How to Walk and Hike After Cataract Surgery

How to Walk and Hike After Cataract Surgery
Walking after cataract surgery is a task of varying difficulty, depending on the individual. After the surgery, there will be a period of several weeks in which the brain adjusts to the new lens. Vision will be much clearer than before the surgery, but the eye and brain must learn to coordinate and gauge depth and space. In the surgery process, the blurred natural lens is replaced with a silicone or plastic lens to clarify vision. Side effects are minimal, but regular consultation with an eye doctor is required to ensure the surgery was successful. Be prepared to communicate any walking difficulties with the doctor.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Use a walking stick to ensure you do not lose balance. While the brain adjusts to the new vision, balance may be an issue.
Step 2
Walk and hike on flat ground. Use paved surfaces during the first week following the surgery and gradually enter rougher surfaces and steeper inclines. This will help your brain and eyes increase depth perception, and it will allow you to test the new lens before communicating with your doctor.
Step 3
Walk and hike with a partner who is in good physical shape. Ask the partner to observe your walking progress and notify you of any irregularities. Also use the partner as a measure of safety by walking with linked arms when your balance suffers.
Step 4
Carry a mode of communication for emergencies. Cell phones and satellite alerts from a device such as the SPOT will allow you to walk in a safe environment where help can be contacted.
Step 5
Communicate with your eye doctor on a regular basis. If any vision problems are causing walking difficulty, report the problem to your eye doctor.

Tips & Warnings

Ask your eye doctor about walking and wait for clearance before attempting to hike.
If the cataract surgery was not successful, you will have a difficult time walking. Notify the doctor immediately if your vision is blurred. It is common for the eye to itch and to have headaches after the surgery. Don't push yourself until you have adjusted to the new lens and your body feels comfortable while walking.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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