Resuming Exercise After Eye Surgery

Resuming Exercise After Eye Surgery

Today’s surgical eye procedures, such as cataract surgery, use cutting-edge procedures to make them as minimally invasive as possible. However, they still require careful rehabilitation for the fastest recovery.

Resuming exercise post-operation is very important, but care must be taken not to do too much too soon. The following discusses how and when you should aim to carry out varying degrees of physical exercise in the days and weeks following a procedure. 

For the sake of ease, we’ll use cataract surgery as an example, as this is the most common type of operation to be carried out on the eyes.  

Cataract Surgery Recovery

  • Resting post-op
  • Exercise for recovery

Resting post-op

After cataract surgery, you’ll be told to take things easy for a few weeks. Immediately after the procedure, you’ll need to rest easy for about 48 hours. However, this certainly doesn’t mean you need to stay in bed—in fact, the complete opposite. You’ll wear a patch for the first 24 hours. Then you’ll only need to wear it when sleeping for the next week or so. This is to stop you from inadvertently rubbing the eye.

You can resume normal visual activities, such as watching the TV, straight away. After 24 hours or so, gentle walking is to be encouraged. Sitting or lying for hours on end is not the way to stimulate recovery. The body needs blood flow to deliver nutrients to the eyes to rebuild the tissues. Being immobile slows this vital process, so be sure to get up and move gently around, at least every hour or so, during those first couple of days. 

Exercise for recovery

Once the first 24-48 hours have passed, exercise can follow a generally increasing path—all within reason and as advised by your ophthalmologist, of course.

  • Days 2-7: Light walking, either outside or on a treadmill. Light household chores that don’t involve lifting. You should take care not to do anything that causes you to bend from the waist or lean downwards. This is because the eye is in the delicate stages of primary recovery. Leaning forward or down causes undue pressure that could cause the new lens to shift position. You should also refrain from picking up anything heavier than about 10 pounds in weight. Again, this puts pressure on the eye and can impede recovery.
  • Weeks 2 & 3: As long as you get clearance from your eye doctor, you can consider more strenuous exercise. This could include longer walks, gentle jogging, yoga, or not-too-vigorous dancing.
  • Weeks 4-6: The healing process is now well underway, meaning you can increase the intensity of exercise. Again, be sure to get the go-ahead from your surgeon before doing so. As long as everything is going according to plan, you can resume the exercise that you used to do pre-procedure. This could include lifting weights, running, swimming, and cycling. 

Diagnosed with Cataracts? Contact Modern Cataract Surgery Today 

Cataracts are a common condition that most of us will suffer from at some point after the age of 60. Happily, the surgical procedures of today are quick and effective, meaning that it’s no longer a condition that will, eventually, cause significant vision loss or blindness. 

At Modern Cataract Surgery, our expert clinicians offer the very latest procedures to remove cataracts. From cutting-edge laser options through to the skill necessary to treat rarer types, such as genetic or traumatic cataracts, our clinical team is one of the best in the country—if not the world.

Don’t leave your sight to chance. Take advantage of the ultimate in cataract surgery, Visit to find out more and call today to book a consultation.


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