Using Eye Drops After Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery

By Thomas Byrd, MD

Cataracts are a common problem as people get older. Thankfully, a simple cataract removal surgery can help remove these clouded lenses and improve your vision quality. To ensure optimal results, patients should follow post-op instructions to the letter.

The use of eye drops during cataract surgery recovery is a key part of the healing process. The team at our Detroit, MI eye care center would like to cover some of the basics with regard to post-op eye drops for cataract surgery patients.

Why Eye Drops Are Important After Cataract Surgery

Following cataract surgery, your eyes will be vulnerable to infection and complications, requiring extra care and attention to address. While eye shields sunglasses, and proper rest will help with recovery, eye drops will play a crucial role in protecting your eyes and preventing post-op problems from occurring.

There are three kinds of eye drops that will play a role in healing after cataract surgery:

  • Antibiotic eye drops

  • Anti-inflammatory eye drops

  • Lubricating eye drops

Let’s cover each of these types of eye drops individually below.

Antibiotic Eye Drops

Antibiotic eye drops help fight harmful bacteria after you’ve undergone cataract surgery. Eliminating bacteria in and around the eyes will prevent infection, improve your healing experience, and help prevent complications that could negatively impact your vision.

Anti-Inflammatory Eye Drops

Inflammation of the eye can lead to serious post-op complications, including poor vision. That's why eye doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory eye drops. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) administered in drop form help make sure your eyes heal fully and properly without any issues.

Lubricating Eye Drops

Dry eye and eye irritation are common after any kind of eye surgery has been performed. Since patients will not be able to rub their eyes for several days after surgery, the ideal way to address dry eye is to use lubricating eye drops. These drops soothe irritation by adding much needed moisture to your eyes.

How Long Will I Need to Use Antibiotic Eye Drops?

For most patients, antibiotic eye drops will need to be used for about a week. By the end of a week, the risk of infection should be far lower. Some patients may be advised to use these eye drops for a bit longer just in case. Patients should only discontinue use of antibiotic eye drops when told to do so by their surgeon.

How Long Will I Need to Use Anti-Inflammatory Eye Drops?

After cataract surgery, the risk of eye inflammation lasts longer than the risk of eye infection. Patients can expect to use their anti-inflammatory eye drops for three to six weeks after surgery. In some cases, the anti-inflammatory eye drops will need to be used longer than that.

How Long Will I Need to Use Lubricating Eye Drops?

Dry eye after a vision surgery can last for several months, occurring at unwanted or inopportune times. Given this really for patients, it’s a good idea to have lubricating eye drops on you at all times for several months. The relief theses eye drops provide cannot be understated for eye surgery patients.

Schedule An Appointment At Byrd and Wyandotte Eye Clinic

To learn more about cataract removal, recovery from surgery, and prevention of cataracts, be sure to see the vision specialists at Byrd and Wyandotte Eye Clinic. We look forward to hearing from you and helping restore the quality of your vision.