The Dos And Don'ts Of Post-Cornea Surgery Recovery
Health & Medical
If you and your ophthalmologist have decided a cornea transplant is the best option for you to restore your vision or relieve pain due to a damaged cornea, you may be anxious about the procedure and recovery period. It is a good idea to read up on the procedure and discuss it with your doctor before your transplant to ensure you understand what will happen. It is also important to have a recovery plan in place before your procedure. Creating a plan before you have your cornea surgery will allow you to optimize your recovery and reduce any stress associated with it.
- Use all medications prescribed by your doctor. After surgery you will likely be prescribed multiple types of eye drops and perhaps oral medication. These medications will reduce swelling and inflammation and help prevent infection or rejection. It is important to take these medications as prescribed. Set up reminders on your phone so you can take each dose on time. Continue these for as long as your doctor says, even if your eye feels better.
- Plan to take an appropriate amount of time off of work. For jobs requiring little physical labor, you can usually return after two or three weeks. But if your job involves manual labor, prepare to take three to four months off of work.
- Keep all of your followup appointments. You will likely see your doctor regularly during the first year of your recovery. You may have bi-weekly or monthly appointments. It is important that you do not skip your appointments, as you will receive regular screenings for rejection and be prescribed eye glasses to help maximize your comfort as your vision changes.
- Plan for a slow, steady recovery. Depending on the specific type of surgery you undergo, full recovery can take up to a few years. During that time, you should follow your doctor's advice closely and try not to rush your recovery.
- Get too active too soon. The first week of recovery should be spent with minimal physical activity. Some types of surgery will require you to lay on your back as much as possible during the first week. With the support of your doctor, you should slowly add physical activity to your daily routine, saving more strenuous activities for a few months after your surgery.
- Get water in your eye. Avoid splashing water in your eye. Even in the bath or shower, you should take care to minimize the risk of water touching your eyes for a few weeks.
- Rub your eye. Avoid rubbing or touching your eye. For the first day or two, you may wear an eye patch. After that, glasses can help prevent you from touching your eye, and you may want to continue wearing an eye patch when you sleep.
- Go to smokey or dusty areas. Smoke or dust can irritate your transplant. Ask friends and family to not smoke around you and avoid places where smoke may linger.
- Drive, until you get clearance from your doctor. Even if your vision seems fine, make sure to get clearance before operating heavy machinery or driving a car.
- Assume the surgery didn't work. It is normal to have poor or blurry vision after the surgery. Your vision should return to you slowly. If you have concerns about your progress, talk to your doctor about your odds of recovery rather than making assumptions.
Following all recovery advice from your doctor will help to reduce your risk of complications. However, some people follow all recovery methods and still have problems. If you have concerns, you should contact your doctor immediately.
20 September 2018