eye and use only throw away tissues. You should practice regular hand washing. Certain tasks, including driving, for the first few days following surgery should be either avoided or completed with care. 

The patient is asked to put on sunglasses or any head wear soon after the treatment, as the actual eye might be sensitive to light. The incision made in the eye heals on its own. There can be some sort of discomfort (itchiness or stickiness after blinking) for 1-2 days right after surgery. To add to that, eye drops are prescribed to prevent eyelids from feeling dry, lessen inflammation, prevent infection and promote healing.  Only one drop is all that is required.

You can get back to your routine activities after a couple of days, although vision may be unclear. A head bath and face wash is permitted after 2-3 days. The full therapeutic process normally takes several months with the follow-up appointments, which are usually scheduled immediately, with the first being a day after the surgery. Eye discomfort can occur within a few hours of the surgery when the anaesthesia wears off. Improved vision can be noticed within a day or two.

In terms of overall recovery, it is pretty quick as the surgery is low intensity. The time period is generally as short as two to six weeks for the eye to heal. The time it takes to heal completely depends on the patient; some already experience the improved vision on the same day of the surgery while others take time before noticeable results are experienced.

Be cautious with your activities, especially those that can cause airborne dirt and dust to enter the eye. Avoid swimming, splashing your eye by using water or even playing with children to ensure that there is no danger. Stay away from bending, heavy lifting or over doing exercises for the first few weeks so that no strain is put to the eye.

Lastly, one thing to keep in mind is to contact your eye doctor or medical clinic to  monitor your recovery immediately in case of mild pain, loss of vision, or if your eye becomes increasingly red, if you see flashes of light, experience excessive tearing or temporary changes in sight such as double vision, blurring and sensitivity to light. Once your vision is stabilized, you may need to change your spectacles to the right prescription. Keep a continuous check on lenses until stabilization.

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