If your eye doctor has recommended you for cataract surgery, you might find yourself worrying about the procedure itself, or the recovery time. How long before you see again? Don’t worry – after the surgery is performed, you can expect your vision to return within a few days at most, and although it might be blurry for a couple of days, recovery is generally pretty quick.

What Expect in Your Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery itself is usually performed one of two ways: either by a probe breaking up the cloudy lens, called phacoemulsification, or by an incision, known as extracapsular extraction. An IOL, or intraocular lens, is a thin permanent silicone or acrylic disc that is inserted into the eye, taking place of the cloudy lens. Both surgeries can be completed in as little as 15 minutes.

Recovery Time

Most patients can expect to see more clearly immediately after the surgery, but your vision could still be cloudy, blurry or distorted when you first remove the eye shield. Your eye still needs to adjust to the removal of the cataract and adapt to the IOL.

Regardless of the surgical method your doctor uses, you can expect a full recovery within a month or so. In the meantime, however, be sure to take care of your eyes with the following tips:

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes
  • Use any medicated drops that may have been prescribed to help with irritation
  • Don’t sneeze or vomit if at all possible directly after surgery
  • Limit computer use, or other activities that may cause eye strain
  • Avoid heavy lifting for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery

Your doctor will likely want to see you a few days after, and then a week following surgery to make sure that you’re healing properly. Full recovery usually takes about a month. In the meantime, rest assured knowing that you’re on your way to a new outlook on life – literally!