LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a medical technique that allows you to see clearly enough to perform most daily chores without glasses or contacts. Blurred vision is normal just after surgery, although it goes away over time. If it doesn’t, your surgeon can intervene and assist you in your recovery.
Recovery is quick in comparison to most procedures. Although the procedure is brief, there are several things you should take to ensure a quick recovery. Eye exam specialists share a step-by-step timeline to assist you to understand what to do at each stage of recovery.
1. Initial Six Hours
You may feel some discomfort now. Close your eyes and avoid bright lighting. Your doctor may have prescribed painkillers and eye drops to ease your discomfort and speed up the healing process.
2. First 24 Hours
The day after your surgery, you will likely return to your eye doctor for a follow-up exam. Avoid eye strain. Limit reading, TV, smartphone, video game, and computer screen time. Avoid vigorous activities. More on patient exercise routines later.
3. First Two Weeks
During this time, you must avoid infection and eye irritation. You can resume computer and reading use in 48-72 hours. Light exercise, like riding or strolling, is fine, but avoid vigorous activities like yoga, aerobics, jogging, or lifting weights if they cause you to close your eyes or strain.
4. First Month
After four weeks of recuperation, you can swim, snowboard, play tennis, practice aerobics, and do yoga. But first, check with your doctor. Heavy weightlifting can slow recuperation. Traveling at this stage of your rehabilitation should be OK. Makeup is allowed at this stage of recovery, but good makeup hygiene is required.
5. Three to Six Months
Your recovery should be going well. Normally, most patients have resumed regular habits by this time. Keep all follow-up appointments. Your vision should gradually improve over the next six months if you have halos or glare. Your doctor may suggest an enhancement treatment to sharpen your eyesight, but only after six months.
Following LASIK surgery, there are various things you can do and should avoid.
- Use the eye drops as instructed. After surgery, your eye doctor will give you medication drops to reduce inflammation and infection risk.
- Wear sunglasses or eyeglasses during the day and night. LASIK patients are often given eye shields to wear at night for the first few days. They will advise you to wear sunglasses during the day to safeguard your eyes.
- Tell your doctor if your symptoms worsen. Contact your eye doctor if you have substantial discomfort or vision concerns that worsen or change following surgery.
- If you need vision correction, go for spectacles. Stabilizing your eyes to wear contacts can take months.
- Be patient. After LASIK surgery, your eyesight may not stabilize or clear up for several months.
- Do not engage in anything that could irritate your eyes for the first month or two. Refrain from vigorous exercise, lifting weights, and contact sports for at least the first month.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes. It’s normal to feel something in your eyes after surgery, but don’t massage them. This promotes appropriate corneal healing.
- Do not use eye lotion, cosmetics, or lotions for two weeks after surgery. Any of these things can infect your eyes.
- Do not swim in water that may be contaminated for the first few weeks. This includes rivers, lakes, hot tubs, and swimming pools.
Do you need a LASIK evaluation? Our optometrist at Eyes on Norbeck can examine your eyes and make recommendations for how to improve your vision. We can also help you with a full eye checkup or a computer vision exam.
Call Eyes on Norbeck at (301) 690-9177. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Potomac, MD, and the surrounding communities.