Precautions After LASIK Eye Surgery

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Lasik eye surgery is something many individuals choose as an alternative to contact lenses or glasses to correct certain common vision issues. LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, and is a form of laser refractive surgery. The procedure involves the doctor using a special cutting laser to change the shape of your cornea (the transparent dome-shaped tissue in the front of the eye) precisely to improve vision.

If you’re scheduled for Lasik eye surgery, chances are you will want to know what to expect after surgery and likely have some questions.

Below you’ll find the most common questions asked and some do’s and don’ts after the procedure.

Will I have halo vision after LASIK?

Many individuals who have undergone Lasik eye surgery report being satisfied afterwards, but there is a percentage of people who do experience new visual interference’s such as seeing a halo around lights. According to a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, this visual disturbance can last up to six months following the surgery.

Although Lasik is an effective and safe procedure, a small number of patients report post-operative effects like:

  • Halos

  • Glare

  • Dry eyes

  • Other vision symptoms

Typically, these effects resolve with time during the recovery process or if needed, with additional treatments.

How long to use preservative free eye drops after LASIK?

You should use the eye drops after Lasik surgery, for the first two to three months, every two hours each day, or as frequently as your eye surgeon prescribes. These drops may be Refresh Tears (a type of artificial tears) or another brand.

Here are some basic instructions:

  • Always instill the drops before you apply the ointment.

  • Wait five minutes between two medicines.

  • Keep your eye closed for five minutes after you apply the medicine.

  • Discard eye drops after 10 days of opening them.

  • Put the cap back on the bottle right after use.

  • Ensure you’re using the right drops as instructed.

  • If your doctor advises similar medicine for both eyes, have different bottles for both eyes.

  • Discard opened, unused eye medicine and don’t let others use it.

How long will my vision be blurry after LASIK?

Although your eyes should begin healing right away following your Lasik procedure, your vision may be blurry the day you have the surgery done, but should become considerably better by the following day.

You’ll likely be asked to visit your Lasik surgeon for a post-operative appointment within 24 to 48 hours after your procedure to check your vision.

How long is the LASIK healing time?

The healing time is fairly quick, but you might want to schedule a couple days off of work after your procedure. Don’t play sports after your surgery for three days, reports the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Wait four weeks before playing impact sports or activities similar.

There are some other things to be aware of regarding your Lasik surgery healing.

1. You might experience a mild sensation or burning after the surgery for a few hours. Do not rub your eye. If you need pain medication, your doctor can prescribe some to you to alleviate any discomfort.

2. You should contact your doctor right away if you experience any unusual or aggravating side effects.

3. You shouldn’t get behind the wheel until your vision improves and you can safely drive.

4. You should avoid hot tubs, whirlpools and swimming for a couple weeks after surgery.

After your procedure and first 24-48 hours follow-up appointment, you’ll schedule various other follow-up appointments ranging from one week to six months after your surgery to check your vision and healing.

Are there any LASIK restrictions?

There are some restrictions you’ll need to follow which are:

  • Your doctor will let you know when you can drive safely after your surgery.

  • Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses for the first week following your procedure.

  • For the first few days following your surgery, read in moderation.

  • Don’t apply makeup to your eyes for the first week after your surgery.

  • Don’t rub your eyes for at least a month after your surgery.

  • Don’t exercise for the first week after your surgery.

  • Avoid hot tubs, whirlpools and swimming your first week after your surgery.

  • Avoid dusty environments and gardening your first week after surgery.

  • Avoid contact sports which can injure your eye for a month.

  • You may smoke, but it could aggravate your eyes.

Can you watch TV after LASIK surgery?

You can resume watching television, reading or working on the computer the day after your procedure.

Below are some Do’s and Don’ts to follow after Lasik surgery.

Do’s After LASIK Surgery

  • Use your eye drops as prescribed.

  • Clean your eyelid margins with sterile tissues starting the day after your procedure.

  • Eat normal food.

  • Blink your eyes frequently and gently the day of your surgery.

  • Read books and watch television the day after your Lasik procedure.

  • Work on a computer three days after your surgery.

  • Clean and wipe your face away from your eye.

  • Wear sunglasses when you go outdoors and use plastic shields for two weeks while sleeping.

Don’ts After LASIK Surgery

  • Allow dust to get into your eyes.

  • Rub or touch your eyes.

  • Splash water into face and eye or take a bath for two weeks.

  • Keep your eyes open for a long time.

  • Clean your eye on surgery day.

  • Swim for a month.

  • Wear eyeliner for a month.

  • Drive for one week.

  • Perform exercises for one week.

  • Get products like shaving lotion or hairspray in your eyes after your surgery while healing.

Final Don’t:

Don’t be immediately worried or surprised if after your procedure, your vision fluctuates. You need to realize your reshaped corneas need to stabilize before your clear vision becomes stabilized. Always let your doctor know what you’re experiencing. And, remember, each patient will heal differently.

Lasik eye surgery is a highly effective and safe procedure, providing you with better vision and an enhanced quality of life. It has a 96 patient satisfaction rate, according to American Refractive Surgery Council (ARSC), with 99 percent of LASIK patients achieving better than 20/40 vision and over 90 percent realizing 20/20 vision or better.

Be sure to sit down with your LASIK surgeon and go over what to expect after your surgery in your particular case, and any questions you have.

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