Exercise After Cataract Surgery

Featured Image

Clouded or blurred vision can have a significant negative impact on quality of life. Fortunately, cataract surgery can reduce or eliminate age-related vision problems. At Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, our team performs this procedure with skill and expertise. Following post-operative guidelines is the primary key to successful recovery. Here, we will explain why patients should avoid exercise after cataract surgery and discuss when it is safe to hit the gym again.

About Cataract Surgery

Before explaining why patients should not exercise after cataract surgery, we will briefly review the procedure itself. Performed on an outpatient basis, cataract surgery involves removing the natural eye lens and replacing it with an artificial one. To access and remove the clouded lens, a small incision is created. When the new lens is in place, the incision is closed. The procedure usually takes less than one hour to complete.

Why Avoid Exercise after Cataract Surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, some level of discomfort is to be expected. Any tenderness should subside within two to three days. However, it is important to understand that healing is still taking place. During the recovery period, an elevated heart rate can lead to increased discomfort. Here are some other reasons to avoid exercising after cataract surgery:

  • Temporarily blurred vision: It is normal to have blurry vision for the first few days after cataract surgery. As a result, it increases the chance of bumping into something and becoming injured. It is important to walk slowly and carefully after your procedure to minimize these risks.
  • Increased risk of infection: Many outdoor exercises involve exposure to the elements. Dust, sand, and other debris can enter the unhealed eye and cause an infection. It is especially important to stay away from pools and natural bodies of water during your recovery, as your eyes could be exposed to bacteria.
  • Higher risk of other post-surgical complications: Any type of bending, straining, or lifting can cause increased eye pressure and lead to complications like retinal detachment, corneal swelling, and more. These activities must be avoided to allow your eyes proper time to heal.

How Long Should I Wait before Exercising?

At a minimum, patients should wait at least one full week before resuming any exercise, heavy lifting, or any other strenuous activity. In some instances, your Chicago surgeon may recommend taking a few weeks off from your exercise regimen. The best rule of thumb is to discuss these guidelines with your doctor before your surgery so you know exactly what to anticipate during recovery. When you do resume activities, start slow and stay within your comfort level.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Dr. Daniel Tepper performs cataract surgery at our Chicago practice. He is a board-certified ophthalmologist with over two decades of experience. If your vision has become blurry or clouded in recent months, cataracts could be to blame. Schedule a consultation at Wicker Park Eye Center to explore your treatment options and improve your quality of life. Contact us online anytime or call us.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.