When is the best time to resume exercise after cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is often accompanied by just a few days of pain. This may make resuming your prior level of activity all too appealing. It is crucial to wait at least one week before doing strenuous activities such as lifting heavy things or exercising.

Maintain an elevated head and avoid lifting more than 5 to 10 pounds. Avoid swimming and hot tubs for at least a few weeks.

Typically, within a week following cataract surgery, your eye doctor will arrange a follow-up appointment. This is a good time to consider the possibility of resuming ordinary activities. It is crucial to adhere to your doctor’s recuperation instructions and recommendations. Click here to check some more facts about cataract surgery.

Resumption of Activity

You may be able to resume light activity within a few days to a week after cataract surgery. Within a day or two of cataract surgery, mild walking, stretching, and activities that do not involve lowering your head to your body, bending at the waist, heavy lifting, or strenuous activity are normally acceptable.

You may still need a few weeks of gradual reintroduction to activities. Strenuous lifting and swimming may need to be postponed for at least a month after surgery to allow for optimal recuperation. You should be able to resume most intense exercise within a few weeks after cataract surgery if your ophthalmologist permits.

Your eyes will take at least two months to completely recover after cataract surgery. Your physician may recommend a specific fitness routine to help you reintroduce exercise into your lifestyle.

Why Should You Hold Off?

Cataract surgery is a relatively safe and frequent surgical procedure with a high success rate. You will have the best chance of success if you follow your recovery and follow-up plan precisely. As is the case with any medical procedure, you must allow time for your eyes and body to heal and take measures against infection.

Numerous convincing reasons exist for postponing exercise after cataract surgery.

  • Your eyesight will be blurry for many days. This raises the risk of injury, colliding with something, misjudging distance, and losing objects. For the first few days after surgery, use care and move cautiously. Additionally, you will be unable to drive for many days after the procedure.
  • To minimize the risk of infection, avoid cleaning your eyes with dust or debris after cataract surgery. Additionally, your physician may advise that you wear an eye cover for the first day or two after the cataract surgery to protect and clean the surgical site. Exercise has the ability to bring dirt and dust to the surface. This raises the risk of anything entering the eye and causing infection before the incision has a chance to fully heal.
  • Bending down, lifting items, and straining might raise the pressure in the head and eyes, resulting in postoperative complications. Allowing your body and eyes to heal correctly after cataract surgery decreases the risk of adverse reactions such as retinal detachment, fluid collection in the eye, corneal edema, increased intraocular pressure, or lens displacement. It is preferable to avoid them until your eyes have healed to a large extent. To minimize your risk of disease, it may be recommended to postpone swimming or exposure to certain bodies of water for a few weeks to a month.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), problems after cataract surgery are infrequent, although infection, bleeding, inflammation, edema, and possible vision loss are all possible.

Allowing your eyes and body ample time to recuperate, attending follow-up visits, and following your eye doctor’s instructions on when you may resume regular levels of activity and exercise may help reduce the likelihood of a negative reaction or issue.

Avoid strenuous exercises.

If you wish to recover fast after cataract surgery, you must avoid strenuous exercise. What may be difficult for one person may not be so for another, correct? To be as safe as possible, restrict your cardiovascular exercise to modest activities such as walking or elliptical training.

Jogging on the treadmill

The good news is that these activities are permissible throughout your first week of recuperation. After the first week, you may begin introducing more strenuous activities, pending approval from your eye doctor.

After cataract surgery, swimming should be avoided for at least a month.

While you will be able to continue most of your normal activities while you recover after cataract surgery, one item you will need to avoid for an extended period of time is water. If you like swimming, you should avoid it for at least a month after cataract surgery.

This includes the ocean, rivers, streams, and lakes, as well as hot tubs and swimming pools! Bacteria thrive in bodies of natural water. If bacteria penetrate your eye during the healing process, they may cause infection, since your eye is more sensitive to infection than normal after a procedure such as a cataract surgery. Avoid hot tubs and pools owing of the chlorine, which not only burns but also has the potential to do significant damage to your eye throughout the healing process.

When it is safe to return to the pool and swim again, your eye doctor will advise you!

What if I acquire cataracts in both of my eyes?

If you have cataracts in both eyes, the technique is quite similar to what was previously described. The only difference is that you will be required to follow your eye surgeon’s recovery instructions twice.

While you may assume that removing both cataracts simultaneously makes sense, this is not the safest course of action. It would be virtually impossible to notice if both were removed concurrently.

Instead, when patients have cataracts in both eyes, the cataract causing the most vision loss is often removed first. The majority of cataract surgeons will wait around two months between cataract removals. This is to ensure that you have appropriate recovery time between procedures and that you have at least one eye with proper vision.

Final thoughts

Cataract surgery is often accompanied by just a few days of pain. This may make resuming your prior level of activity all too appealing. It is crucial to wait at least one week before doing strenuous activities such as lifting heavy things or exercising.

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