Many people wonder why some ophthalmologists tell them that they should avoid sleeping on their side after cataract surgery. This advice is specifically referring to the side that the surgery was done on. So, if you had cataract surgery on your right eye, do not sleep on your right side. You should also avoid sleeping on your stomach or with your face down.
The general principle behind this advice is that the cataract surgeon does not want any pressure on the eyeball itself or any type of foreign material to get near the incision site. A patient should not sleep in a position where they could potentially put mechanical pressure on their cataract surgery wound. Usually, this means avoid sleeping face down or with the operative eye on the bed or pillow.
How To Sleep After Cataract Surgery
Sleeping on your back after cataract surgery will help to decrease the likelihood that you rub or irritate the eye. Physical irritation or rubbing of the area can increase the risk of infection. If you put too much mechanical pressure on the eye itself, this could potentially cause the cataract wound to open and the artificial lens to dislocate but this is extremely uncommon.
Should You Sleep With Your Head Elevated After Cataract Surgery?
It is not necessary to sleep with your head elevated after cataract surgery. If you find it to be more comfortable you can, but it is not required. Your doctor will also provide you with an eye shield to wear after your surgery. It is especially important to wear this eye shield at night. The eye shield can protect your eye if you happen to try to rub your eye in your sleep by mistake, or if you unintentionally turn over.
Do You Have To Sleep Sitting Up After Cataract Surgery?
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No, you do not have to sleep sitting up after cataract surgery. There is no advantage to doing this. Sleep in a position that is comfortable for you and that avoids the operative eye from becoming irritated.
How To Put On Eye Shield After Cataract Surgery
Wearing an eye shield after cataract surgery is an important part of the post-operative care process. An eye shield can help to protect your eye from accidental injury, rubbing or scratching, or other trauma during the immediate post-operative period when the eye is still healing. Wearing an eye shield can also help to keep the eye closed. This can help to reduce discomfort or irritation in the eye, as well as sensitivity to light, which can be common after cataract surgery. An eye shield can help to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications after surgery, such as infection or inflammation. By protecting the eye and reducing exposure to bacteria or other irritants, an eye shield can help to promote faster and more complete healing.
Before putting on the eye shield, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection. Position yourself in a comfortable and stable position, such as sitting in a chair or lying down on your back. Gently place the eye shield over your eye, ensuring that it covers your eye completely and fits snugly against your face. Then, secure the eye shield in place by using adhesive tape. The tape should go diagonally from the middle of your forehead across the shield to your cheek. This will help to keep it in place since it won’t move as much with your facial expressions. You should wear your eye shield continuously for the first 24 hours after surgery. Then, you should use the eye shield while you are napping or sleeping at night for about 5 to 7 days following your cataract surgery.
Sleeping Position After Cataract Surgery: Summary
The best position to sleep in after cataract surgery is on your back or on the side that is opposite to where the surgery was done. You do not need to sleep with the head of the bed elevated. You also do not need to sleep sitting up. Be sure to wear your eye shield while sleeping so that you do not rub your eye by mistake while sleeping.