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We are asked many questions about cataract surgery. Here are the answers to our top 13 FAQs.

1. What types of lenses are used in cataract surgery?

Each patient and each eye is different so we take measurements before surgery (called biometry) to establish the correct lens power for each individual eye. The lens implants we use come in different types. The two main categories of implant are:

  • Monofocal lenses

These provide either good distance vision (most common) or good near vision but not both. You would still need glasses to cover either reading (more common) or distance vision depending on which lens type that was put in.

  • Multifocal lenses

These lenses offer a high probability of achieving spectacle independence i.e. providing you with the ability to see far as well as to read without glasses.

Both these lens types come in toric versions which can correct for astigmatism if present to a high degree.

2. How long does cataract surgery take and can you treat both eyes on the same day?

The procedure takes 10-15 minutes per eye. Due to improvements in safety we are now able to treat both eyes on the same day in certain patients. Otherwise, the worst eye is treated first and the other eye treated subsequently. This will be discussed and decided with you at your consultation with Mr Mearza.

3. Is cataract surgery painful?

No, we put anaesthetic drops in the eye to numb the surface of the eye for the procedure (so no needles at all!). You may feel some pressure on or around the eye briefly during the procedure. Your eyes may feel tired and gritty for a couple of hours afterwards, but will feel much better the next day.

4. Can I go back to work the same day after cataract surgery?

We advise you go home and rest for the remainder of the day. Ideally you would have at least 48 hours off work too.

5. How long to take eye drops after cataract surgery?

After cataract surgery we give you eye drops to use for 4 weeks. The drops include an antibiotic drop to help prevent any infection; 2 types of an anti-inflammatory drops to prevent any redness and lubricant drops to use regularly if your eyes feel tired or gritty.

We have an app which is free to download on your device that will send you notifications when your drops are due so that you never miss a drop.

6. When will I be able to see after cataract surgery?

You will be able to see afterwards, however your vision will be slightly misty for 48 – 72 hours. Depending on what the vision was like before, you may notice a considerable improvement straight away.

7. Can I wear eye make up the next day after cataract surgery?

Best not to wear eye make up on the day of surgery or for 1 week afterwards, particularly mascara and eye liner.

8. When can I exercise again after cataract surgery?

You can resume light exercise 3 days after treatment, and full exercise 2 weeks after treatment.

9. When can I go swimming after cataract surgery?

You can go swimming 2 weeks after treatment but we recommend you wear goggles as the chlorine in the pool can irritate your eye. After 4 weeks, you can usually swim without any restrictions.

10. When can I fly after cataract surgery?

We advise that you avoid air travel for at least a week following surgery.

11. Is it okay to take Viagra after cataract surgery?

We recommend avoiding this for the first 48 hours after surgery.

12. What happens if I don’t get cataract surgery?

If you don’t have cataract surgery the lens will stay cloudy and over time will get worse. The surgery can be more challenging if the lens becomes too cloudy (or dense) so we often advise people to have them removed as soon as you notice a change in your vision.

13. When can I get my eye wet after cataract surgery?

We advise that you shower with your eyes closed for 1 week after surgery.

For more information on cataract surgery read our cataract surgery page on our website or get in touch.

Are you feeling unsure? Don’t worry, we’re here to advise you. Click here to get in touch with our expert team and we can answer your questions.

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Last updated on November 27th, 2023 by Ms Sally Ameen