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Post-cataract surgery guide: Recovery & aftercare

Immediately after cataract surgery you may notice that your eye is slightly red and your vision may be a little foggy. You may feel your eye is scratchy as if a grain of sand may be in your eye. Your eye should not be painful.

In the rare instance they occur you should report increasing pain, headache or nausea to the after-hours telephone number provided to you following your procedure in your paperwork.

During recovery after cataract surgery, avoid:

  • rubbing your eye
  • swimming for at least a week (and try to keep water out of your eye while bathing)
  • eye makeup and eye creams/moisturisers for a week
  • straining, heavy lifting or strenuous activity for several days
  • activities that could injure your eye such as contact sports for 6 weeks
  • exposing your eye to dust and wind during the first few weeks


All your postoperative drops, a written schedule, and a drop chart for you to track your drops for each eye will be provided to you before you leave the day surgery.


You will be provided with sunglasses you can wear before you leave the day surgery. You do not need to wear these for therapeutic reasons, only as comfort requires.

The evening after your cataract procedure

We suggest you not plan any activities for the evening after your procedure. Do not plan to drive or drink alcohol until your sedation has worn off 24 hours after your procedure. Though not essential, ideally where possible it is a good idea to have someone with you the first evening after your procedure.

Postoperative appointments

  • You will see your eye surgeon, Dr Fraenkel, one or two days after your cataract procedure. You will be given your appointment day and time after your procedure before you leave the day surgery.
  • Your next routine appointment will usually be four or five weeks after your procedure either with Dr Fraenkel or your referring optometrist.
  • Either way you will then see your optometrist 5-6 weeks after your procedure for new glasses if required. Occasionally you may see them sooner if you need glasses sooner.

Symptoms to watch for after cataract surgery and problems to call about.

Please call 08 83592422 8:00 – 18:50 hours or the After Hours emergency number provided if you have increasing eye:

  • Pain, redness or blur
  • Increasing discomfort in bright light
  • New floaters or flashes or shadows in your field of vision

Or increasing nausea or headache.