Cataract surgery: 5 do’s and don’ts

Close-up view of a human eye with detailed capture of the iris, eyelashes, and reflection of a window in the pupil. The eye has a cataract.

A cataract develops when the lens in your eye becomes visibly cloudy. If a cataract makes it difficult for you to carry out your everyday responsibilities, your health care team may suggest cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, doctors remove the clouded lens and replace it with a clear artificial lens, enabling the patient to regain vision.

Close-up comparison of two human eyes: one with a normal lens and the other with a cataract lens, labeled "Normal Lens" and "Cataract Lens" respectively. The eye with the normal lens is clear, while the eye with the cataract lens shows a cloudy, milky appearance. Text at the bottom right credits UHN Patient Education.
Close-up comparison of two human eyes: one with a normal lens and the other with a cataract lens. (Photo: UHN)

5 things to do after your cataract surgery

  1. Eat and drink as usual after your procedure
  2. Get plenty of rest
  3. Use a clean tissue to remove any secretions from your eye
  4. Keep your eyes closed while you shower/bathe – you can shower 24 hours after your surgery
  5. Wear regular glasses or sunglasses when you go outside

5 things not to do after your cataract surgery

  1. Do not participate in tiring physical activities or sports like gardening, swimming, jogging, or aerobics
  2. Do not participate in activities that might put excess strain on your eye (for example, lifting heavy objects)
  3. Do not use a hot tub or steam room until approved by your surgeon
  4. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery
  5. Do not strain while having a bowel movement

Click here to learn more about how to take care of your eye after surgery, how to prevent injury and how to know what activities are safe.

Please consult your health care provider if you’re concerned about cataracts, and be sure to follow their recommended guidelines after surgery.

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