Cataract surgery is a simple procedure that recovers clear vision for people with poor, blurry vision. Yet questions about activities, especially playing pickleball after this surgery, are of interest and wonder to many patients. 

Therefore, the answer to the question “Can I play pickleball after cataract surgery?” will be immediately in this article below. You and many patients will learn all about playing pickleball after surgery and the precautions you should know.

What Is Cataract Surgery?

Understanding Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a common and successful method to treat cataracts, which cause clouding of the eye’s natural lens, resulting in blurred vision. This surgery helps to improve vision and reduce the impact of cataracts on our daily lives. 

This method includes removing the cloudy lens through a small incision and replacing it with an IOL (artificial intraocular lens) to restore clear vision. The IOL is designed to correct near and intermediate vision, allowing patients to focus on objects at varying distances.

This cataract surgery helps patients enhance both distance and near vision. Furthermore, patients can see without glasses or contact lenses.

What Is Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery

Recovery Process

After cataract surgery, the recovery process is often different for each patient. But generally, recovery can take up to a week for your eyes to stabilize and your vision to return to normal. During this time, you must avoid strenuous activities that strain your eyes.

Can I Play Pickleball After Cataract Surgery?

After successful cataract surgery, the nagging question lingers in your mind – “Can I play pickleball after cataract surgery?”. The answer will be below. 

Can I Play Pickleball After Cataract Surgery
Can I Play Pickleball After Cataract Surgery

First, you must give your eyes time to heal and recover. Depending on your situation, your surgeon will provide you with particular advice. But as a general rule, you should avoid strenuous activities for at least a week after surgery, and playing handball is no exception.

Once the initial healing period is over, you can start with light to moderate exercise, like gentle stretches and walks on the court. After a few weeks, you can return to the game you love by focusing more on proper technique and form than rushing into intense matches.

Remember, never rush during this time or try too hard. Instead, always listen to your body.

Of course, you should also consult your doctor before resuming any strenuous physical activity. So, be patient and diligently check the recovery process until you are ready to return to pickleball.

Factors To Consider Before Playing Pickleball After Cataract Surgery

Eye after cataract surgery
Eye after cataract surgery

Below, several factors must be considered to ensure a safe and successful recovery before playing pickleball after cataract surgery.

  • Healing Time:

Depending on your condition, your eye doctor will give you detailed instructions on when you can return to pickleball. Usually, it takes at least a few weeks. Letting enough time for your eyes to heal after cataract surgery is important.

  • Vision Changes:

Cataract surgery often results in improved vision, but it can take time for your eyes to adjust. Thus, ensure your eyes are stable before participating in pickleball, especially in a game requiring good hand-eye coordination.

  • Comfort and Confidence:

It is important to assess your comfort level before returning to pickleball. If you still feel discomfort or sensitivity in your eyes, it’s best to delay your return to pickleball. Start when you feel ready and have your eye doctor’s approval.

  • Consultation with Ophthalmologist:

Before resuming any sports activities, it is crucial to consult with your ophthalmologist. They will examine your eyes and offer specific instructions based on your level of recovery.

Remember, every individual’s recovery is different. So, following the advice of your eye doctor is essential to ensure the best outcome and cut any risks or complications.

Precautions When Playing Pickleball After Cataract Surgery

After cataract surgery, taking precautions when playing pickleball is important to ensure proper healing. Here are some precautions to consider:

  • Follow your doctor’s advice: 

Consult your ophthalmologist or eye surgeon before returning to any physical activity, including pickleball. They will give specific instructions based on your unique situation and recovery progress.

Follow eye doctor advice
Follow eye doctor advice

  • Wear protective eyewear: 

Consider wearing sports goggles or pickleball-specific eye protection. That can help protect your eyes from any potential impact or injury during this game.

  • Avoid intense physical contact:

Pickleball is a light, almost non-contact sport. But accidents can still happen. So be careful and avoid intense physical contact that could harm your eyes.

  • Be aware of lighting conditions: 

You should pay attention to the lighting conditions on the pickleball court. Use suitable UV-protective sunglasses to protect your sensitive eyes if the days are sunny or bright.

  • Take rest your eyes: 

Listening to your eyes and resting when needed is important. You should rest your eyes and limit excessive eye regulation while playing games.

  • ​​Stay hydrated: 

Maintaining enough hydration is crucial for maintaining eye health. You must drink enough water before, during, and after playing pickleball to keep your eyes lubricated and minimize dryness.

Following your eye doctor’s advice, wearing protective eyewear, and taking notes for your eyes are precautions you must remember when playing pickleball. 

Best Exercises After Cataract Surgery 

Performing recommended exercises after cataract surgery is necessary to help support your healing process. Check out the exercises below! 

  • Walking:

Walking is a low-impact exercise that promotes circulation and wellness. You can start with short walks and increase the duration and intensity as your doctor guides.

  • Light aerobic exercises: 

You can engage in light aerobic activities like stationary biking or elliptical training (with your doctor’s approval). These activities promote cardiovascular health without putting excessive strain on your eyes.

  • Eye exercises: 

You should perform simple eye exercises to help improve coordination and strengthen eye muscles. Some examples are focusing on near and distant objects, eye-rolling, and shifting gaze from side to side.

  • Balance exercises: 

Incorporate balance exercises like standing on one leg or using a balance board. These exercises can help maintain your stability and reduce the risk of falls.

  • Gentle yoga or tai chi: 

These combined practices are stretching and balance. It helps you to control breathing, promoting relaxation, flexibility, and mental well-being. Choose a gentle class and let the instructor know you just had surgery.

Always proceed with caution and pay attention to your doctor’s advice. If you feel any pain or notice any changes in your eyesight, exercise should be stopped immediately, and you should see an ophthalmologist. 


What Physical Activities Should You Avoid After Cataract Surgery?

After cataract surgery, you must avoid activities that strain or pressure the eyes. This includes heavy lifting, bending over, vigorous exercise, contact sports, swimming in pools or hot tubs, and activities with a high risk of eye injury, such as racquetball or boxing. 

Besides, avoiding activities that expose one to dust, debris, or harsh chemicals that could irritate your eyes is also advised. 

To be more certain, you need to speak with your doctor for precise limits and instructions based on your unique condition.

What Is The Best Exercise For Your Eyes After Cataract Surgery?

What Is The Best Exercise For Your Eyes After Cataract Surgery

The near-far focusing exercise is the most effective exercise that you can refer to. Hold a small object, like a pen or finger, at arm’s length and focus on it for a few seconds. 

Then, as your eyes gradually adjust, you pay attention to a distant object for a few seconds. Repeat this process several times, gradually increasing the focus duration on each object.

This exercise helps improve eye flexibility and muscle coordination and enhances the recovery ability of your eyes.

How Soon Can You Bend Over After Cataract Surgery?

It is generally recommended to avoid bending over, heavy lifting, or any strenuous activities for at least 2 weeks. This restricts any pressure or strain on the eye, which can affect the healing process. 

What Happens If You Don’t Wear Sunglasses After Cataract Surgery?

The surgery has left your retina damaged and sensitive. So you can still get eye damage from UV rays even if you have an IOL with UV decking.

More seriously, you are at risk of cataract recurrence because UV rays are extremely toxic and are the cause of cataracts. So remember to wear sunglasses after cataract surgery. 


Cataract surgery is a popular method of restoring vision and removing cataracts. However, participating in pickleball too soon after cataract surgery can cause unpredictable complications. 

Surely, after reading the article, you have the answer to the question “Can I play pickleball after cataract surgery?” and valuable insights into this. Remember, safety first. So, wait for your recovery process and follow your eye doctor’s instructions so your eyes heal quickly. After that, you can completely return to pickleball without fear.

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