How Soon Can You Fly After Cataract Surgery | A Comprehensive Guide

How Soon Can You Fly After Cataract Surgery

What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract removal is a surgical procedure, in which the whiten or opaque normal lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. It is the most common surgical procedure of ophthalmology performed throughout the world. It makes sense that being the common procedure, more patients will want to know about the post operative care and complications related to this procedure. In this article we will discuss about caring points to be taken after the cataract surgery.

Cataract Surgery

Flying Post-Cataract Surgery: What You Need to Know

Dry Eyes: One of the common side effects of cataract surgery is temporary dry eyes. Flying, especially in the controlled environment of an airplane cabin, can exacerbate this condition. It’s crucial to stay hydrated and use lubricating eye drops as recommended by your surgeon to maintain moisture and comfort during the flight.

Post-Operative Care: Cataract surgery is one of the major surgeries of the eyes. therefore, knowing about the post operative is very important. The health professional will provide the guidelines for post operative care. However, the following point should be kept in mind for successful recovery.

The first 48 hours post operative period

  1. Bedrest: If the patient is doing a job, running a business or do driving on daily basis, it is recommended to reduce the activity and take bedrest for at least one week. Any activity that requires bending of head, straining or doing weight lifting should be preferably avoided.
  2. Start of medications: It is recommended to start medication soon after the surgery. The medication includes pain killers, antibiotics and anti inflammatory drugs.. The regular schedule of the medicine should be followed to avoid any post operative complication.
  3. Follow up: It is important to have a follow-up with your surgeon for timely recognition of any on going complication.

Week 1 -4

Regular appointments: Regular follow-up is still important upto 4 weeks post operatively. If your are having surgery with applicature sutures or stitches, it is important to have a look at the stitches and its status is analyzed.

Cataract Recovery Period and Resuming Activities

The first 4 weeks post operative is crucial for cataract surgery and it is highly recommended to reduce the activities and straining exercises during this period.

What is Prohibited After Cataract Surgery?

While most individuals can resume normal activities after cataract surgery, there are a few restrictions to be aware of. Avoid activities that could strain your eyes, such as heavy lifting or bending over, during the initial recovery period. Your surgeon will provide specific guidelines based on your individual case.

Tips for Flying after Cataract Surgery

  1. Stay Hydrated: The aero plane cabins can be a source of dry air, it is recommended to stay hydrated for healthy eyes in post operative period.
  2. Use Lubricating Eye Drops: beside staying hydrated lubricating eye drops can also be used topically. The medication will be prescribed by the health professional.
  3. Blink Regular: Make a conscious effort to blink regularly to keep your eyes moist. Consider closing your eyes for a few moments periodically to refresh them during the journey.
  4. Sunglasses as Your Co-Pilot: Shield your eyes from the harsh cabin lighting and potential irritants with a reliable pair of sunglasses.

Driving After Cataract Surgery

Initially after the cataract surgery there can be some edema in the cornea, the transparent surface of your eye. This will cause some blurred vision and photophobia making driving difficult to handle. It is recommended to start driving when edema has been subsided and a check has been made by the health professional.

Driving After Cataract Surgery

Train Travel After Cataract Surgery

Train travel, like flying, involves considerations for individuals recovering from cataract surgery. Follow similar precautions regarding dry eyes, post-operative care, and environmental factors to ensure a comfortable journey.

How Long Do I Need to Wear Dark Glasses Outside After Cataract Surgery?

Corneal edema is one of the most common post operative complications after cataract surgery. Many ophthalmologists will recommend you using black glasses to avoid glare and photophobia induced by this edema. It will usually take 1 week to 10 days for edema to subside.

Is Cataract Surgery 100% Successful?

Cataract surgery is highly successful, with a high rate of positive outcomes. However, individual results may vary, and it’s essential to have realistic expectations. Consult with your surgeon to discuss potential risks and benefits based on your specific case.

Taking Care of Your Eyes

Whether you’re recovering from cataract surgery or maintaining overall eye health, certain practices contribute to optimal eye care. Regular eye check-ups, protection from harsh sunlight, and addressing discomfort promptly are vital components of eye care.


How do you know if cataract surgery is successful?

Success in cataract surgery is often measured by improved vision. If your sight is clearer and sharper post-surgery, it’s a positive sign. Regular follow-up appointments will help monitor your progress.

When can I get water in my eyes after cataract surgery?

While direct water contact with your eyes is discouraged in the initial days post-surgery, your surgeon will provide specific guidelines. Follow their recommendations to ensure a smooth journey through the healing process.

Can you look at a computer screen after cataract surgery?

Most individuals can resume looking at a computer screen shortly after cataract surgery, especially if vision is clear and screen time adheres to your surgeon’s guidelines.

How many days after cataract surgery can you wash your face?

Avoid water contact with your eyes for the first few days after cataract surgery. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions, but typically, you can start washing your face carefully after the initial post-operative period.

What happens if you accidentally rub your eye after cataract surgery?

Accidental rubbing of your eyes can lead to complications. If it occurs, contact your surgeon immediately for guidance on navigating any potential issues.

Is it OK to watch TV after cataract surgery?

Watching TV is generally allowed after cataract surgery, but it’s important to follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding screen time and to take breaks as needed to rest your eyes.

How do I know if my lens has moved after cataract surgery?

Sudden changes in vision or discomfort may signal an issue. Contact your surgeon promptly to assess your eyes and determine if any adjustments are necessary.


In conclusion, while cataract surgery opens the door to improved vision, the recovery period requires careful attention to ensure optimal outcomes. When considering air travel after cataract surgery, consult with your surgeon, follow post-operative care guidelines, and take necessary precautions to make your journey comfortable and safe.

Dr Sadia Ayaz
Dr Sadia Ayaz

I am an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon

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