Cooking after Cataract Surgery - Should You Do Housework?

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Shivani Arora, last updated on 13 January 2023| min read
Cooking after Cataract Surgery - Should You Do Housework?

Quick Summary

Here are some tips for cooking after cataract surgery:

  • Consult with your ophthalmologist before starting to cook.
  • Take breaks often and avoid overexerting yourself.
  • Use a stool or raised surface to make it easier to see into pots and pans.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from heat and chemicals.

It is important to listen to your body and rest when you need to. If you feel pain or discomfort, stop cooking and take a break.

You should also avoid doing housework until your doctor gives you the okay. This includes activities like cleaning, laundry, and vacuuming.

Cooking after cataract surgery can be difficult and intimidating. Still, with the proper consultation with your ophthalmologist and the right precautions, it is possible to prepare meals in your kitchen safely. 

It is important to note that while housework should undoubtedly be avoided until instructed otherwise by your doctor, there are still ways of participating in meal preparation without overdoing it or putting yourself at risk. This article will explore some tips for cooking after cataract surgery and when it may be appropriate to start doing housework again.

Post-Op Care Guidance for Cataract Surgery

Post-operative care after cataract surgery is an important step in the recovery process. It is necessary to follow your doctor’s instructions as closely as possible and take good care of yourself to ensure a successful outcome from cataract surgery. Here are some general post-operative guidelines to follow after cataract surgery:

  1. Follow your doctor's instructions: Be sure to follow all instructions given to you by your doctor, including any restrictions on activities such as bending, lifting, or straining.
  2. Use eye drops as prescribed: Your doctor will likely prescribe eye drops to help with healing and prevent infection. Be sure to use the eye drops as directed.
  3. Protect your eye: Wear protective eyewear such as sunglasses when going outside, especially on bright or sunny days.
  4. Avoid getting water or other liquids in your eye: To prevent infection, avoid getting water, soap, or other liquids. If you must wash your hands, dry them thoroughly before touching your eye.
  5. Avoid rubbing your eye: It is important to avoid rubbing your eye, as this can put unnecessary strain on the eye and potentially disrupt the healing process.
  6. Take breaks as needed: If you feel tired or uncomfortable, it is okay to take a break. It is important to listen to your body and give yourself the rest and care you need to ensure a smooth and successful recovery.
  7. Contact your doctor if you have any concerns: If you experience any unusual symptoms or discomfort after your cataract surgery, be sure to contact your doctor for further instructions.
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Why is it Important to take a rest from Cooking after Cataract surgery?

After the cataract surgery, it is important to allow the eye to heal and follow the instructions given by the doctor to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. Here are some reasons why you may want to avoid cooking after cataract surgery:

  1. Physical demands: Cooking can be physically demanding, as it often involves bending, lifting, and straining. These movements can put extra strain on the eye, which may not be ideal during the healing process.
  2. Risk of infection: There is a small risk of infection after cataract surgery, so it is important to avoid getting water, soap, or other liquids in your eye. This can be especially challenging when cooking, as the kitchen is often a moist and humid environment.
  3. Impaired vision: After cataract surgery, your vision may be impaired, especially during the early stages of recovery. This can make it difficult to see what you are doing while cooking, which could increase the risk of accidents.
  4. Discomfort or sensitivity: Some people may experience discomfort or sensitivity to light after cataract surgery, which could make it difficult to be in a bright kitchen while cooking.

In general, it is a good idea to take it easy and allow your eye to heal after cataract surgery. If you are unsure whether it is safe for you to cook, it is always best to consult with your doctor for specific instructions and guidance.

Possible Dangers in the Kitchen while Cooking after Cataract Surgery

There are a few potential dangers that you should be aware of in the kitchen while cooking after cataract surgery:

1. Burns: After cataract surgery, it is crucial to be aware of the risk of burns in the kitchen due to reduced vision and depth perception. It is best to take extra care around hot surfaces, such as ovens or stovetops, and use pot holders when touching any surface that may have been heated. 

2. Slips and Falls: It can be easy for someone who has recently undergone cataract surgery to slip or fall while moving around in the kitchen due to blurry vision or difficulty focusing vision. To diminish the risk of slipping and falling in the kitchen, ensure that all spills are immediately cleaned up and use non-slip floor mats when cooking after cataract surgery. 

3. Knife Cuts: Due to reduced hand-eye coordination after cataract surgery, people are more prone than usual to accidental cuts while chopping vegetables or slicing meats using a knife in the kitchen. To avoid this danger, ask someone to chop the vegetables or slice the meat or try using a smaller knife if possible for better accuracy when cutting food items into smaller pieces.

4. Chemicals Exposure: Many cleaning products used within kitchens contain toxic chemicals which can cause irritation or even serious health effects if inhaled or spilt in the operated eye. So always wear protective gloves and eye wears (goggles) while handling these cleaning materials as much as possible.

5. Hot Steam: When opening a boiling pot or pan, steam can cause serious burns if it comes in contact with an operated eye. Be especially mindful when handling hot liquids, as they are more likely to create intense heat and steam. Make sure to keep your face away from the hot steam whenever possible, or use a cloth or oven mitts while stirring and serving food.                                   

6. Oil Splatter: Cooking with oil can be particularly hazardous to someone who has recently had cataract surgery, as the splatter of hot oil can cause severe damage to the operated eye. To reduce this risk, the patient should use a deep fryer or pan with a lid and wear protective eyewear. Utensils such as long-handled tongs and slotted spoons should also be used carefully when frying foods. These precautions will ensure a safe, comfortable kitchen experience for those who have just had cataract surgery.      

7. Water Droplets: Water droplets can cause intense glare and reflections that can worsen vision, leading to potential hazards while cooking due to decreased visibility. It is important to ensure all the surface is dry before beginning any culinary activities. If necessary, one should wear sunglasses or protective eyewear when using faucets or other areas where water may splatter. Additionally, cutting boards should be placed on non-slip surfaces so as not to cause further visual disruption if a board is dropped during food preparation.

Steps for Safe Cooking after Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a safe procedure to improve vision and restore quality of life. However, it is essential to take the proper precautionary care when cooking after cataract surgery to ensure the best outcome and reduce potential complications. Here are some steps to safely cook after cataract surgery:

1. Avoid bending or stooping: Bending or stooping can put pressure on the eye and increase the risk of complications.

2. Avoid heavy lifting: Lifting heavy objects can also put pressure on the eye and should be avoided during the healing process.

3. Avoid exposure to smoke or steam: Exposure to smoke or steam can irritate the eye and should be avoided until the eye has fully healed.

4. Prepare Ahead of Time: Plan before starting each recipe so that there are fewer chances for accidents in the kitchen, such as cutting or chopping by yourself or spilling boiling water on yourself due to rushing through tasks because of lack of preparation time. Instead, try having someone else do tasks like chopping vegetables or stirring pots since they require proximity to heat sources which could be dangerous for newly operated eyes. 

5. Wear Protective Eyewear: It is essential to wear protective eye gear after cataract surgery as a safety precaution. Sunglasses should be worn outdoors and indoors to protect your eyes from bright lights and the sun’s UV rays. Wearing them will also reduce glare. 

6. Avoid Bright Lights: Don't stand directly underneath bright lights when cooking, as this has been known to cause increased discomfort and fatigue in the operated eyes since they are still sensitive post-surgery. Use natural light whenever possible instead and adjust pot placement accordingly. 

7. Follow Precautions while Cleaning Up: Lastly, it's essential not to use harsh chemicals while cleaning up, as these often contain abrasive particles which could irritate the operated eyes, making them prone to infections. Thus, use milder dishwashing or kitchen cleaning liquid while cleaning the kitchen after cooking.

8. Follow your doctor's instructions: Be sure to follow all of your doctor's instructions for post-surgery care, including any restrictions on activities such as cooking.


All in all, it is essential to take care of yourself after cataract surgery and focus on your recovery. While cooking after cataract surgery may be allowed by your doctor depending on the procedure, exercise caution when doing housework following the cataract surgery. Make sure you get enough rest and listen to your body's signals if it needs more time for healing before resuming strenuous activities such as cooking or cleaning. Taking these precautions will help ensure a successful recovery!

HexaHealth is your go-to source for expert advice on precautions after cataract surgery. Our team of knowledgeable professionals help you understand what activities are safe, and which ones should be avoided. We provide helpful tips regarding cooking and doing household work as well as suggest specialists in the field for cataract patients if needed. At HexaHealth, our mission is to ensure that you are well-informed about the necessary steps for a successful recovery from cataract surgery. Get in touch with a HexaHealth expert today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can do cooking after cataract surgery. However, for the first few days, avoiding activities that involve bending over a hot stove or reaching into a hot oven is best.
Strenuous activity should be avoided after cataract surgery, such as running, jumping and heavy lifting. Patients should focus on low-impact activities to protect their eyes after cataract surgery.

After a cataract surgery, one should avoid doing any strenuous activities including jogging, running, or any other activity that causes significant eye strain.

It is generally recommended to wait at least two weeks after cataract surgery before cooking. This will ensure the eye has had proper time to heal and that any risk of infection or further complications is minimized.
It is recommended that patients rest for 24-48 hours after cataract surgery to allow the eye to heal properly. During this time, it is significant not to strain the eye and avoid activities such as lifting or bending.
Resting and following the doctor's orders is the quickest way to recover from cataract surgery. Patients should take rest as much as possible, avoid activities that put a strain on the eye, take any prescribed medications, and attend follow-up appointments.
No, driving for at least one week is not recommended after cataract surgery. Your vision may still be blurry, and your eye may be sensitive to light, impairing your driving ability. You should wait until an optometrist or ophthalmologist has cleared you before driving again.
It is essential to consult with your doctor before wearing old glasses after cataract surgery. Talk to your eye doctor for the best solution for you. Depending on the type of corrective lenses needed, it may be necessary to purchase new ones post-surgery.

After cataract surgery, you should visit your doctor for regular check-ups. During these visits, your doctor can detect if the lens has moved by using a special microscope. They may also use imaging tests to confirm the position of the lens.

After cataract surgery, it is generally recommended to wait at least one week before attempting any strenuous activities, such as house cleaning. Your doctor may provide additional instructions regarding activity restrictions following the procedure.

Updated on : 13 January 2023

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


Shivani Arora

Shivani Arora

BA Journalism and Mass Communication

2 Years Experience

She is an accomplished new-age professional who has interviewed prominent personalities such as Bhaichung Bhutia, G. Sathiyan, Shashi Tharoor, etc. A content writer interested in health communication, graphic desi...View More

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