Adult Eye Muscle Surgery
This handout will help you care for yourself at home after eye muscle surgery. The nurse will go
over this handout with you. If you have any questions, please ask your doctor or nurse.
After Eye Muscle Surgery
ξ Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours or while taking narcotics.
ξ You may eat a normal diet.
ξ You may take your normal medicines, unless the doctor has told you not to do so.
ξ Driving may not be safe for the first two days due to blurred vision and, in some patients,
double vision. You may drive if you do not have blurred or double vision. To play it
safe, do not count on being able to drive for about one week unless your doctor has
specifically told you that it is okay.
What to Expect
You may have an eye patch over one eye especially if the doctor used an adjustable suture. You
can expect a small amount of bleeding from the operated eye. Call the doctor if you soak the eye
patch with blood.
If you do not have an eye patch, a small amount of spotty bleeding, swelling and bruising is
normal. If you were sent home with an eye box, you can use the sterile solution and the sterile
cotton balls if you need to clean the eye. We suggest that you apply a cold, wet compress over
your eye to reduce the swelling, bleeding, and soreness. Keep using the cold compress until
bedtime. Do not use Kleenex® or any washcloth that is not sterile. Kleenex® has lint that can get
into the eye and cause further swelling.
To Make a Cold Compress
Always wash your hands before caring for your eyes.
Soak a packet of 4 x 4 gauzes in a bucket of ice water. Squeeze out the excess water and apply
gauze over each eye. Change the gauze when it is no longer cold (about 20-30 minutes).
Note: If you have an eye patch, do not use an ice compress on that eye. A dry, cold compress
should be used over the patch.
What to Do
ξ If the eyes are sore, remain quiet the first evening with your head raised to reduce
swelling, bleeding, and soreness.
ξ Use the ice compresses as described.
ξ If you wear glasses, they should be worn when you are up and around, unless your doctor
told you not to wear them.
ξ You will be given a prescription for either eye ointment or eye drops. Begin using the
eye ointment or drops _______________. Use it __________ times a day until your eye
doctor tells you to stop. The ointment or drops will help healing and prevent infection.
Follow these steps.
1. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
2. If the medicine is an ointment, you may want to run the tube under a hot tap for a few
seconds to soften the medicine so it is easier to apply.
3. Do not touch the tip of the tube or bottle. This will keep the ointment or drops clean.
4. Tilt your head back and up.
5. Hold the tube or bottle between your thumb and forefinger and place it as close to the eyelid
as you can without touching it.
6. Hold the other fingers against your cheek.
7. With your 2nd finger, pull the lower lid down to form a pocket between the eyelid and
8. Squeeze a small amount of ointment or instill 1 – 2 drops into the pocket.
9. Wipe any extra ointment off with a tissue.
10. Put the cap back on the ointment tube or eye drop bottle and place it in a clean, safe place.
Note: The ointment may cause blurry vision for a few minutes until it dissolves.
Discomfort or Pain
Often only Tylenol® is needed for pain relief. Your doctor will advise you if something stronger
Your First Visit after Surgery
If you wear glasses, be sure to bring them with you. Begin wearing the glasses as soon as you
get up in the morning. Bring any eye medicine that may have been given to you or prescribed
for you, as well as the eye box.
1. You may return to work _________________ days after going home, unless your doctor tells
you something else.
2. Avoid activities or injury to the operated eye.
ξ No contact sports for _____ days.
ξ No swimming for _____ days.
ξ Do not get soap or shampoo in the eyes for the first week.
3. There is no restriction on reading, watching TV, walking, hiking and other such activities.
When to Call the Doctor
The problems in the list below are very rare. Call your doctor if you notice either of these:
ξ The operated eye turns in one direction and then does not move. This may mean one of
the sutures has come loose.
ξ A pus-like discharge from the eye that lasts throughout the day. It is normal to have
some discharge from the eye when you wake up in the morning.
If you have any other questions or problem, please call your doctor.
Your doctor is _______________________________.
If you have any questions please call:
UWHC Pediatric Eye Clinic: (608) 263-6414, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.
Nights and weekends, this number will give you the hospital paging operator. Ask for the Eye
Resident on Call and leave your name and phone number with area code. The doctor will call
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
Spanish HFFY #7275
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospital
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4428