top of page

The Ideal Sleeping Positions for Comfort and Healing After Cataract Surgery

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Cataract surgery is generally considered safe and highly effective. However, you must take proper care to ensure there are no infections in the operated eye.

Doctors usually ask patients to avoid rubbing their eyes, pressing their eyes, avoiding alcohol consumption and smoking, doing heavy lifting and strenuous exercise and using protective eye gear. This apart, doctors recommend specific sleeping positions as an ample amount of rest and sleeping is crucial to recovering after any surgical procedure, no matter how small. This is why it is important to know what is the best post-cataract surgery sleeping position so that you not only get the required amount of rest but also safeguard your operated eye.

Preparing Your Sleeping Environment

Creating the right atmosphere enhances sleep, which can help patients expedite the process of healing after surgery. Here are a few things you can do to create a perfect sleeping environment:

Dim the lights: As the operated eye will feel irritated from the excessive light, it is good to curb the source of natural light using curtains and dim the lights in the room. This will ensure that your eye feels relaxed and free from strain.

Temperature: Set the right temperature for a cosy sleep. The surroundings being too hot or too cold can irritate the eye further, resulting in uneasy sleep.

Electronics: It is common knowledge that doctors recommend not to use gadgets like smartphones, iPads or televisions after cataract surgery. However, since we have all become attuned to seeing mobiles before we sleep, keeping the phone away before you sleep might be a good practice to follow right after your cataract surgery.

Other factors: You can add light music to your sleep routine and scented candles to enhance sleep. That apart, create a proper routine to go to bed. Keep your pets away, as they can disrupt the pattern.

Recommended Post-Cataract Surgery Sleeping Position

A crucial aspect of any healing process, including recovery from cataract surgery, is adequate sleep.

Following cataract surgery, you will receive an eye shield to safeguard your eye against dust, debris, or potential sources of irritation or infection. Opting to sleep on your back is a widely recommended sleeping position after cataract surgery. It will prevent any pressure or touch on the operated eye and can minimize the risk of your eye shield shifting while you wear it overnight.

For those who find it challenging to sleep on their back, an alternative suggestion is to sleep on the side opposite to the eye that underwent cataract surgery. However sleeping on the same side is abosolutely not recommended for the first few days after cataract surgery.

While you can discard the eye shield the morning after your cataract surgery, it is still recommended to continue sleeping on your back for a couple of weeks to prevent your eye from coming into contact with your pillow, which could transfer particles. This precautionary measure supports the healing process and reduces the risk of infection.

Precautions to be Taken Post-cataract Surgery

Some other precautions that you must follow as a post-cataract surgery routine include:

Follow Medical Guidance: Abide by the post-surgery instructions and take prescribed medications as directed.

Protect Your Eye: Safeguard your eye from potential contaminants, especially in dusty or outdoor environments.

Prevent Eye Strain: Minimize activities that may strain your eyes during the recovery period.

Maintain Hydration: Keep yourself well-hydrated to aid in healing and reduce eye dryness.

Use UV-Blocking Sunglasses: When outdoors, wear sunglasses designed to block UV rays.

Adopt a Balanced Diet: Consume nutrients that support eye health.

Attend Regular Check-ups: Keep your scheduled appointments with your eye specialist.

Engage in Eye Exercises: Perform any prescribed exercises to enhance vision and coordination.

Prioritize Rest and Sleep: Ensure you get sufficient rest and quality sleep to support healing.

Stay Informed: Be vigilant for potential complications and promptly report any unusual symptoms to your healthcare provider.

Other Activities to Avoid

There are certain things that are strict no when it comes to recovering from cataract surgery. These include:

  • Refrain from Excessive Alcohol Consumption

  • Try to reduce Smoking or ideally quit

  • Avoid Vigorous Exercise and other strenuous physical activity.

  • Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects or Bending Over

Frequently Asked Questions About Post-cataract Surgery Sleeping Position

How long before you can sleep on your side after cataract surgery?

It is recommended that one must refrain from sleeping on the side of the eye that underwent surgery for a duration of one week. Wearing a protective shield while sleeping will keep the eye adequately protected, even if one unintentionally finds themselves on that side.

Can I use a pillow after cataract surgery?'

Do I need to wear an eye patch while sleeping?


Read more about the author

Medical Director & Senior Eye Surgeon

One of the best Cataract, Cornea and Lasik eye surgeons in Gurgaon.

Exp: 20 Yrs

Visit the LinkedIn profile

218 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page