Can I Wear Glasses After a Rhinoplasty?

I’ve have terrible sight (-4.00 and -4.50 diopters), and I hate wearing contact lenses. This is why I count on my glasses to be able to find things around my house without tripping. I’ve have Rhinoplasty surgery scheduled on the 24th of this month, and I just realized I won’t be able to immediately wear my glasses. What do people usually do in this situation? 


F, 29, Ohio

A big part of preparing for a rhinoplasty procedure is thinking through the aftercare and alterations that will need to be made in daily life to accommodate your needs after the procedure. Something as simple as wearing glasses in order to see clearly can become an issue. Due to swelling, soreness, bandaging, and pain, it is recommended to wait at least one to two weeks after surgery to wear eyeglasses. Since eyeglasses rest on the bridge of the nose, it can put pressure on the nasal structure causing pain after surgery. 

Oftentimes, eyeglasses will not fit properly after a rhinoplasty. This is due to the re-shaping of the underlying structures that may take place. Patients may have to visit their eye doctor to have their glasses adjusted to fit again. However, if you can't go without glasses after the surgery, more practical options include wearing eyeglasses lower on the nose or using contacts during the period of healing. A magnifying glass may also be helpful for reading, as well. Typically the act of wearing glasses after a rhinoplasty will not interfere with results, but the casting and bandaging will make it nearly impossible to do so.

Assuming your glasses don't way a ton, you can wear them on top of your cast during the first week of your recovery. After your cast is removed, you should not wear your glasses directly on your nose for at least 6 weeks after your surgery. This will prevent your glasses from potentially shifting any nasal bones that were fractured during your surgery. If your rhinoplasty did not involve having your nasal bone fractured, you can wear glasses after your cast is removed. Consult with the physician who performs your surgery to find out what you should do in your particular car. Good luck with everything! 

This was a big worry for me after I had my rhinoplasty. I have a worse vision than you and all I could think about was how I was going to be able to make it through the day. I talked with my doctor about it and he suggested that I keep a friend with me if I thought that I couldn't get around the house because I wouldn't be able to wear them regularly. 

After the cast came off I had friends that came by regularly to help me out. Other people told me that I could wear them for a couple of minutes but I wasn't willing to risk it. Because I know my house so well, it wasn't so hard to move around but I had to buy a table to watch anything online because I couldn't see the TV at all. Basically, if you take steps before the surgery you should be able to make it.

Honestly, I would say invite someone close to you (mom, sister, best friend) to help out around the house. Or just set up camp in the living room area. I know you can wear glasses over your cast (I was in the same situation, but my vision is a lot better than yours), but for 6 weeks after the bandages are removed, you really, really shouldn't. If those aren't good options for you, you may just have to bite the bullet and wear contacts. It's only for a few weeks, anyway!