The Best Sleeping Position After Cataract Surgery

Our academic-grade clinic is, without a doubt, one of the best surgical facilities in the country for cataract surgery.

 There are many things you can do to promote a healthy, trouble-free recovery after cataract surgery. One of these is to consider how you’re going to sleep post-procedure. 

Believe it or not, your hours of slumber in the first few days and weeks after your operation can have a significant impact on how your body reacts and heals. As well as sleep position, there are other important factors that affect the healing process.

How You Sleep, Where You Sleep, and More Post-Op Information

  • Is lying on my back the best sleeping position after cataract surgery?
  • The importance of your eye guard
  • Don’t touch!

Is lying on my back the best sleeping position after cataract surgery?

Any quick online search will tell you that the best sleeping position after a cataract operation is on your back. Now, this is great if this is your natural sleeping position. But what if you’re a lifelong front sleeper? Or the only way you can doze off is on the side that happens to be the one that you’re due to have the operation on?

Never fear because there are ways around this. Try the following:

  • Try to fall asleep on your back by plumping plenty of pillows around you—almost creating a barrier that will help stop you from turning over in your sleep.
  • Sleep on the opposite side. So, if your left eye has been operated on, then curl up on your right.
  • Spend the first couple of nights sleeping semi-upright. Maybe use a reclining chair to do this or with extra pillows behind your head and back.

The whole idea is to prevent introducing any bacteria or dirt into the eye that could cause an infection risk. This brings us neatly to the role of your eye shield.

The importance of your eye guard

You’ll leave the clinic with an eye shield in place. This is a vital piece of kit that’s extremely effective in preventing anything from entering the eye during the critical healing process. 

So… This means that you absolutely have to wear this at any time that you feel like you’re going to fall asleep. When it’s in place, even if you turn over onto your front or side in your sleep, it’ll keep the eye protected. If you only remember one piece of advice, then it should be how critical it is to wear the eye shield exactly as your surgeon instructs.

Don’t touch!

You must also resist the urge to touch your eye. Yes, that means no rubbing, scratching, or poking (apart from when you need to add the eyedrops you’ll be prescribed). Even the cleanest of fingers can potentially introduce infection into the eye.

You’ll also need to avoid:

  • Getting water in the eye
  • Putting pressure on the eye
  • Being in direct sunlight without wearing sunglasses

These precautions—including wearing the eye shield when you sleep—will become less critical after the first week of surgery. Your surgeon will give you a detailed timescale of what you can and can’t do—but rest assured that most people can gradually resume normal(ish) light activities within a few hours of returning home after surgery.

Get All the Answers at the Modern Cataract Surgery Clinic

Our academic-grade clinic is, without a doubt, one of the best surgical facilities in the country for cataract surgery. Not only do you benefit from the expertise of one of the world’s best surgeons—Dr. Brent Bellotte MD—but our bedside manner (AKA our pre, during, and post-op care) will answer all your questions and address any anxieties.

We know that, while millions of cataract procedures are carried out each year, the operation is anything but routine for you. No question is out of bounds… If you want to know the answer, our expert team wants you to ask it.

Find out why we’re the go-to clinic for those who demand the ultimate eye care at


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