How Long Do You Need to Wait to Exercise After Cataract Surgery?

The clouding of the eye’s natural lens is known as cataracts. Those with cataracts experience a range of symptoms, including cloudy vision, seeing double, or lights seeming too bright. The development of cataracts is generally age-related and can be slow, getting worse year after year. In other cases, cataracts develop quickly—it all depends on your family history, health, and lifestyle. While cataracts are common in adults, surgery is a safe and effective remedy for the condition. Cataract surgery involves replacing the cloudy lens of the eye with a permanent intraocular lens implant. This procedure is performed on tens of thousands of people every year, but like any surgical procedure, it does require follow-up care. As a result, following cataract surgery, you should avoid exercise and strenuous activities to ensure proper healing. But why?

Why Shouldn’t I Exercise Immediately After Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery can cause minor pain and discomfort, which should subside after a couple of days. Your vision might clear quickly, but this does not mean your eyes have fully healed. After cataract surgery, you will be advised to avoid heavy lifting, bending, or exercise for two weeks. 

  • Blurred Vision
    In the days following cataract surgery, your vision might be blurry. This makes it easier for people to injure themselves during exercise and sports. You will want to wait until you can see clearly to start throwing or catching objects, running, and other activities. 
  • Increased Risk of Infection
    Outdoor exercising and sports increases the risk of infection due to dust and debris entering the unhealed eye. Swimming in lakes, oceans, pools, and other bodies of water could expose your eye(s) to bacteria and other debris. It is important that you refrain from outdoor exercise, including swimming, until you have completely healed from cataract surgery. 
  • Increased Risk of Complications
    In addition to infection and injury, heavy lifting, bending, and other strenuous activities can lead to increased pressure in your eyes, which can result in serious complications. You will want to avoid the weight room and the treadmill at the gym following cataract surgery.

When Can I Exercise After Cataract Surgery?

Many people wonder when they can exercise again after cataract surgery has been performed. 

In most cases, it will be a few weeks after surgery before you are back to your regular exercise routine. Activities like swimming might need to be avoided for up to two months. 

Follow up appointments will be the key to communicating with your doctor and finding out when it will be best for you to exercise again. After your eyes have completely healed from cataract surgery, your eye surgeon will give you the okay to resume regular exercise and sports. 

Choose an Experienced Cataract Surgeon for the Best Results

Unlike many eye surgeons in the Bay Area, NeoVision Eye Center uses advanced laser-assisted cataract surgery, which is safer and more accurate than traditional cataract surgery.  NeoVision provides our patients with safe and effective vision and cosmetic services. Contact our offices to learn if you are a candidate for cataract surgery, today.