In cases when a person has retinal damage, such as in the instance of a macular hole or detached retina, a doctor might perform a type of surgery that involves taking out the fluid in the back of the eye. Afterward, the doctor will insert gas into the eye as a replacement for the fluid, causing a bubble to form. This bubble is only temporary; natural eye fluid will eventually take its place. However, during recovery, the bubble needs to stay in the correct place on the eye, requiring the patient to maintain certain head and eye positions at all times.
The patient will need to keep the head down for up to a few weeks following the procedure as directed by the doctor, even while walking. The same goes for activities such as eating, reclining in bed, and standing. Having a family member nearby to help with regular tasks and act as a guide can be a big help during this time, and can prevent injuries associated with maintaining the proper head position while walking.
To make this period more comfortable, one might consider purchasing or renting special equipment designed to promote proper healing, such as face-down pillows or chairs, as well as face cradles that can go on a table surface. A doctor can offer additional tips and guidelines for proper retinal surgery recovery.