IOL Refractive Surgery Recovery

Recovery time for intraocular lens (IOL) refractive surgery is relatively short. Some patients are able to return to their normal activities within a day of surgery. However, most doctors recommend taking it easy for a few days after your procedure to give your body time to rest and heal. While IOL refractive surgery recovery is short, it may take about six months for you to see the full results of your procedure. Your experience during recovery will depend on several factors, including your original prescription and the natural rate at which your body heals. 

Immediately after Surgery

doctor monitoring patientSince IOL surgery takes place under sedation, you will likely feel groggy or sleepy immediately after your procedure. Your doctor may have you rest in the office for half an hour or longer so they can monitor you as the sedation wears off. You may have protective shields placed over your eyes and will likely receive a pair of sunglasses to wear on the trip home. Keep in mind that you cannot drive after surgery, so it is best to have a friend or loved one take you home after the procedure. 

IOL refractive surgery is a short procedure with a relatively easy recovery period.

You may want to rest in bed for a few hours once you arrive home, especially if you are still feeling groggy from the sedation. Your IOL surgeon can advise you as to how long you will need to wear the protective shields. Typically, you can remove them within a few hours, but you will need to wear them while you sleep for several days. 

Protecting Your Eyes during Recovery

man wearing sunglassesYour surgeon will likely provide you with prescription eye drops to use during your recovery. These drops help to reduce your risk of infection and minimize discomfort. While your eyes heal, you should:

  • Wear sunglasses with high UVA/UVB protection
  • Avoid exposing your eyes to dust, wind, or dirt
  • Stop wearing eye makeup for at least a week
  • Take care when showering to keep soap and shampoo out of your eyes
  • Avoid strenuous activities that can raise your blood pressure
  • Try not to bend over or rub your eyes. 

In addition, you should avoid swimming pools, hot tubs, and contact sports for at least two to four weeks after surgery. If your surgeon provides you with eye shields, wear them as instructed to protect your eyes. 

Adjusting to Your New Lenses

While you should notice improvement in your vision right away, it may be several months before you reach your final results. Your eyes will need some time to adjust to your new lenses. During this time, you may experience vision issues, such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Clouding
  • Glare
  • Halos
  • Visual distortion
  • Discomfort 

These effects should clear up within a few days or weeks. However, taking part in a wide range of activities can help your brain and eyes learn how to acclimate to the new lenses. Depending on the type of IOLs you choose, you may still need to use corrective lenses in certain situations. 

Learn More about IOLs 

IOL refractive surgery is a short procedure with a relatively easy recovery period. This treatment can reduce or eliminate your dependency on glasses and contacts so you can see the world more clearly. For more information about intraocular lenses, contact an eye doctor today.


Sheth Horsley Eye Center

The ophthalmologists at Sheth Horsley Eye Center have been serving the community's eye care needs for over 50 years. Our doctors are members of various prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • International Society of Refractive Surgery
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

To schedule a consultation at one of our three office locations, request an appointment online or call us at (781) 979-0960.

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