When Can You Exercise After Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are a common disorder that causes your eyesight to become impaired by forming small, cloudy patches on the lens of your eye. The good news is that cataract surgery can be easily treated. Cataract surgery is a straightforward procedure and the most common operation performed.

Exercise After Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a procedure that removes a cloudy lens from your eye. It’s a frequent and typically safe treatment, and you’ll be able to go home right away. You will, however, need to wait before returning to your regular workout routine, as with most surgeries.

The time it takes to get back into shape following cataract surgery varies depending on the activities. Within the first week, modest exercise is acceptable, but more vigorous activity should be avoided for several weeks. This ensures that your eye heals properly. 

When Can You Start Exercising After Cataract Surgery?

After cataract surgery, it is recommended that you refrain from exercising for at least one week. Within a few days, any discomfort or tenderness following the surgery will subside, and you can resume light to moderate exercises, such as walking or stretching. Bending down puts strain and pressure on your eyes, so you should avoid doing exercises that require you to place your head below your waist. To limit the risk of infection, it is also recommended that you do not swim underwater for at least two weeks after surgery.

Here’s a general timeframe for when you can resume different levels of exercise:

1. Week 1 After Cataract Surgery

In the week after surgery, you can do low-impact physical activities, such as:

  • Walking outdoors
  • Gentle walking on a treadmill
  • Light household chores
  • Gentle stretching (without bending at the waist)

Avoid bending and lifting anything over 10 to 15 pounds, including laundry and groceries. This can increase pressure in your eyes and interfere with proper healing

2. Week 2 After Cataract Surgery

At 2 weeks, your doctor may clear you for moderate-level activities, such as:

  • Brisk walking
  • Jogging
  • Yoga
  • Slow Dancing

3. Weeks 4 To 6 After Cataract Surgery

You should be able to resume more intense physical activities. These can include:

  • Weightlifting
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Intense Cycling

Again, check with your eye doctor before returning to this level of exercise. 

Symptoms Of A Serious Post Cataract Surgery Complication

Symptoms of serious side effects include:

  • Increasing eye pain, redness, or stickiness
  • Increasing swelling inside or in front of the eye
  • Decreasing vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye bleeding
  • Pain that doesn’t respond to pain medication
  • Flashes
  • Seeing glares or dark shadows
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

The above symptoms may indicate a serious complication, such as:

Is It Safe To Exercise After Cataract Surgery?

You shouldn’t do anything difficult until your next-day appointment, including bending over or lifting anything more than a few pounds. This is due to several factors:

  • Time is required for your eyes to heal: Even tasks that may not directly damage your eyes, such as jogging, bending, and lifting, can put pressure or strain on them.
  • Because your vision will be cloudy following surgery, you are more likely to run into things, tumble, or make other miscalculations in your movements.


Many workouts take place in potentially hazardous situations for healing eyes, such as dusty fields, pollen-covered parks, filthy pools, and bacteria-infested fitness centres, all of which can introduce debris and other foreign bodies into your healing eyes.

Even if you’re in good health, they only prescribe light exercise until they believe your eyes are ready. Walking, stretching, and other low-impact activities are examples of this. For the first few weeks after cataract surgery, you should limit your exercise and avoid swimming for at least a month. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more information about your condition.

Related: Cataract Types, Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors

Choose An Experienced Cataract Surgeon

Cataract surgery is becoming more popular than ever as people over 45 seek to restore blurry vision caused by cataracts. If you’re considering treatment, deciding on the right surgeon for your circumstances can be difficult due to the abundance of options available. The experience of the surgeon, the location of the practice, the technology employedandthe cost of surgery are all factors to consider. It is recommended to always choose a Cataract Surgeon with the most experience.

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