Work – How long will I need to be off work after cataract surgery?

In general, if your job doesn’t involve working in a dusty, windy or dirty environment and you’re not expected to carry out any physical activity or heavy lifting, then you can return to work the day after your cataract surgery. If you have concerns about returning to work, please discuss these with your surgeon and the discharge team.

Roles that involve contact sports (e.g. a martial arts instructor) or elements of control and restraint (e.g. a police officer) should be avoided for a little longer (2-4 weeks) but are best discussed with your surgeon.  

It’s very rare that you’ll need to be off work for more than two weeks after cataract surgery. However, these are only general guidelines – each patient heals differently and has different circumstances – so if you’re unsure about whether you’re ready to go back to work, then get in touch with your doctor or optician and discuss your circumstances with them, so they can make a recommendation tailored to you. 

You should try to avoid bending down for a week after surgery, to avoid putting additional pressure on your eye as you lean forwards. 

A doctor’s note can be provided for your employer to cover you while off work – you’ll need to request this from your hospital doctor. 

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