Recovering From Lasik Surgery

Recovering from LASIK surgery can be a smoother and less trying time if you take care to follow all the post-surgery instructions of your surgeon. He should provide you with all the details before your surgery appointment, but understanding the recovery process before you begin the consultation process can help you determine your best vision correction options.

Recovering from LASIK: Immediately After the Surgery
You’ll be given a shield to place over the eye that was operated on as soon as the surgery was completed. These come in several different types but generally look like goggles. The purpose of the shield is to protect your sensitive cornea from dirt, dust and light, all of which can damage or aggravate your eyes. Most patients have to wear the shield for 24 to 48 hours.

Your eye may burn or itch for a day or two following surgery but scratching or rubbing the area can make the feelings worse or damage your eye. Your ophthalmologist can provide you with eye drops to help these symptoms if he didn’t already prescribe something similar immediately following surgery.

LASIK Recovery for the Long-Term
Your ophthalmologist may have his own suggestions for how long you should avoid certain activities. To give you an idea of what to expect, common recommendations include:

  • No eye makeup for up to two weeks.
  • No non-contact sports for three days or contact sports for four weeks.
  • Stay out of swimming pools and whirlpools for at least eight weeks. Untreated water, such as lakes, rivers and the ocean may also be off-limits for eight weeks.
  • Wearing the eye shield for varying amounts of time, sometimes up to four weeks. Alternately, you may be instructed to wear sunglasses to protect from light sensitivity.
  • Expected Difficulties Following LASIK
    Most of the side effects of LASIK will be short-lived. Pain, discomfort, itching and watering eyes typically last less than three days. Light sensitivity and hazy vision can last for up to a week.

    Side effects which can sometimes last longer include dry eyes, glare and problems driving at night for up to four weeks. Generally, all side effects are expected to have resolved by six months post-surgery. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor with concerns or if you feel a side effect is more intense than you expected, or if the side effects endure even when you take the proper precautions.

    The history of LASIK surgery outlines how advancements in the science of LASIK have increased success rates and improved recovery periods for patients.