Sleep – Can you sleep on your side after cataract surgery?

You should avoid sleeping on your side after you have cataract surgery.

After your cataract surgery, you’ll be provided with an eye shield, to protect your eye from dust, grime and anything else that may get into and irritate your eye or cause infection.

Avoiding sleeping on your side can help to reduce the possibility of your eye shield slipping, and, after the first night, when you no longer need to sleep wearing your eye shield, sleeping on your back rather than on your side will help you to reduce the risk of particles from your pillow getting into your eye before it heals and causing an infection.

Sleep is an essential part of any healing process and healing from cataract surgery is no different. You may, however, be able to sleep on the opposite side to the eye that you had your cataract surgery on.

Although complications following cataract surgery are exceedingly rare(1), (<0.03% chance of sight loss) dust, liquid and other particulates can cause serious infection, so, it’s important to stick to the instructions that your surgeon gives to you following your surgery. Following the advice that you’re given will reduce the risk of infection or any other post cataract surgery issues.



  1. Hull University NHS UK:  Risks and Benefits of cataract surgery

Other related questions

  • Glasses – Why do I need glasses after cataract surgery?

  • Surgery – What does an eye look like after cataract surgery?

  • Hair – How soon can I wash my hair after cataract surgery?

  • Mascara – How long after cataract surgery can I wear mascara?

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