Our eyes are one of the most sensitive organs in our bodies, but evolution has placed them in one of the most vulnerable areas of the body. Luckily, despite their vulnerability, our eyes actually have some pretty amazing healing capabilities.
- Guard against debris thanks to the eyelid and lashes
- Fight off infections with antibacterial fluid
- Rapidly heal thanks to their regenerative abilities
These defenses are fantastic for getting through your eyes’ regular day-to-day dangers, but they also help you recover from eye surgery.
But, as brilliant as they are, your eyes can’t do it alone. They need your help to make a full recovery after an eye procedure.
There are many techniques you can use to help your eyes heal quickly after eye surgery. Here are ten simple tips you can use while you recover from your eye surgery.
1. Get the help you need for a full recovery
After eye surgery, you’ll be a little off. Your vision won’t be the best, and you might need help while resting at home.
Getting help is never something to be ashamed of, and having somebody there to assist you whenever you need it will help you make a full recovery in no time at all.
When you get your surgery, you’ll have to come into the clinic with a friend or family member because you won’t be able to drive yourself home after the procedure. After your retinal surgery, you’ll experience temporary blurred vision and light sensitivity, making it difficult to walk around, let alone drive home.
We’d suggest asking the same friend to stay with you for a little bit – at least until your vision starts to get back to normal. Having somebody there to get you food, help with the eye drops, and make sure you’re alright getting rest will really help your recovery too!
2. Organize all your food for before and after your procedure
If you live alone, then preparing all your meals for the week after your surgery is vital for a speedy recovery. Can you imagine trying to cut vegetables with blurred vision? Definitely not safe or easy!
Try to cook all your meals ahead of time or stock up on some TV dinners or read-to-eat salads. You can also order delivery to help you avoid cooking until you get your full vision back.
Top tip: Consider buying paper plates and cups so you don’t have to wash the dishes for the first couple of days after your operation.
Before you go into your procedure, we’d also recommend avoiding consuming any food or beverage. While most retinal surgeries are not performed under general anesthesia, the ophthalmologist would still like to avoid any risk for aspiration, a complication that occurs when stomach contents find their way into your windpipe during surgery.
After your procedure, you might want to sleep or keep your eyes closed for a few hours. Or you may want to have your first meal of the day, especially if your surgery was in the afternoon!
3. Cold compresses are your best friend
If your eyes are irritated or you find it hard to sleep after your procedure, consider using a cold (not freezing) compress over your eyelids or forehead. The cold will help make your eyes feel less irritable and hopefully give you the rest you need to make a full recovery.
Before you put a cold compress over your eyelids, make sure you ask your eye surgeon if this is alright to do. Cold compresses might not be suitable for some retina surgeries.
Note: It’s essential to ask your eye doctor before doing anything irritating or affecting your recovery progress.
4. Try to avoid too much screen time
Everybody’s addicted to screens these days – you’re reading this blog post online after all! We love screens as much as the next person, but we recommend taking periodic breaks from screen-based activities after eye surgery.
This means occasionally switching off:
- The TV
- Game consoles
During these breaks, try to make a list of activities you like to do that don’t revolve around screen-based entertainment.
For example, you could:
- Listen to a podcast
- Listen to music
- Read an actual book
- Do some puzzles
5. Don’t drive – under any circumstances
Your vision isn’t going to be perfect immediately after your surgery, so you shouldn’t be getting in your car right away – especially on the day of your retina surgery!
Make sure you have somebody there to help you home after your surgery, and if you need to go somewhere, ring somebody to bring you out instead of risking getting behind the wheel.
After your follow-up appointment, your eye doctor will let you know if you’re fit to drive or not. Until then, please refrain from getting in your car by yourself.
6. Go for baths and avoid showers
There are two types of people in the world: those who love to take baths and those that only shower. But in the initial days after your retina surgery, despite your beliefs before, you will be a bath person.
Avoid going for showers in the first days of weeks post-op. If you shower, water might run into your eyes and cause potential problems with your recovery. If you want to recover quickly, then we recommend a nice long soak with your choice of scented soaps and body scrubs.
7. No makeup allowed
After your ophthalmology procedure, it’s vital that no chemical products get in your eyes. This includes eye makeup.
Unfortunately, for a couple of days following your appointment, you’ll have to dress down a bit when it comes to going out. Don’t use any eye makeup including eye liner, eye shadow, and even some night creams and moisturizers.
Check with your eye doctor in Sarasota to see what you can and can’t use on your skin around your eyes.
8. Wear sunglasses when out and about
Your eyes will be incredibly sensitive after your surgery which is why it’s so important to keep them protected at all times.
So, if you’re planning to go outside, put on a pair of shades with UV protection to help limit the amount of light that gets into your eyes. This is vital for sunny days, but we recommend wearing them whenever you leave the house while the sun is out.
9. Avoid rubbing your eyes
This one is one of the hardest to get down but try as hard as you can to avoid the temptation to rub your eyes during your recovery. Even if your eyes feel dry or tingly, don’t itch or scratch them, as this can negatively affect your recovery.
Heavy contact to your eyes might undo some of the great work your surgeon did during your surgery. Your surgeon will give you eye drops to deal with dryness, so use these instead and do your best to resist itching!
10. Always follow your eye doctor’s instructions
This is the most important tip, the golden rule of eye surgery recovery. Always listen to what your eye doctor advises. Your surgery will be unique to you, and your eye doctor might give you special instructions relating to your ophthalmology procedure.
The instructions might be as simple as using the prescribed eye drops, but whatever it is, ensure you follow them exactly as they’ve said so you can have the best recovery possible.
We hope our blog on how to recover from ophthalmology surgery effectively has helped you discover some helpful tips.
At Retina Care Consultants in Sarasota, Florida, our ophthalmologists are specialists when it comes to macular degeneration and retina care. We make recovery as easy as possible for all of our patients so they can get back to doing what they love quickly.
Our team will always be here to take care of your eyes in our safe, professional clinic. Get the help you need to ensure your eyes are looked after the right way and receive the best recovery plan possible.
Get in touch today to book a retina care appointment.