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Driving After Cataract Surgery

Driving After Cataract Surgery

One of the most common questions asked about cataract surgery is about how soon you can drive after the op. 

While a quick online search will bring up a huge amount of “evidence” that says you can get back behind the wheel after 24 hours, this isn’t the case for everyone. The following looks at why this is and the reasons that’ll determine how long you should really wait to drive after having cataract replacement surgery.

The Truth about Driving After Cataract Surgery

  • It’s all about the recovery period
  • We’re all individual
  • The risks of premature driving after cataract surgery

It’s all about the recovery period

To fully understand how long you might have to wait before driving after a cataract op, we need to delve a little deeper into the science. While millions of people have successful operations each year, it’s important to realize that it is still an invasive procedure. The surgeon has to make a tiny hole in the structure of the eye—and this needs to be given adequate time to heal.

How long this takes differs from person to person.

We’re all individual 

There are many reasons some of us take longer to heal than others. These include:

  • Advancing age: As the years go by, we naturally take longer to heal. Therefore, if you’re in your 80s or 90s, you can expect the healing process to be a little longer than for someone who’s 50 or 60.
  • Previous eye operations or injury: Repeated trauma to an area can mean that recovery time is extended.
  • Other underlying health conditions: Such as diabetes, cardiovascular, and immunodeficiency conditions can slow the healing process.
  • Medication: Some drugs, such as NSAIDs, immunosuppressants, and blood thinners can negatively impact healing.
  • Poor nutrition: if your diet lacks key nutrients, this has a significant impact on how effectively the body can heal.
  • Dehydration: Water is vital for a speedy recovery process and healing.

While there isn’t much you can do about the first four of these, you can certainly take positive action on the last two. Eating a healthy diet and drinking enough water after the operation is critical—but ensuring you do this in the run-up is also very important. This will help prep your body to be in optimal condition for the fastest possible healing.

The risks of premature driving after cataract surgery

The risks of driving when you can’t see properly need no explanation. Most people suffer some kind of vision interference after cataract surgery. This can include blurred vision, double vision, sensitivity to light, grittiness, and excessive watering. All of these make it unsafe to drive and you should wait until these have dissipated before getting back behind the wheel.

If you need new glasses post-surgery, you’ll have to wait 6-8 weeks before you can have an eye test for this. This might mean that you can’t drive until you have your new lenses.

The key to safe driving after cataract surgery is to wait until your surgeon tells you that you’re ready. You’ll have a consultation around 24-48 hours after the procedure and, if your clinician deems you ready to drive, they will tell you then. If not, they’ll explain why and help you understand how long you should wait before hitting the road again.

Personalized Advice about Driving After Cataract Surgery from the West Boca Eye Center

As a world-leading cataract surgery facility, patients at the WBEC can be sure that they’ll get the very best advice about every element of post-cataract surgery care—and that includes providing you with a personal timeline about when you can get back in the driver’s seat.

Our expertise is in wholly individual care. So while your surgeon can give you an approximate estimate of how long you’ll need to refrain from driving before the operation takes place, your bespoke aftercare will be far more exact.

This is just one example of the exemplary service you can expect before, during, and after your cataract procedure. 

Ready to find out more? Head to and call our friendly team today.

Driving After Cataract Surgery
Driving After Cataract Surgery

One of the most common questions asked about cataract surgery is about how soon you can drive after the op. 

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Specializing in modern cataract surgery.

Located 1/2 miles North of West Boca Medical Center on Glades Road, directly behind Macy's Furniture Gallery.

West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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