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Returning to work

Get Well Soon

Helping you to make a speedy recovery after cataract surgery

Returning to work

The majority of patients with cataracts have often retired from work. However, cataracts can also occur in much younger patients.

Fact: Work can be part of your recovery

Everyone needs time off to recover after an operation - but too much of it can stand in the way of you getting back to normal. Getting back to your normal routine sooner rather than later can actually help you to recover more quickly.

Getting back to work

How quickly you return to work depends on a number of things:

  • How you heal
  • How you respond to surgery
  • The type of job you do

People whose work involves a lot of exposure to airborne particles or dust for example, may not be able to return to work quite as quickly as those who have office jobs.

How soon can I go back?

Every person recovers differently and has different needs. Cataract surgery normally has a very quick recovery and the majority of individuals who are doing administrative roles will normally be back at work almost immediately (see recovery tracker). Jobs that are more physically demanding and involve exposure to liquids or dust might require a more graduated return to full activities. Contact sports or roles involving control and restraint should be avoided for a little longer, say 2-4 weeks, but are best discussed with your surgeon.

If your work involves driving, you can return to work as soon as your vision meets the occupational requirements set by the DVLA (see section on driving). This may be the next day, or it may sometimes be delayed until you are measured for your new glasses at 4 weeks. If your employer has an occupational health nurse or doctor, they will advise you on this. Alternatively, your GP can give you advice. Ultimately, it’s your decision when you want to go back, but listen to the advice offered to you.

You do not need your GP’s permission to go back to work – this is ultimately your decision.

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