When will I start to see results from cataract surgery?

When will I start to see cataract surgery results? Following cataract surgery, in the vast majority of patients, I don’t cover the eye with a shield, and so immediately after surgery, the vision is very blurred and misty. And that will persist for the rest of the day, but the following morning patients are beginning to perceive an improvement in their vision, and by 48-72 hours the vision is really beginning to become clear. And many patients feel that their vision, at that time, is good enough to drive.

Remember, you need time to recover from any surgery

The other thing patients should be aware of is that this is an operation, and although after 48-72 hours you may have most of your vision, perhaps 90% of your vision, it can take another four to six weeks for the vision to finally settle. Many patients will see me a week after surgery and say, “it’s not quite right yet, Mr Morris”. And I always say to them, well, if you have knee surgery or hip surgery you don’t expect to be running a week later. And similarly, with eye surgery, it does take time for that vision to really crisp up. It’s almost as if you’ve got the gross picture but it’s not quite finely tuned.

Multifocal Lens patients’ recovery time

That’s not the case for everybody, but it is the case for many patients, particularly those with multifocal lenses where there is an adaptation period to these lenses. In a patient who’s had multifocal lenses, it may be six to eight weeks before the vision fully settles and the full benefit of surgery is there.

The eye needs time to heal

The other thing to be aware of is following surgery the eye needs to heal. So there’s a tiny nick in the eye at the time of surgery so that the eye can feel dry or there can be a foreign body sensation around the eye. And again, that can take six to eight weeks to settle, particularly if somebody has a pre-existing dry eye and has been using dry eye drops for treatment. If they have been using dry eye drops for treatment, it’s very important that they continue to use those after surgery as well as the antibiotic drops that they’re given.

More about Robert Morris

Rob Morris is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at The Grange Eye Consultants. His special expertise is in cataract and refractive surgery, including Refractive Lens Exchange, and adult squint. He has over 30 years of experience in treating people with eye problems. Rob Morris founded Grange Eye Consultants to manage the increasing demand for more complex refractive surgery. He leads clinical trials investigating novel eye treatments. He is currently Medical Director at Optegra Eye Hospitals.