How Soon After Refractive Cataract Surgery Can I Drive at Night?

Refractive cataract surgery is a transformative way to restore your vision and see clearly in all kinds of situations. However, it’s important to give your eyes time to recover before getting behind the wheel. Ophthalmologist Dr. Young H. Choi recommends waiting several days before driving at night, depending on your individual healing process. 

In the guide below, Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center explores the factors that influence recovery from cataract surgery and provides recommendations for a smooth transition. Call now for a consultation near Birmingham, AL, and find out how soon you can begin driving. 

Refractive cataract surgery is a procedure that involves breaking down and removing cataract-affected lenses. This is done through a process known as phacoemulsification. The lens is then replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to restore your vision. Dr. Choi proudly offers standard and premium IOLs to address common refractive errors and age-related vision loss. 

You may experience some discomfort and sensitivity to light after refractive cataract surgery, but these side effects are normal and should fade away as your eyes heal. Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center provides detailed information on what to expect and how to ensure optimal healing at home. Medications can be prescribed to address any remaining inflammation or pain. 

Follow-up appointments are booked 1 – 2 days after your procedure, then after one week, and again at one month so Dr. Choi can assess your progress and test your visual acuity. Patients can ask questions and express any concerns they may have during these visits. 

Dr. Choi recommends waiting several days before operating any vehicle, particularly at night. This is because side effects such as light sensitivity impair your ability to drive safely and increase your risk of an accident. Our patients tend to feel comfortable enough to begin driving once the majority of their symptoms have resolved. 

Remember that recovery from cataract surgery varies for each person depending on the complexity of their procedure and their unique healing process. Here are some factors to consider when assessing your readiness to drive in Birmingham, AL:  

  • How long has it been since your procedure? 
  • Are you able to look in all directions while driving? 
  • Do bright lights still bother you? 
  • Do your eyes feel dry or irritated? 
  •  Do you feel confident and relaxed behind the wheel?  

If you’re unsure about any of the above questions, it’s best to wait a few more days to begin driving. 

Once you receive clearance to drive, it’s advisable to begin driving during well-lit hours before gradually transitioning to nighttime driving. This approach allows you to acclimate to different lighting conditions. 

Throughout recovery, trust your judgment and listen to your body. If you experience any pain, difficulties with vision, or feel fatigued, postpone driving until you feel fully confident in your abilities. 

Recovery from cataract surgery is a process that requires patience and active engagement in your eye care. At Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center, our team of experts offers comprehensive guidance to ensure a safe and successful treatment. Call now to meet with Dr. Young H. Choi and see why so many people have trusted us with their eye health. We look forward to helping you get back on the road in Birmingham, AL.

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