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How Long to Wait Between Cataract Surgery on Each Eye   

Gina Walters


how long between cataract surgery on each eye

Cataract is an eye disease identified by the clouding of the eye’s lens, leading to vision loss.

Cataract surgery is the most common procedure used to restore eyesight for people having Cataracts.

The issue that arises with Cataracts is that if you get it in one eye, the likelihood of the other eye developing one increases.

In such cases, most people wonder how long to wait between Cataract surgery on each eye.

In this article, we discuss the time interval between Cataract surgeries in both eyes. 

Also, we explore the variables that affect this decision.

How long between Cataract surgery on each eye

A person with Cataracts in both eyes is not uncommon. 

In such a case, you will require Cataract procedures in both of your eyes. 

When Cataracts affect both eyes, a common question asked by most people is: How Long to Wait Between Cataract Surgery on Each Eye

The answer to this simple question is that there is no predetermined amount of time between Cataract surgery on the first and second eye. 

However, the surgery on the second eye is usually done a few days after the first surgery to minimize the risk of any complications.

During Cataract surgery, the clouded lens is carefully removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). 

It restores clear vision by enabling light to travel through the eye without obstruction.

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The time between Cataract surgery in each eye depends on the specific conditions and the ophthalmologist’s suggestion.

Cataract surgery is often done on one eye at a time, with the second eye being operated on subsequently.

Generally, you might have to wait until the first eye is healed completely and your vision returns to normal before going on to the other. 

Usually, most patients get clear vision after 24 hours.

But your eye doctor may keep a time difference of around one week between Cataract surgeries in both eyes. 

Know more about the side effects of Cataract surgery. Read our article: ‘A Complete Guide on Cataract Surgery Side Effects

Although Cataract surgery is quite safe, it can cause complications, such as infection and retinal detachment in some cases.

Factors affecting time between Cataract surgery on both eyes

types of cataractSource: Africa_images
Man with a cataract eye

A surgeon can decide how long to wait between a patient’s first and second Cataract surgery based on the following factors:

  • The patient’s visual needs and preferences
  • The degree of Anisometropia and the need to restore binocular vision
  • The clarity of vision and second-eye functioning
  • The first eye’s refractive stability
  • Evaluation of the first eye’s refractive error to determine the lens suitable for the second eye
  • The amount of time that has passed for the evaluation and treatment of any issues from the original eye operation

Different kinds of surgical intervention can be done to treat Cataracts. Read our article: Types of Cataract Surgery: Choose the Right Path to know the kinds of Cataract surgeries.

Anisometropia is a disorder that causes asymmetric refraction between the two eyes.


Most people having Cataracts in both eyes often wonder how long to wait between Cataract surgery on each eye.

It’s a bit unclear how much time is required between the Cataract procedures on the first and second eyes. 

However, the scheduling of the second Cataract surgery is quite important and will depend on several factors. 

These may include the patient’s personal situation and the severity of visual impairment in each eye. 

Still, it is normally safe to plan the second procedure 4 days following the first.

Consult your eye doctor about the best time for each procedure if you’re thinking about having Cataract surgeries in both eyes. 

Based on your requirements and situation, your eye doctor can offer specific guidance to guarantee the best possible visual results.

Precautions need to be taken after Cataract surgery for fast recovery and healing.Read our article onAfter Cataract surgery’ to know about the dos and don’ts after Cataract surgery.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much time should it take to have Cataract surgery in both eyes?

Ideally, there should be a 2 to 6 weeks gap between Cataract surgeries in both eyes to ensure the proper healing of your first eye.

Is it good to have Cataract surgery in both eyes at the same time?

No, it is generally not recommended to have Cataract surgery in both eyes simultaneously. 
This is due to the fact that your vision may be affected, and there are chances of complications. 
So, if you opt for Cataract surgery in both eyes at the same time, you may find difficulty with your vision.

Which eye is first for Cataract surgery?

If both your eyes are affected by Cataracts, then the least affected or non-dominant eye will be treated first to stop the progression of vision loss.

Can you wait six months between Cataract surgery?

Although there is no specified time between the Cataract surgery in both eyes, it is recommended not to wait six months or longer for the second eye surgery. 
This is because waiting too long may accelerate vision loss and chances of other possible complications.

How often does Cataract surgery go well?

Generally, Cataract surgery is quite safe, with a success rate of 99%. 
However, in some instances, it may lead to complications, like inflammation, bleeding at the incision site, and retinal detachment.

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