How Much Time Passes Between Each Eye’s Cataract Operation

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how long between cataract surgery on each eye


In this blog, we’ve learned about cataracts, which are a common eye problem where the lens in your eye gets cloudy. This can make your vision blurry or make it hard to see at night. Cataract surgery is the main treatment, and it’s safe and often works well. After surgery, it’s important to take care of your eyes by following your doctor’s advice, like not rubbing them and using any prescribed eye drops. The timing for having surgery on each eye can vary, and your doctor will decide what’s best for you. Overall, understanding the signs of cataracts and getting treatment can help improve your vision and keep your eyes healthy.

We’ll discuss these topics in this blog:

What is a Cataract?

A cataract-free eye has a clear lens that helps focus light. But when a cataract forms, this lens becomes cloudy. At first, many people don’t notice any problems with their vision.

Luckily, cataracts usually don’t immediately harm your vision. Many people can still do everyday things with glasses or contacts to help with any vision changes caused by the cataract.

Signs of a cataract include:

  • Seeing double
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Having trouble driving at night
  • Feeling sensitive to light
  • Colors looking faded
  • Having less side vision.

Cataract Surgery

Even though cataracts don’t quickly harm your vision, the only permanent way to get rid of them is through cataract surgery. Luckily, this surgery is common, with very high success rates and few complications.

Here’s what usually happens during cataract surgery

  • The eye doctor makes a small cut.
  • They take out the cloudy lens.
  • They put in a new artificial lens.
  • Because the cut is so small, stitches aren’t usually needed.

There are different types of cataract surgery:

  • Standard Implants: These are used in regular cataract surgery. After this surgery, you might still need glasses for close-up and far-away vision.
  • LRI (Limbal Relaxing Incisions): These are small cuts made at the edge of the cornea to help with mild astigmatism, often done with standard implants.
  • Custom Vision: This includes special tests before surgery and sometimes making cuts on the sides of the cornea to help with mild astigmatism. But you might still need glasses afterward.
  • Vivity / Vivity Toric Implants: These special lenses can help with near, far, and in-between vision, and also mild astigmatism. They might need additional tests and visits after surgery.

Minimum time between each surgery and why

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and other groups don’t give an exact time frame for how long to wait between cataract surgeries on each eye. Instead, they suggest when it’s safe to do the next surgery.

Doctors consider a few things to decide when to do the second eye surgery

  • What the person needs and prefers for their vision.
  • How well the second eye can see and function.
  • Checking the first eye’s vision to pick the right lens for the second eye.
  • Make sure the first eye is stable and healthy.
  • How different the vision is between the two eyes and if they need to work together better.

They also think about:

  • If there were any problems with the first surgery that needed time to fix.
  • What the person wants and if they have any plans or travel coming up.

People can ask their doctor when they can do the second surgery. The doctor will have a good idea based on their experience and what’s best for the person’s eyes.

How long is cataract surgery on each eye?

The time between the first and second cataract surgeries can be different for each person. It depends on how well they recover from the first surgery and what they prefer.

Cataract surgery helps people see better by removing a cloudy lens and putting in a clear one. The surgery takes about an hour and is usually safe and works well.

Doctors usually only do one eye at a time. This lets the first eye heal properly before they do the second one.

In this article, we’ll discuss how long to wait between surgeries and what happens after cataract surgery.

Recovery time 

After cataract surgery, most people recover without problems. But it’s important to follow your eye doctor’s advice for taking care of your eyes. Here are some simple tips.

  • Don’t rub your eyes.
  • If your doctor tells you to, wear the eye shield they give you at night to stop you from rubbing your eyes.
  • Keep soap and shampoo out of your eyes.
  • Avoid getting water that’s not clean in your eyes, like from the shower or pool.
  • Take it easy and don’t do anything too strenuous.
  • Don’t wear eye makeup for a few weeks.
  • Use any eye drops or medications your doctor gives you.

You might need someone to drive you home after the surgery because your vision will be blurry at first and you might feel some discomfort as the numbing wears off. Usually, you can go back to work the next day, but talk to your doctor about it first to make sure it’s okay based on your job and how your eyes are doing.


In conclusion, cataracts are a common eye condition characterized by the clouding of the lens, which can lead to vision problems such as double vision, sensitivity to light, and difficulty driving at night. While cataracts typically develop slowly and may not immediately impair vision, the only permanent solution is cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure with high success rates, often resulting in improved vision and quality of life for patients.

The recovery process involves following the guidance of your eye doctor, including avoiding rubbing the eyes, protecting them from irritants, and using prescribed medications as directed. The timing between cataract surgeries on each eye varies depending on individual recovery and vision needs, with doctors determining the most suitable approach for each patient. By understanding the signs of cataracts, seeking timely treatment, and adhering to post-operative care instructions, individuals can undergo successful cataract surgery and enjoy clearer vision and enhanced eye health.


Q1. How soon after the first cataract surgery can the second eye be done?

A1. Usually, you need to wait for 2 to 6 weeks after the first surgery for your eye to heal completely before getting the second eye surgery.

Q2. Why does the second eye cataract surgery feel more painful?

A2. People might feel more worried before the first surgery and expect more pain. So, they might find the second surgery more painful even if the first one was not.

Q3. Is it okay to have cataract surgery on both eyes at the same time?

A3. It’s generally not recommended because it takes time for the eyes to heal, and your vision will still be blurry during this time.

Q4. Which eye gets cataract surgery first?

A4. If both eyes have cataracts, usually the surgery is done on the eye that you don’t use as much first, and then on the other eye a week or two later.

Q5. Why are cataract surgeries done 2 weeks apart?

A5. Waiting between surgeries gives your eyes time to heal and lets your brain adjust to the changes in your vision more comfortably.

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