During cataract surgery, a small incision will be made in your eye to enable your surgeon to remove the eye’s natural lens (and with it the cataract), and, for them to then insert the replacement intraocular lens (IOL).
After your surgery is complete, it’s imperative for you to take it easy for a couple of weeks to allow your eye to heal fully and correctly, without any complications. To allow this to happen, it’s recommended that you don’t physically exert yourself or take part in any exercise for at least two weeks following on from your surgery.
Bending down for short periods is OK, for example, to tie your shoelaces, but long periods of bending down should be avoided. The reason for this is to stop the blood rushing to your head, thus avoiding increasing the amount of pressure in your eye whilst it’s still not fully healed.
Going for light, non-strenuous walks is normally OK to do within a couple of days. However, in addition to not exercising too soon after your cataract surgery, it’s advisable that you don’t carry out any heavy lifting or other strenuous activities for at least 2 weeks either.
It’s highly recommended that you wait until after your post-operative appointment before you resume swimming. Also, it’s recommended that goggles are worn when swimming, for at least a month after your post-operative appointment.
Cataract surgery is a very safe, very quick procedure with minimal risk of complications(1). The reason you’re advised not to exercise for a few weeks after your surgery is to ensure that your eye heals as quickly as possible and doesn’t become infected – refraining from exercise and other strenuous activities reduces the risk of getting dust, bacteria-filled swimming pool water, or any other foreign bodies that increase the risk of infection in your eye.
Following the post-operative advice that you’re given will ensure that you have the best chance of attaining the best possible results from your cataract surgery.
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