Guidelines Following Cataract Surgery

Post-cataract surgery   Lignes directrices après une chirurgie de la cataracte

If you were given any sedation during surgery, it may take up to 24 hours for you to fully recover. After surgery your reactions and judgments may be impaired, therefore:

  • A responsible adult must accompany you when leaving the health centre and stay with you for the first night after surgery
  • You are advised not to drive a vehicle, operate machinery or make any important decisions for 24 hours following surgery

Eye Dressing/Shield

Unless your doctor has given you special instructions, DO NOT TOUCH the dressing/shield until the doctor removes it at your follow-up appointment.


  • Check with your eye doctor before resuming blood thinners
  • Resume other medications as soon as you get home
  • There is usually minimal discomfort the day of surgery. This may be due to a temporary rise in eye pressure. It is common to feel some scratchiness. Take two regular or extra-strength acetaminophen as required.
  • If you become constipated, take a mild laxative. Straining while having a bowel movement can injure your eye.


  • Reminder: DO NOT TOUCH or rub your eye with your fingers.
  • Your vision will improve in the first days or weeks. This varies from person to person and even from one eye to another. The degree to which your vision will improve depends on other factors in your eye. You may experience double vision, which is normal and will usually disappear.
  • You may be quite light sensitive, especially in the first few weeks. Wear sunglasses or clip-ons.
  • Avoid dusty environments where dust or dirt is blowing or other possible eye irritants such as smoke or strong fumes.


You may resume all your usual daily activities except driving after surgery – including reading and watching television – as the comfort of your eye permits. Rest your eye often and:

  • Do not lift anything over 10 pounds for at least two weeks
  • Do not get water or soap in your eyes for at least two weeks
  • Do not swim in lakes or pools for at least four weeks

Follow-up Appointment

At your follow-up appointment your eye doctor will advise you of the following:

  • When you can resume driving
  • How long to wear your eye shield at bedtime
  • When to renew your eye glass prescription

Call the Eye Doctor if:

  • You have severe eye pain not relieved by acetaminophen
  • You notice sudden change in vision
  • You notice increasing redness or swelling of the eye or lining of the eye
  • You notice any yellow, green or pus-like discharge from the eye

If you are unable to reach the eye doctor, please return to Misericordia Health Centre, which is open 24/7 for emergency eye care. Enter at the 99 Cornish Avenue entrance and present at patient registration. If you live outside Winnipeg, please visit the nearest health centre.


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