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Your cataract surgery was a success and you’re excited to head back to the gym and return to your exercise routine. But before you do, please keep these few pointers in mind.

While cataract surgery is a very routine procedure, it’s still surgery, and your eyes need time to recover. Not allowing them to do so can cause a delay in your vision returning, as well as other complications that can cause you to lose vision.

The early days

Veena Rao, MD

For the first week after cataract surgery, you really need to take it easy. Don’t do any strenuous activities like sprinting or martial arts, and don’t lift any weights heavier than five to 10 pounds. In those first days after cataract surgery, a good way to get yourself moving is a light walk around the neighborhood or on the treadmill.

“Cataract surgery is a great way to improve your lifestyle by getting you clearer vision,” CEENTA Ophthalmologist Veena Rao, MD, said. “To help my patients heal quickly and safely, I always recommend light activity during the first week. You’ll be back before you know it, and this time, you’ll be seeing better!”

As you progress

After about a week, with permission from your doctor, you can go back to most of your regular activities. But, due to continued healing of the eye, you will want to avoid swimming and strenuous lifting for about a month after surgery. Pools, lakes, and the ocean can have lots of infectious agents and you are particularly susceptible to infection during this time.

We’re glad you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and following these guidelines will make sure your cataract surgery heals well and stays that way. If you have any questions, or if any of these restrictions cause a real conflict with your work or lifestyle, don’t hesitate to talk about it with your surgeon.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. Dr. Rao practices in our Matthews and Monroe offices. To schedule an appointment with her or a cataract surgeon near you, call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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April 14, 2021

Had cataract surgery last month put in the multifocal a still fell like horseshoe in corner of eye
- Annmarie mazzatto1

April 15, 2021

Good morning. If you have any concerns about your cataract surgery, we recommend making an appointment with the surgeon who performed the procedure.
Reply From: CEENTA

February 24, 2021

I am 74. How quickly after a cataract operation can i resume playing golf?
- David Naylor

February 24, 2021

Hello. You could probably return to golf within a week of surgery, but you should discuss this with your surgeon before returning to any normal physical activity.
Reply From: CEENTA

February 11, 2021

I work on a computer 8 to 10 hours a day how long after my first cataract surgery should I wait to continue on with my work without damaging my eyes and will I be able to focus on a computer while I am healing
- Kristy

February 12, 2021

Good morning. There is no issue with using the computer after your cataract surgery. Due to blurry vision from the healing process, we would probably recommend waiting two days after surgery to start doing your work for eight hours per day. The focus issue is dependent on your eyes, and you should discuss this with your doctor. Thank you.
Reply From: CEENTA

October 24, 2020

Is it safe to jog or mountain hiking 3 days after after The surfy?
- Maria

October 26, 2020

Good morning. We only recommend light walking for the first week after surgery. After that, you should discuss with your doctor any further activities you wish to perform.
Reply From: CEENTA

October 11, 2020

I’m a very active 57 year old and compete at CrossFit. Apart from not lifting for a few weeks, can I do most other activities like skipping, running, etc?
- Lynne

October 13, 2020

Good morning. Light walking is fine for the first few days after surgery. After a week of recovery, seek your doctor's approval before resuming your normal activities.
Reply From: CEENTA

September 15, 2020

Is there any problem using swimming goggles following surgery
- Christine Rudd

September 15, 2020

Good morning. We recommend waiting two weeks to swim after cataract surgery, even with goggles, due to the infection risk. Infections after cataract surgery can be serious, so it’s important to take careful precautions. After that, it is typically okay to resume swimming and/or wearing goggles.
Reply From: CEENTA

March 03, 2020

I am reading alot about what you cannot do after Catarac Surgery but what can you do? I am retired and attend a Senior Gym where I do alot of activity. I lift weights, swim, have a personal Trainer, Yoga, Spin Biking just to name a few things. Other than stay at home in bed what type of activity can I do? Can I do the Treadmill? Can I swim with goggles? Can I water walk as long as I wear goggles? The Senior Gym is my life and if it were not for going there I would have nothing to do.
- nita

March 06, 2020

Good morning. You can typically do lots of activities after cataract surgery, just not anything that involves lifting more than 10 pounds, bending your head below your waist, or swimming/water activities for two weeks. For example, walking on the treadmill is a great activity.
Reply From: CEENTA

February 03, 2020

What about high performance athletes, ie. competitors who regularly see heart t=rates over 180 beats per minute> is there any contra indication to have lens replacement?
- David Booth

February 04, 2020

There is not a contraindication to having lens replacement - but, depending on the specifics of your sport and your training/competition schedules, you may need to adjust what you can for 1 week after cataract surgery. There are just a few reasons why your schedule may need to change for longer (i.e. most surgeons would want you to avoid swimming and/or heavy lifting for a slightly longer time period).
Reply From: CEENTA

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