When Can You Drive After Cataract Surgery? – The answer to this question can depend on a number of considerations. In most cases, people feel well enough to drive 24 to 48 hours after their cataract surgery, however, some will heal faster or slower than others.
- As a general guideline, it is a good idea to wait until your review appointment with your ophthalmologist before getting behind the wheel.
- During this appointment, your doctor will be able to measure and assess your vision to ensure you meet the local driving vision requirements, even if subjectively you already feel comfortable driving.
Immediately after your cataract operation, your vision will take some time to stabilise. To stabilise completely, it can take 4 to 6 weeks, however, most people will find their vision has improved enough to drive safely much sooner than that. As the intraocular lens implant settles in its position in the eye, and the corneal incision seals and heals over, your vision can remain slightly unclear. Another consideration is whether having had a cataract removed in just one eye has caused a large difference in prescription between the eyes. Depending on the magnitude of the difference, this can be quite disorientating and may interfere with your depth perception.
Since the operated eye no longer needs a spectacle lens due to the intraocular implant but the other eye still does, this can cause a mismatch in the size and quality of the image each eye is receiving. Some people will get around this by having an intraocular lens implant inserted in the other eye sooner rather than later, even if the cataract in that eye is not particularly advanced.
Doing so allows both eyes to be more balanced. In the interim, those experiencing disorientation from a large difference between the eyes after having one cataract removed should wait for the second operation to be completed before driving again. While many surgeons will aim to fully correct the eye with the prescription built into the intraocular lens, occasionally there may some residual prescription that needs to be corrected with glasses or contacts.
In addition to this, you may need a near vision prescription in order to see your dashboard or steering wheel controls clearly. As it can take some time to have these lenses made or ordered, you may need to hold off on driving until you receive them. Although cataract surgery is associated with a relatively low risk of complications in the postoperative period, it is still possible to experience delayed healing or prolonged side effects,
These include complications such as ongoing glare sensitivity or eye inflammation, which can impact your vision. Dry eye is also not an uncommon side effect of cataract removal, and in some cases can persist. These conditions have the potential to affect your ability to see well enough to drive safely.
Ultimately, the best person to answer when can you drive after cataract surgery is your ophthalmologist. Although you may feel comfortable soon after your operation, try to avoid driving until your vision and eyes have been given the all-clear by your eye doctor. Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.
Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. References 15 things you need to know about cataract surgery https://visioneyeinstitute.com.au/eyematters/15-things-need-know-cataract-surgery/#:~:text=Most%20patients%20can%20drive%20within,feel%20strained%20after%20the%20surgery How soon can you drive after cataract surgery? https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataracts/faq-how-soon-can-you-drive-after-cataract-surgery/ How soon can I drive after cataract surgery? https://www.bettervisionguide.com/driving-after-cataract-surgery-how-long-do-i-have-to-wait/
- 0.1 How soon can you drive after cataract surgery in one eye?
- 1 What are the do’s and don’ts after cataract surgery?
- 1.1 When can you wash your face after cataract surgery?
- 2 Can I wear sunglasses at night after cataract surgery?
- 3 What happens to vision after cataract surgery in one eye?
How soon can you drive after cataract surgery in one eye?
As our eyes age, developing cataracts is a normal occurrence. This leads to cataract surgery being a common procedure. Generally, the recovery time is quick after cataract surgery—1 to 3 days on average. In some cases, it can take a couple of weeks. But how soon can you drive afterward? Unfortunately, there isn’t a set answer.
Can I drive 2 weeks after cataract surgery?
Blog / How Long Do You Have To Wait To Drive After Cataract Surgery Do you value the independence that driving gives you? Do you rely heavily on your car to get around? Are you the main driver in your family? Is driving part of your job? If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts and you’re awaiting surgery then you’ve probably been relying on public transport or family and friends to take you places. Worse still, you may have become housebound or unable to work. You’re itching to get driving again so just how long do you need to wait to get back on the road after cataract surgery? Answer: it depends* *apologies for the indefinite answer; here’s all the information you need to make an informed decision.
When cataract symptoms occur driving is one of the first things to be affected and one of the first things that you should stop doing for your safety and the safety of others. This is especially the case at night time when you may find that bright lights are dazzling and uncomfortable to look at. Cataract surgery is a quick and painless outpatient procedure so you’ll usually go home on the same day.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can drive straight away; there are standards that must be adhered to and one of these is that you’re met by a friend or relative (not a taxi) who can stay with you to make sure that you’re okay. All being well, you should be able to resume everyday activities within 24 hours, but this does not include driving.
- The minimum for getting back behind the wheel is 24 hours after your surgery is completed and then it all depends.
- In order to drive, you must meet the DVLA vision standard for driving (see link below) and feel comfortable and confident; if your eyes are sensitive to light, or uncomfortable for a few days after surgery, you shouldn’t be driving yet.
Everyone reacts differently to cataract surgery and your doctor may give you the all clear or advise you to avoid driving for a longer period of time. Following cataract surgery, you may experience some common side effects like grittiness, watering, blurred vision, double vision and a red or bloodshot eye.
- While these can improve within a few days, it can take four to six weeks to recover fully and, of course, that means driving will have to wait.
- Also, if you require new glasses or contact lenses you’ll not be able to order them until your eye has completely healed and you may need them to be able to pass the DVLA standards listed below.
In most cases, it’s advisable that you wait four weeks so your eye is fully recovered before having an eye test to get new glasses.
What are the do’s and don’ts after cataract surgery?
Dos and don’ts – For the first few weeks after surgery: Do:
- use your eye drops as instructed
- take it easy for the first 2 to 3 days
- use your eye shield at night for at least a week
- take painkillers if you need to
- bathe or shower yourself as usual
- wear your eye shield when washing your hair
- read, watch TV and use a computer
- use your shield, old glasses or sunglasses outdoors
- avoid swimming for 4 to 6 weeks
- do not rub your eyes
- do not allow soap or shampoo to get into your eye
- do not drive until you get the all-clear from your doctor
- do not do any strenuous exercise or housework
- do not wear eye make-up for at least 4 weeks
- do not fly without seeking advice from your doctor
You could arrange for someone to help take care of you until your vision returns, particularly if the vision in your other eye is poor. If you work, how soon you can return will largely depend on your type of job and if you need new glasses.
Can I drive 4 days after cataract surgery?
Driving After Cataract Surgery – Cataract surgery requires anesthesia, and for this reason you will not be able to drive yourself home immediately after your surgery. Instead, you will be released into the care of a loved one and they will need to drive you home so you can rest for the remainder of the day.
- In the past, many people opted to take a cab home, but recent regulations require that eye care facilities release patients to the care of a friend or relative.
- This is so that the caretaker can stay with the patient and ensure there are no post-op complications, however rare they may be.
- Most patients are able to resume driving 24 hours after cataract surgery.
However, this completely depends on the individual patient. The day after your surgery, you will return to your surgeon’s office for a follow-up appointment. They will evaluate your vision to determine when it’s safe for you to drive and resume other normal activities.
It is very important that you wait for clearance from your doctor, as some patients heal more quickly than others. It could be that your doctor recommends waiting a little while longer before driving again, just to be safe. For this reason, you should also plan on having a loved one drive you to and from your follow-up appointment.
Keep in mind that you may be required to wear an eye shield for a few days after surgery to aid your healing. It may also take about a week for your vision to completely stabilize. Your eye doctors will discuss these factors, and how they may affect your ability to drive, during your in-office consultation.
Can I travel 3 days after cataract surgery?
Medical Access – Your eye will feel normal again 24 hours after surgery. However, your sensitivity to light may persist for a few more days. So, how soon can you fly after cataract surgery? Usually after 24 hours. However, full cataract surgery recovery time is typically four to six weeks.
- During this time, the eye needs to be kept clean and lubricated to help the healing process, and activities should be limited to allow the eye to rest and heal properly.
- Infections are rare, but symptoms such as worsening vision, redness, and pain in the eye should be taken seriously and treated immediately, as delays can result in permanent vision loss.
If an infection occurs, seeking professional ophthalmology medical care is important, typically only available in well-developed cities. When recovering from cataract surgery, avoiding remote places with limited access to medical care and connection to the outside world is best.
Can I bend over 3 weeks after cataract surgery?
How Long After Cataract Surgery Can I Bend Over? – Try not to be bend over for at least 2 weeks following cataract surgery, Whilst there are some tasks that require bending, such as putting on shoes or pants, try to avoid bending your back. In addition, try not to sneeze or vomit following cataract surgery, and avoid excessive coughing.
Can I read and watch TV after cataract surgery?
It’s fine for you to read and watch television after cataract surgery, although your vision may be a little blurred for the first few days.
When can you wash your face after cataract surgery?
Washing Your Face and Hygiene after Cataract Surgery – Your surgery doesn’t come at the expense of your hygiene, but you need to be careful about exposing the eye to direct water for a week. You can resume activities such as washing your face the day after surgery, as long as you are careful to not touch the eye.
You shouldn’t splash water directly on your face and instead, use a washcloth to carefully clean. The surgery incisions should heal within just a few days, but you should still be careful about not getting water in the eye during this recovery period. Have your eyes closed while washing your face and avoid rubbing your eye.
Avoid getting any shampoo or soap into your eye.
Do I need to wear sunglasses after cataract surgery?
Do I Need to Wear Sunglasses After Cataract Surgery? – Yes, after cataract surgery, you need to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. After surgery, your eyes are healing and are more sensitive to the sun’s rays than usual. Anytime you go outside, you need to wear sunglasses.
Whether it’s raining or sunny, the sun is giving off damaging UV rays. You need to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from this UV radiation. Also, if you are going to be outside during the middle of the day, you should wear wide-brimmed sunglasses. The sun is at its brightest from about 10 am to 2 pm.
During this period, you have a higher risk of sun damage, so you need to protect your eyes!
Can I go out 2 days after cataract surgery?
Most people are able to return to work or their normal routine in 1 to 3 days. After your eye heals, you may still need to wear glasses, especially for reading.
Can I wear sunglasses at night after cataract surgery?
Can You Wear Regular Sunglasses Right After Cataract Surgery? – You should continue to wear sunglasses for at least a few weeks after your surgery. This will help to protect your eyes as they heal. After a few weeks, you can start to wear them less often.
- However, you should still put them on whenever you are going to be in the sun for an extended period of time.
- You should wear sunglasses after cataract surgery.
- Make sure the sunglasses you are wearing help to provide you with adequate protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
- We recommend choosing a pair of sunglasses that are 100% UV protected.
Regular sunglasses may not provide you with adequate protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. If you are looking for a pair of sunglasses to wear after cataract surgery, we recommend choosing a pair that is 100% UV protected.
What happens to vision after cataract surgery in one eye?
How long will it take for your eye to recover? – The cataract surgery recovery time will come in stages. You can expect to return to work within 1-3 days of surgery, but you shouldn’t expect to have fully stabilized vision for at least a few weeks (3-6 weeks typically).
What happens if I get water in my eye after cataract surgery?
2. You’ve avoided swimming and strenuous activities for several weeks – After cataract surgery, your eyes are more susceptible to infection and complications. Swimming is a bad idea because water is a place where bacteria can grow. Since your eyes aren’t at their best, you’re more likely to get an infection from the water.