On average, patients begin to recover from cataract surgery by the end of the first week after the procedure, according to The New York Times. Most patients, when using eye drops, pain relievers and prescription medication, recover completely from cataract surgery within one month, as reported by WebMD.
Patients typically experience blurred vision, itchiness and general discomfort for a few days after cataract surgery. Patients who experience short-term sensitivity to light may have to wear tinted sunglasses both indoors and outdoors to prevent discomfort and pain. To prevent injury or infection, patients may also have to wear an eye patch during the day and a protective covering at night until the eye heals, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help minimize pain, headaches and other discomfort, as reported by WebMD.
In the meantime, patients may resume most daily activities, such as returning to work and participating in mild exercise, as reported by the New York Times. Some patients may require prescription glasses or an updated prescription to improve eyesight after the eye heals. Patients may schedule another procedure for the second eye within a month or two after the first procedure, if necessary.