When is it Safe to Drive After Cataract Surgery?

driving after cataract

Driving a Car After Cataract Surgery: What You Need to Know

Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures performed worldwide, and it has a high success rate in restoring vision. However, after cataract surgery, patients may wonder when it is safe to resume their normal activities, including driving. In this article, we will discuss the effects of cataract surgery on driving and provide guidance on when it is safe to drive again.

What happens to your vision after cataract surgery?

During cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to improve vision. After surgery, patients may experience some changes in their vision, such as blurriness or haziness, and they may need to wear an eye patch or protective shield for a few days to protect the eye.

When is it safe to drive after cataract surgery?

The timing for resuming driving after cataract surgery varies from patient to patient, and it depends on several factors, including the type of surgery performed and the individual’s recovery process. Typically, patients can resume driving one to two weeks after cataract surgery, provided that they meet the following criteria:

  1. Vision meets the legal requirements for driving: It is important to ensure that your vision is good enough to meet the legal requirements for driving in your country or state. Your eye doctor will assess your visual acuity, depth perception, and visual field to determine if you meet these requirements.
  2. Adequate recovery time: You should wait until you have fully recovered from the surgery and any associated complications, such as inflammation or infection.
  3. Comfort and confidence: You should feel comfortable and confident driving, without experiencing any discomfort, pain, or side effects from the surgery or medications.
  4. Follow your doctor’s recommendations: Your eye doctor will provide specific recommendations regarding when it is safe for you to resume driving. It is essential to follow these recommendations to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Precautions to take when driving after cataract surgery

Even after you are cleared to drive after cataract surgery, there are some precautions you should take to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road:

  1. Wear sunglasses: After cataract surgery, your eyes may be more sensitive to light. Wearing sunglasses can help reduce glare and improve your vision while driving.
  2. Avoid driving at night: Some patients may experience difficulty with night driving after cataract surgery due to halos or glare. It is best to avoid driving at night until you feel comfortable and confident doing so.
  3. Keep your vehicle’s windshield and mirrors clean: A clean windshield and mirrors can help reduce glare and improve your visibility while driving.
  4. Take breaks if needed: If you experience any discomfort or eye fatigue while driving, take a break and rest your eyes.


Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can significantly improve your vision and quality of life. However, it is essential to follow your eye doctor’s recommendations regarding when it is safe to resume driving after surgery. Remember to take precautions, such as wearing sunglasses and avoiding night driving, to ensure your safety on the road. If you have any concerns or questions about driving after cataract surgery, talk to your eye doctor.