When considering LASIK surgery, it is important to be informed about the surgery, what to expect before and after and what risks may be involved.
LASIK SURGERY RECOVERY
Although each laser eye surgery patient responds and heals differently to the LASIK procedure, most patients have a quick recovery with little discomfort and wake-up the next morning with great vision. Always follow your doctor's instructions for post-surgery care as what happens after laser eye surgery can affect the outcome as much as the laser eye surgery itself.
Short Term Recovery
Immediately after LASIK surgery the doctor will have you rest for a short time in the office, then let you go home with instructions to rest for several hours (letting someone else drive you home). The doctor may cover your eyes with an eye shield to protect them for the first day. Most people experience 4-6 hours of mild irritation, and your doctor will probably suggest taking a mild pain reliever. Your eyes may tear or water and your vision may be hazy or blurry. Your eyes may itch or feel like there is something in them, and you will want to rub your eyes, but don't! There is a slim chance that rubbing your eyes could dislodge the corneal flap and necessitate further treatment. You may also experience sensitivity to light, but this usually improves considerably after the first few days.
Although many LASIK patients can return to work the next day, you should try to schedule a few days of rest. Most doctors will advise you to avoid any exercise workouts or strenuous activities for the first week that might traumatize the eye and affect healing. Strenuous contact sports are usually not recommended for at least a month after surgery, in order to protect the eyes from anything that might get in them and keep them from being bumped or hit.
In order to prevent eye infection from surgery, your doctor may advise you to avoid the use of lotions, creams or make-up around the eye for a short time, from a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on how your eyes are healing. It is also advised to avoid swimming and using hot tubs for one to two months.
You should see your laser eye doctor for the first check-up within 24-48 hours after surgery. Your doctor will remove the eye shield, test your vision, and examine your eyes. He may give you eye drops to use to help prevent infection and inflammation and advise you to use artificial tears to help lubricate the eye. Do not wear your contacts even if your vision is blurry.
LASIK Recovery Timetable
Long Term Recovery
During the first six months after laser eye surgery (the normal healing time), you should expect to visit your doctor for periodic check-ups. If at any time your vision or other symptoms get worse instead of better, you should contact the doctor immediately and not wait for your next scheduled visit. If there is a problem, it is best to treat it as soon as possible.
- After LASIK eye surgery, your vision takes time to stabilize and may fluctuate for up to three to six months.
If further correction or enhancement is necessary, the doctor will usually wait until the eyes have stabilized and the eye measurements are consistent for two consecutive visits at least 3 months apart.
LASIK eye surgery is permanent, however your eyes may change naturally with time. LASIK does not prevent presbyopia and the eventual need for reading glasses.