When it comes to LASIK and other vision correction procedures, one of the most frequently asked questions is what is recovery like following surgery. While most patients notice significant improvement in the vision as early as the next day, LASIK recovery time can typically take a few weeks, ensuring that your eyes heal as well as possible. Here are some factors to consider and expect for recovery after LASIK.
Initial Recovery Period
Following the brief 10- 15 minute procedure, your surgeon will provide you with a few tools to aid in the initial recovery time. Eye drops will be instrumental in relieving any discomfort that comes along with the common dry, itchy sensation following surgery. Using these drops as prescribed will alleviate the urge to rub your eyes, which could otherwise be detrimental to proper healing.
You will also experience sensitivity to bright lights and the sun, so strong sunglasses are suggested for the ride home. Also, your vision will be very blurry so finding someone to drive you home is absolutely necessary. You will be given eye shield to tape over the eyes when napping and at bedtime to protect your eyes from the motions of adjusting in bed throughout the night. Typically, we recommend these are worn for a period of several nights following the procedure.
One of the best things you can do for your eyes following LASIK surgery is to get some rest. Your initial recovery period may cause discomfort, so it’s best to ride out this phase with a long nap or restful sleep. This will also give your surgeon a clear look into how your eyes are responding to the procedure when you see them for your first post-operative appointment.
Resuming Normal Activity Following LASIK
Because of the simplicity of the procedure, most patients can return to work within a day or two, and begin resuming normal activities not long after. Here are a few tips to aid healing in the few weeks following LASIK.
- Keep Screen Time to a Minimum. While it is completely safe to use electronics such as cell phones, computers, and television following LASIK, you’ll want to limit your time in front of a screen. Prolonged screen time will cause dryness and irritation to your normal eyes, and those feelings will only intensify after your procedure. Rest your eyes after LASIK as you would your body following any other surgery.
- Ease Back Into Your Workout Routine. Non-strenuous activity such as walking can begin again typically two to three days after surgery. However, more aggressive workouts like weight-lifting and tennis should be postponed for at least one to two weeks. Swimming and hot tubs should be avoided for at least two weeks. The more cautious you are with resuming any physical activity helps to reduce the risk of irritation, eye strain, and most importantly- injury.
- Reduce Irritation Factors. As we mentioned, it is normal for your eyes to feel dry/ itchy following LASIK. In addition to using your drops, try to avoid routines and activities that could further aggravate these symptoms. It is best to postpone aspects like smoking and wearing makeup for at least a week after your procedure.
Follow Your Surgeon’s Post-Operative Care Plan
The absolute best thing you can do following LASIK surgery is to stick to the specific instructions given by your surgeon, including attending all post-operative appointments. Since your eyes and your procedure are unique, your doctor will gauge how your recovery period is going and how well your vision responded to surgery, which will help them determine the length and limitations of your recovery period. Until then, schedule a free LASIK screening with St. Cloud LASIK to discover if you are a candidate for this life-changing procedure.