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LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery

LASIK surgery can help reduce or eliminate your dependence on corrective eyewear. In most cases, patients are able to see a noticeable improvement in their eyesight immediately after surgery. However, your vision should progressively improve throughout the recovery period. You can typically expect your eyes to fully heal within about three to six months after surgery. During your recovery from LASIK eye surgery, it is important that you take special precautions to prevent complications such as flap displacement. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions, medicated eye drops, and ongoing care to monitor your progress and help ensure a successful recovery.

Woman applying eye drops Your doctor will prescribe medicated drops to moisten your eyes and reduce the risk of infection.

When Will I Achieve My Final Results?

The timeline to clear vision will typically depend on the level of your prescription. Though you may experience an immediate improvement, if you suffer from a high refractive error, your eyesight may take weeks or months to become fully refined. Most patients achieve stabilized vision within three to six months after LASIK surgery. In many cases, LASIK results are long-term. However, those with progressive and age-related conditions, such as presbyopia, may require touch-up treatment.

What to Expect During Recovery

The healing process is gradual and your eyesight should progressively improve throughout your recovery.

Immediately after LASIK

After your procedure, you will usually only have to rest about 15 minutes before going home. It is essential that you arrange for a ride home as you will be unable to drive. Your eyes should remain closed for several hours after the procedure.

Your doctor will schedule your first checkup within the first day or two to exam your eyes. As long as you are healing properly, you can typically return to work within a few days of surgery, if not the next day.

Woman rubbing eyes

Common Side Effects

It is not uncommon for patients to experience discomfort such as an itching or a burning sensation once the numbing drops have worn off. This may continue for several weeks. You may also notice side effects such as:

  • Continuous watering
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to sunlight

These side effects should dissipate shortly after surgery.

Managing Discomfort

There are several methods that can help manage any discomfort after LASIK surgery. Medicated eye drops, which should be used several times per day, are usually prescribed to prevent dry eye. Limiting screen time can also help prevent the eyes from drying out. Wearing protective eyewear can help minimize irritants, such as dust, and guard against light sensitivity. Additionally, you may use pain medication to alleviate discomfort.

Promoting Proper Healing

Before returning to normal activities, you should always get clearance from your doctor. Unnecessary contact or straining of the eye can have a negative impact on your recovery.

LASIK patients can typically return to work within a few days of surgery, if not the next day.

For the first three days or so after the procedure you should avoid allowing water or soap to make contact with the eye. Wearing protective eyewear both during the day and at night, especially when sleeping, can also help prevent complications. Within about three weeks of surgery, you should be able to return to strenuous exercise and swimming, however, you should always take precautions to protect your eyes.

Learn More about the Recovery Process

A smooth and successful recovery after LASIK surgery is an important part of achieving clearer vision. To learn more about your candidacy or speak with someone about post-surgical symptoms, contact an eye doctor today.

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