Can You Exercise After Cataract Surgery?

Cataract Surgery is the most commonly performed procedure in the UK. As such, it makes sense that so many people have questions about what to expect from the surgery and recovery period. And that’s why we’re on a mission to provide all the answers and tell you everything you need to know about Cataract Surgery, including: Can you exercise after Cataract Surgery?

For many people, exercise and sports is an important part of their routine. Whether it’s heading to the gym before work, playing in a sports team on the weekends and evenings, or even dabbling in more extreme sports, many individuals awaiting Cataract Surgery are eager to know when they can get back into their fitness regime.

So, let’s find out!

Cataract Surgery Recovery and Exercise

Cataract Surgery is a routine procedure with consistently excellent results across providers. The primary aim of the procedure is to remove clouded lenses from the eye – these are known as cataracts. Cataracts develop as we get older and the proteins in the natural lens of our eyes begin to break down and clump together. Over time, this creates cloudy obstructions in the eye that can significantly affect vision.

The good news is that these obstructions are easily removed. The natural lens is then replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). While this operation is relatively straightforward, all patients will require a recovery period to allow their eyes to heal. During this time, it is recommended that patients avoid certain activities – including driving and exercise.

But “exercise” is a broad term. So, let’s take a closer look at some different kinds of common exercises and activities and some recommended timeframes for when you should be able to get back to them.

Resuming Light Exercise

Generally, it is fine to resume very light exercise such as going for short walks a couple of days after your procedure. However, it is important to avoid dusty or smoky environments as this could cause irritation to your eyes and increase the risk of infection.

Slightly more strenuous activities should be avoided for at least a week after your surgery. This ensures you are not putting your eyes at any unnecessary risk.

Contact Sports and Other Activities

More high-energy or contact sports (including any activity with a high risk of eye injury) should be avoided for at least 2-4 weeks. This includes sports such as football, tennis/squash, boxing and martial arts.

It is also important to avoid activities that involve you bending down (e.g., yoga, pilates) for at least one week, post-surgery. This can increase the pressure in your eyes which may cause complications in your recovery from surgery.

Activities that could involve water getting in your eyes, such as swimming or water sports, should also be avoided for at least two weeks after your Cataract Surgery. Again, getting water in your eyes can increase your risk of developing an infection. If you return to these activities after two weeks, you may wish to wear protective goggles.

Your surgeon will reiterate these details on the day of your procedure and during any post-op appointments. Recommendations may vary depending on your specific circumstances, but your surgeon or a member of our clinic staff will always be on hand to advise you. Following this advice will give you the best chance of having a smooth recovery, getting you back to your normal life as soon as possible.

If you have any further questions regarding your recovery from Cataract Surgery, get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators. Alternatively, if you’re ready to go ahead with your treatment, Book a Consultation today.