As with any surgery, you should always follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid complications. The recovery time for LASIK surgery is fairly quicker. However, there are certain important precautions to ensure proper healing. Knowing what sort of follow-up care is required will help you obtain better outcomes.
Immediately after the surgery, you may expect the following:
- Moderate tearing from your eyes
- Sensation of foreign body in your eyes
- Hazy or blurred vision (on the day of surgery)
- Increased sensitivity to bright light (that goes off after 24 hours of surgery)
Following are the general instructions that you should follow after the Lasik surgery:
Take a nap for few hours immediately after the surgery
Your doctor instructs you to take rest for few hours after the Lasik surgery. Sleeping or just resting with your eyes closed will reduce the discomfort and speeds the recovery.
Use the medications as prescribed
After the surgery, you must use the eye drops as prescribed. Your doctor might prescribe antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection, steroid eye drops to reduce the inflammation, and lubricating eye drops or artificial tears to get rid of the irritation. You must use lubricating eye drops even if your eyes are not dry. Take the eye drops as per the instructions to prevent complications such as infection and flap dislodgement. You should leave a gap of five minutes between two medications.
Avoid rubbing your eyes
During the Lasik surgery, your hinged flap is folded back to access the cornea and then repositioned without suturing. If you touch or rub your eyes, the corneal flap may be displaced leading to severe complications. So, avoid rubbing your eyes for at least two weeks after the surgery.
Wear protective eye shields
You must wear eye shields or a clear plastic shield while sleeping for the first three to four nights after the surgery. This is to avoid accidental rubbing of your eyes which might lead to disruption of the corneal flap.
Wear dark glasses or sunglasses
Exposure to UV rays may lead to scarring and regression of the eye. So, you must wear dark sunglasses during the day for at least a week after the surgery. This helps your cornea to heal and protects your eyes from bright light.
Avoid eye makeup
You should avoid wearing eye makeup for at least one week after the surgery. Do not apply any creams or lotions around the eye. This reduces any chances of accidental injury to your corneal flap, foreign particles entering into your eyes, or infection from contaminated makeup products.
Prefer baths and avoid showers
You must avoid showering or swimming for at least two weeks after the surgery. Avoid water, soap, or shampoo getting into your eyes to prevent infection. Use a face cloth and avoid rubbing the eyes while drying off.
Your doctor advises you to avoid driving for at least two days after the surgery. But, sometimes, you might be instructed to avoid driving for longer periods. This depends on how your eyes are healing.
Avoid contact sports and strenuous exercise
You should not attempt any strenuous or contact sports for one month after your Lasik surgery. However, you can resume non-contact sports such as golf or running if you feel comfortable. Wear a headband and protective eyewear to avoid sweat entering into your eyes.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience the following:
- Persistent burning and tearing
- Foreign body sensation that doesn’t go away
- Pain and irritation in the eye
Lasik is considered as a long-term solution to correct vision. Although Lasik surgery has high success rates, you may have age-related complications such as cataracts. You may also require reading glasses later. However, there is no surgery till date that can fix your eye problems permanently. After the Lasik surgery, you can retain your normal vision by adopting the above-listed strategies that help your eyes heal better.