Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery is a proven safe clinical procedure that will help you have clearer vision without the need for glasses and contact lenses.
It is done to correct three types of vision problems:
- Myopia or nearsightedness
- Hyperopia or farsightedness
A LASIK eye surgery performed by a qualified surgeon typically lasts for 30 minutes. Within this period, your eye surgeon will reshape parts of your cornea. This will correct your eye problem and lead to clearer vision.
Recovering After LASIK
Although the procedure is short, straightforward, and rarely comes with any complications, to enjoy the most significant benefit from LASIK in the shortest amount of time possible, you need to take care of your eyes post-surgery. You need to follow the post-operative care plan your surgeon has prepared for you as well.
Below are seven of the most important post-LASIK eye care and recovery tips you have to take note of:
Follow all post-surgery instructions
After surgery, you will immediately feel your eyes starting to feel itchy. You will also experience some burning sensations. Your eyes may become watery as well. Lastly, you will likely have blurred vision. These feelings of discomfort will eventually go away, and you will recover vision soon as well.
However, to avoid any complications, your surgeon will give you pain medication or eye drops which you have to use as prescribed. The medicine or eye drops will help you feel comfortable for several hours after the surgery.
Additionally, you will be given goggles or eye shields which you need to wear when sleeping for the first three to five nights. Make sure you wear them to avoid touching your eyes at night.
Avoid rubbing your eyes
No matter how itchy your eyes feel, never rub them, especially the first few days after surgery. This is because your eyes need time to recover. If you rub them, you may delay the healing process and even injure them.
To be safe, do not rub your eyes for a week after the surgery. Make sure you always wear your goggles or eye shields at night to avoid rubbing them accidentally while you are asleep.
Don’t get your eyes wet
One of the most critical post-surgery instructions you have to follow is to avoid getting your eyes wet two to three weeks after the procedure.
Water from your shower or bath carries bacteria that can cause infection. As such, it is crucial that you prevent water from entering or touching your eyes.
If you want to clean the area around your eyes, use a cotton ball moistened with a saline solution. Close your eyes and gently wipe the area around each eye.
Avoid dust and smoke
To hasten your recovery, stay away from dusty and smoky places and areas where unwanted particles may enter your eyes. This is something that you have to do, especially during the first week after surgery.
Avoid engaging in messy activities as well such as sweeping, dusting, and gardening. Smoke may also cause dry eye syndrome and redness and increase irritation. To avoid accidentally rubbing your eyes because of discomfort, avoid smoking and going to smoke-filled places.
Your eyes will be extra sensitive to light after surgery. Shielding them from the elements will reduce discomfort and irritation and accelerate healing.
This means wearing sunglasses whenever you are outdoors for the first few weeks to protect your eyes from sunlight. Additionally, avoid going outside during times of the day when sunlight is more intense as well.
Keep the eye muscles relaxed
After surgery, it is crucial that you keep the eye muscles relaxed so that they can gain back their full ability.
Because of this, avoid straining your eyes. Try to avoid all types of screens for the first day or two after surgery. In addition, limit screen time for the first week or so post-LASIK.
Lastly, minimize reading and driving to help your eyes relax.
Get plenty of rest
Finally, getting enough rest is crucial especially during the first week after surgery. When you get at least eight hours of sleep every night, you will allow your eyes to heal faster and better.
It is also crucial that you do not take part in any sort of strenuous physical activity including contact sport and intense workouts during the recovery period. This is because intense, forceful movements could slow down the healing process and cause complications.
You will experience faster, hassle-free recovery when you have a top LASIK surgeon handle your operation as well. As such, before getting this procedure, make sure to practice due diligence in choosing your LASIK specialist.
About the Author:
Joel Hunter, MD is an Ophthalmologist, Refractive Surgeon, and the Founder of Hunter Vision in Orlando, Florida. A recognized and respected specialist in vision correction who has performed thousands of refractive surgeries, Joel gives lectures across the country and trains fellow doctors in the newest LASIK surgery techniques.