What Not To Do After Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a common eye procedure performed on patients usually in their 60's and older replacing their cloudy natural lens with an intraocular lens.  It's a fast outpatient procedure performed one eye at a time.  Patients are seen for their 1-day postoperative appointment to examine the eye to ensure no eye infection and control the eye pressure.

Eye infections also known as endophthalmitis following cataract removal are rare.  Postoperative endophthalmitis is a serious complication of cataract surgery, with the incidence rate less than 1/1000 nationally, and at San Antonio Eye Specialists even less.  We attribute the low rate to educating patients and providing them with detailed instructions to follow after surgery.  Patient compliance is paramount in adhering to antibiotic, steroidal, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drops a few days prior to surgery and postoperatively to reduce the risk of infection.

Typical instructions given to patients following cataract removal are as follows:

1. Stay away from activities that involve dust, or dirt for at least 1-2 weeks.  There's no need for spring cleaning or exposing the eyes to dusty or dirty areas that can compromise the eye's healing.  Avoid working in the garage or closed areas with poor ventilation and dust.  We ask patients to refrain from working with soil in the garden or potting plants.  Soil has various microorganisms that can be detrimental to the eye.  

2.  Keep hands washed and sanitized before touching the face.  Avoid rubbing the eyes.  We ask patients to sleep with goggles provided by the surgeon for 1 week following surgery.

3. Wash face and shampoo hair as normal but avoid water and soap in the eyes.  When showering, have your back to the faucet to avoid water pressure in the eyes.

4. No eye makeup for 1 week.

5. Avoid pet contact as animals are not clean.  Wearing your goggles around your pets is a good protection to shield the eyes.

6. No physical activities such as working out for at least 1 week and swimming should be avoided for 3-4 weeks.

7. Wear sunglasses when outdoors.

Follow these guidelines to ensure a smooth healing process following cataract removal and eliminate eye infections.  Clear vision awaits at San Antonio Eye Specialists with our board-certified ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained refractive surgeon, Dr. Iskander, with over 20 years of surgical experience.  For your eyes...Don't compromise!