Following surgery, patients can expect a short recovery period. You may be required to wear a protective shield over your eyes for the first night or two following the procedure. Your doctor may also instruct you to take antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, or moistening eye drops, and to wear dark eyeglasses if you experience sensitivity to bright lights.
Although LASIK complications can occur, most vision correction patients are able to return to work and other daily activities the day after the procedure. There is usually little to no post-operative discomfort and few side effects after surgery though follow-up exams during recovery are required to ensure that your eyes heal properly. It is recommended that you go to sleep right after surgery to reduce post-operative pain. When you wake up, you should already notice improved vision.
After surgery, you should lie down, relax, and close your eyes. Watching television, reading, or operating a computer should be avoided for the first 24 hours. The surgery recovery process requires your eyes to remain relaxed. To help with any pain or discomfort, medications may be prescribed following treatment; alternatively, you may be able to use over-the-counter pain medications to help alleviate irritation.
Do not rub your eyes. Protective eye shields should be worn for the first seven nights. Some patients report a mild burning sensation two to four hours into surgery recovery as the anesthetic wears off. The sensation resembles wearing an itchy or dirty contact lens.
To ensure a quick healing process:
- Wear sunglasses after surgery, rain or shine.
- Take baths instead of showers for the first 24 hours after surgery and be careful not to allow the shower to spray directly into your face for the first week.
- Use a face cloth and be careful not to rub your eyes.
- Avoid eye makeup and smoky or dusty environments for a week.
- Avoid alcohol consumption for 48 hours after surgery.
Your surgeon or ophthalmologist will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your results and potential problems such as epithelial growth. Contact your physician immediately if you experience any complications.
Nearsighted patients who undergo LASIK surgery typically return to functional vision the day after the procedure. Although some patients experience difficulty reading the first few days, this is normal, as it may take one to three months for final vision to stabilize.
Farsighted LASIK surgery patients usually experience dramatic results the day after LASIK. Although distance optics may appear blurry, this is also temporary.
Generally, it is considered more difficult to correct astigmatism than farsightedness or nearsightedness. Nevertheless, LASIK statistics show that many astigmatism patients are still LASIK candidates and can achieve great results and dramatically improved vision.
Find a Surgeon near You
If you would like to know more about LASIK results or about the surgery recovery process, talk to a physician near you. Using DocShop’s directory of LASIK surgeons and ophthalmologists, you can find a skilled, experienced physician in your area.