Performed in the United States for more than 20 years, LASIK surgery is a remarkable success, providing patients with a satisfaction rate averaging about 95%. As the most common laser refractive surgery, it remains a popular alternative to eyeglasses or contacts.
Surgery itself is typically quick — taking about 30 minutes — and while there’s little pain associated with recovery, there is some discomfort and irritation. It’s important to expect this and understand how to deal with it since your eye needs time to heal.
Whether you have LASIK or another laser eye correction, the ophthalmologists at IC Laser Eye Care go over what you need to know about protecting your eyes as they recover. Following these instructions helps prevent infection and other complications as you enjoy your new, sharper vision.
Immediately after LASIK
Your eyes may be itchy or you might have a burning sensation. It could feel as though you have something in your eyes. Vision at this point is likely blurred or hazy, and you may have excess tears in response to the procedure.
If you experience any pain, it’s usually easily addressed with over-the-counter pain medications. This is all normal and expected.
Instinctively, the urge to rub your eyes will be enormous. This may, however, displace the flap that was cut into your eye to facilitate the lens shaping that corrected your vision.
It’s vitally important that you don’t rub your eyes after the surgery, or you may need additional treatments to fix that damage.
The first few days
Rest is an important part of recovery from any surgical procedure and LASIK is no different. After arriving home, rest your eyes for a few hours. Avoid any activity involving lifting or exerting yourself.
Sunglasses during the day and eye shields while you sleep are smart additions during this important phase of recovery. Taking a few days off work is usually recommended.
All the symptoms you experienced immediately after your LASIK procedure should clear up during this period. You may have continuing eye dryness. You’ll receive instructions for using lubricating drops to keep your eyes moist.
If you have any other continuing symptoms, these are likely to be puffiness around the eyes, light sensitivity, and night halos. These should resolve within the first week. If you experience severe pain, contact us, even if you already have follow-up appointments scheduled.
The remainder of recovery
Continued caution is the pattern for your first month, including rubbing your eyes. You can resume bathing and showers a day or two after your procedure, but keep soap and shampoo away from your eyes.
Similarly, avoid swimming pools and hot tubs for the first week to limit chemical exposure. Lake and ocean swimming could expose you to other contaminants, so skip the beach too.
Take a week off from cosmetic use around the eyes. You can return to exercising or contact sports after a week, but consider sports goggles for a month or two to avoid accidental contact with your eyes.
Your personal recovery plan may have some alterations, so follow our directions closely. Contact us at one of our offices in Bensalem and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or Hamilton, New Jersey, for the finest in refractive laser vision correction. Call the most convenient office directly or use the online booking tool to schedule your appointment today.