LASIK eye surgery recovery tips and timeline

personalEYES | 1 Jan 2019

LASIK laser eye surgery can be a life changing decision- a simple, painless procedure to correct your vision and discard glasses and contact lenses forever. As with any medical procedure though, the time and strategy taken to ensure a successful recuperation is a vital component of the LASIK recovery timeline.

LASIK involves cutting a small hinged flap in the cornea, after which a laser is used to reshape it and the flap is restored. While a common and highly effective procedure, following the proper LASIK recovery advice is important to ensure the success of your surgery.

LASIK Recovery Tips

The main concern after LASIK is protecting the eyes from any trauma and minimising contact with contaminants to reduce the potential for inflammation or infection of the treated area. It is also important to keep the environment of the eye healthy and lubricated. Thus:

The golden rule after surgery is don’t rub your eyes. No matter how irritated they might feel rubbing your eyes can displace the corneal flap and harm the healing process.\

Avoid environments that may introduce harmful bacteria to the eyes such as swimming pools, saunas or steam rooms for the first couple of weeks to minimise the chance of infection. It is also good advice to avoid showering on the day after the surgery.

Similarly, sweat becomes a concern after surgery as it may irritate or infect the eye. Avoid strenuous sport and wear sweatbands if you are likely to perspire. You should refrain from contact sports altogether to minimise risk of trauma to the eye for at least a month.

Use medication and eye drops diligently after your surgery to keep them moist and healthy. Make sure that when applying drops you wash your hands and keep them away from your eyes.

Wear sunglasses with UV protection to reduce sensitivity to light and be aware of dry eyes throughout your day, especially when looking at a computer screen. Apply eye drops when necessary.

Don’t use makeup for a couple of weeks after the surgery as it can irritate the eye and introduce bacteria to the area.

LASIK Recovery Time

While it is common for patients to return to work the day after their surgery, the complete recovery timeline from LASIK normally takes between 3-6 months.

The procedure itself will take approximately ten minutes per eye. Afterwards the patient is allowed to go home, however they will need a driver or transport as they will not be able to drive their own car.

The first night after LASIK eye surgery the patient should have plenty of rest and use eye protection to avoid any trauma to the area.

The day after surgery most patients will have 90% of their desired vision and will be able to go back to work after a check up with their doctor.

It is common for patients to feel slight discomfort for a couple of weeks after surgery, including redness, irritation and a feeling like there is an ‘eyelash’ in their eye. This may also be accompanied by sensitivity to and halos around light, which will subside over time.

A month after their surgery most patients will achieve their best vision, and the eye will continue to heal and get stronger for three to six months after LASIK for full recovery.

For more information on how LASIK can help you improve your eye sight, feel free to contact one of experienced ophthalmologists.