LASIK eye surgery is one of the most common elective surgeries in the United States. The procedure usually takes about 10 minutes, and you should see dramatically improved vision in just 12 to 24 hours! Still, your eyes may need up to six months to recover fully. Use this LASIK recovery guide so you know what to expect during each phase of the healing process.
Immediately After LASIK
Recovery from laser eye surgery begins right away. Slight swelling may occur, so you may notice foggy or hazy vision or halos around lights, especially at night. These side effects should improve as the swelling goes down within 24 hours, though minor haloing may linger for up to a month.
Other typical, temporary side effects may include:
- Mild stinging and redness
- Eye-watering or dryness
- Gritty feeling in the eye
- Light sensitivity
In the first few hours after LASIK, use the anesthetic eyedrops your surgeon gives you to combat discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help.
Then, even if you feel perfectly normal, follow these precautions:
- Get a ride home on LASIK treatment day.
- Refrain from rubbing your eyes, or you could displace the corneal flap and cause complications.
- Go to bed early the day of your surgery to help your corneas begin healing.
- Wear the protective eye shields your surgeon gives you while you sleep.
The First Few Weeks After LASIK
Your first post-operative appointment will take place 24 hours after your laser eye surgery. A clinician will check the condition of your corneas and ensure everything looks right. You may have another appointment for a one-week post-op. However, contact your eye doctor immediately if you experience any pain, redness, discharge, or degraded vision before your next checkup.
Your vision should settle two to three months after LASIK. In the meantime, follow your surgeon’s instructions about using antibiotic eye drops to guard against infection and steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation. You can also combat dryness with artificial tears.
Then, follow these precautions to further avoid injury and infection:
- Wear sunglasses always until your eyes no longer feel light-sensitive.
- Continue wearing your eye shields while you sleep.
- Continue to avoid rubbing your eyes.
- Avoid dusty environments and gardening for one week.
- Don’t wear eye makeup for a week.
- Avoid sports and exercise for one week, and don’t play contact sports for at least a month.
- Keep water out of your eyes for a week and avoid swimming for at least a month.
One to Six Months After LASIK
You can resume all normal activities after a month, with the exception of some contact sports. Continue keeping your eyes lubricated with artificial tears, especially when working at a computer for long hours.
If you have a high prescription, your vision may take up to six months to settle. At your six-month appointment, your clinician will determine if your vision has reduced at all. While this is rare, re-treatment is easily performed if necessary.
One Year After LASIK
You’ve gotten used to the freedom of not wearing glasses and contact lenses by now, but you need one final follow-up at the one-year mark. At this point, you can expect to be discharged to the care of your local optometrist. Continue to schedule routine eye exams every one to two years to monitor your eye health and ensure clear vision for the foreseeable future!
Schedule LASIK With Visionary Eye Doctors
Are you ready to achieve crystal-clear vision with LASIK? The first step is to schedule a consultation with an experienced eye surgeon at Visionary Eye Doctors. We can determine if you’re a candidate for LASIK and assess the overall health of your eyes to establish a long-term vision plan for you.
To get started, please contact us online or call us at 301-896-0890. We have offices in Rockville, MD; Damascus, MD; and Washington, DC, to better serve you.