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Cataract Surgery Recovery By Daniel J Tepper on June 27, 2018

How vision can improve after cataract surgeryAs a person ages, proteins in the eye clump together on the lens of the eye, causing vision to become increasingly cloudy. Cataract surgery is performed to remove the lens of the eye and replace it with an artificial lens.

At Wicker Park Eye Center, our board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Daniel J. Tepper, has the experience to safely perform your cataract surgery. However, before patients undergo the procedure, he goes over what they can expect during the healing period.

In this blog post, you can learn more about the cataract surgery recovery process, and the contact our Chicago, IL practice to schedule an appointment with us.

Immediately after Surgery

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, and we typically only use local anesthetic to numb the eye. After surgery, we will place a protective shield over your eye.

You will then be moved to our recovery area where patients typically rest for 30 minutes to an hour. When you are ready, you can have a family member or friend drive you home from your appointment.

Some patients may experience some discomfort in the hours after cataract surgery once the local anesthesia wears off. This is usually described as a gritty, stinging, or burning sensation. We recommend that patients take a nap upon returning home from surgery, as keeping the eyes closed can reduce pain. Patients can also use over-the-counter pain medication.

The Protective Shield

We recommend wearing your protective eye shield while you sleep for at least the first few days after surgery. This will prevent you from inadvertently rubbing your eyes. You can also wear the protective shield during the day if you wish or if you are likely to touch or rub the eyes.

Eye Drops

Before you leave our office, we will provide you with prescription eye drops. These will help prevent infection and reduce inflammation. It is important to take these on time for as long as is directed by your doctor.


Patients will return to our office the day after surgery for a follow-up appointment. Have a family member or friend drive you to this appointment. We will check your healing progress, and if all is going well, we will clear you to drive at this appointment.

Watching TV or Reading

Patients can watch TV or read after surgery. However, we do recommend napping immediately after surgery, before engaging in these activities. When you do watch TV or read, take break every 20 minutes or so to rest your eyes.

Going Outside

When going outside, wear glasses that offer full UVA and UVB protection, along with a wide-brimmed hat. You may also wish to dim the lights in your home or close the curtains, as the eyes may be feeling sensitive to light after cataract surgery.


You can shower the day after surgery but be careful when washing the face. Do not get water in your eyes. When it comes to submerging your eyes, such as in a pool or natural body of water, this should be avoided for at least four weeks to prevent infection.

To schedule your cataract surgery appointment and get your specific recovery instructions, contact Wicker Park Eye Center today.

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Wicker Park Eye Center

At Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, Dr. Daniel J. Tepper, a board-certified ophthalmologist and Parisha Shah, fellowship-trained optometrists, provide patient-centric eye care. Our affiliations include:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
  • American Medical Association (AMA)
  • American Optometric Association (AOA)

To schedule an appointment at our eye clinic, please contact us online or call (773) 376-2020.

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"I have visited Wicker Eye Park Center a few times, with each visit I have received excellent service. Dr. Tepper is the best ophthalmologist that I have seen in many years. He, like his staff, is also courteous respectful and very professional." Juan B.

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