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Frequently Asked Questions after Cataract Surgery

Am I allowed to bend after surgery? If so, how far?

In general, you may bend as low as your hips. Avoid bending so low that your head is below your waist, for about one week, unless otherwise advised by your doctor.

Am I allowed to bathe or shower? What if water or soap gets in my eye? Should I put a patch on my eye when I wash?

You may bathe or shower normally. Close your eyes to avoid direct contact with soap or water. Do not attempt to patch the eye before bathing.

When should I resume taking my normal medicines? What about Aspirin, Coumadin or other drugs that “thin” my blood?

Resume taking all your medicines, without exception, immediately after surgery unless your doctor specifically instructs you otherwise.

Some of my eye drop bottles look empty or small, and I don’t think I’ll have enough. Should I ask for a refill prescription?

Your bottles have the right amount of medication in them. You do not need any refills. Simply use your eye drops until the bottles are empty. Some may be use up before others.

What do I do if I think I missed my eye when administering my drops? Will I overdose if I put in too many drops?

No. You will not overdose. If you miss your eye, you should try again.

How long should I wait between drops if I use more than one kind? Does the order matter?

You should wait five minutes between your different drops. The order does not matter.

What about my glaucoma drops?

If you only had cataract surgery, use your glaucoma eye drops before and after surgery.

If you have had cataract and glaucoma surgery together, DO NOT use your glaucoma drops in the eye that was operated on until your doctor tells you to. Continue using your usual glaucoma drops in the other eye.

What should I do with my old glasses? Are they safe to wear?

You will not harm your eyes by wearing your old glasses. However, you may prefer not wearing them since, in most cases, your vision will have improved after surgery, in particular your distance vision.

When do I have to wear the sunglasses (solar shields)?

Wear sunglasses outdoors for one week after surgery. It is optional to wear them indoors.

My vision on the first day is blurrier than I thought it would be. Should I be concerned?

Vision in the first week is different for everyone and does not indicate a bad outcome. If you have concerns, speak to your doctor.

Why are some of my appointments after surgery with a different doctor?

Depending on scheduling you may be asked to see one of the other doctors on our team for some of your immediate care after surgery.

Do I need to have my other eye operated on right away? When is it safe to do so?

You do not urgently need to schedule surgery for your other eye; however, it is safe to do so as soon as you and your doctor decide surgery on the second eye is indicated.

I had cataract and glaucoma surgery at the same time. I have more than one appointment in the same week. Is this a mistake?

No. You need to attend all scheduled visits.

When should I get a new prescription to update my glasses?

Typically, a month or so after surgery is a good time to check your glasses prescription.

If you have a doctor that usually checks your eyes for glasses, you should call his or her office and arrange this appointment yourself.

If you do not have a regular doctor who checks your eyes for glasses, or you usually see a doctor in this office, your glasses checkup is the last appointment scheduled on your post-operative surgical instruction card.