After Cataract Surgery

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Activity Suggestions

Returning to the activities that you engage in every day will help your eyes and brain adjust to life after cataract surgery. But you will likely find your vision so improved that you are motivated to resume activities or hobbies that you haven't been able to do for a long time. And you may even find that you'd like to take up a few new ones.


Depending on how long it has been since your surgery, and whether you need or have had surgery in one or both eyes, you may still be adjusting to the change. But if you are like most who have had cataract surgery, you are probably surprised at what a great improvement there is in your vision. We will probably advised you that, after about a week of taking it easy, doing as much as possible to challenge both your eyes and your brain to work together to learn to use the new "tool" in your eye will ensure the best possible outcome.

Here are a few of the suggestions for activities we might recommend to help speed your healing and adjustment. Always remember, as you learn to adjust to your new vision, to follow the advice we specifically give you during follow-up appointments.


Near Vision

Whether you have had a Monofocal lens implanted, and thus need to wear glasses to see up close, or a Multifocal lens implanted and are potentially less dependent upon glasses, you will need to relearn to perform activities that require that you see up-close. If you were presbyopic prior to surgery, you had to relearn the same actions, such as the best distance to hold materials to read. Adjusting to your new IOL(s) will require the same sort of experimentation and patience.

Activities requiring near vision include:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Painting or needlework or any other sort of craft work that requires attention to detail and ability to perceive color accurately
  • Shaving or putting on makeup
  • Dialing the phone
  • Ordering from a menu
  • Eating


Intermediate Vision

Your intermediate vision is a blend of your distance vision focal point and your near focal point. This zone of vision should continue to improve after your cataract surgery when a Multifocal IOL is implanted. Similar to your near vision, you may have to adjust your intermediate tasks (such as using your computer monitor) in order to optimize your intermediate vision. Your brain and eye must learn how to work together to focus on objects that are neither close up nor in the distance.

Activities requiring focusing at intermediate distances include:

  • Looking at the computer monitor
  • Watching TV
  • Cooking and reading recipes
  • Reading tags and labels while shopping
  • Gardening
  • Some aspects of sporting activities, such as focusing on an approaching ball or seeing an object in the road as you approach it on a bicycle


Distance Vision

Whether you have had a Monofocal or Multifocal IOL implanted, your distance vision may be the most improved after surgery and after you have given time to adjust to your new vision. This is because the muscles of your eye, when they are at rest, hold the lens of your eye, whether your natural lens or your new artificial intraocular lens, in its flattened state, which is the state needed for your eye to focus on an object in the distance. This fact may motivate you to resume, or even take up, many activities that were difficult before, such as the following:

  • Driving, especially in the evening and in unfamiliar areas where reading street signs may be necessary
  • Sports, especially sports like golf and tennis or other sports that require the ability to focus on an object in the distance
  • Watching a movie in the theater or attending a play


Activities that Challenge All Ranges of Vision

Once we have cleared you to resume normal physical activities, the more you can participate in activities like these, the more you will give your new IOL(s) and brain the workout they need:

  • Playing with pets or children. Any type of activity that involves something or someone approaching you and receding from you will challenge all ranges of vision and require that your eye and brain work together to focus. Activities like these may feel frustrating at first, but over time you will adjust and your vision at every range will improve.
  • Participating in sports that use balls. For the same reason that playing with pets or children can be beneficial, playing in sports where you must interact with a ball will require that you train your eye how to see over the entire visual range.
  • Walking, especially hiking or any other kind of exploratory activity. Moving through an environment that requires you to discern what is in the distance in order to know where to go will help you adjust.