Have you set the date for your laser eye surgery appointment? Have you finished the pre-surgery evaluation with your LASIK surgeon? Then there’s nothing left to do but show up for your appointment!
However, now that everything is all set up for your LASIK treatment, you may be starting to get a little nervous about what comes after the procedure is complete. If you’re feeling a little pre-LASIK anxiety, you’re not alone- the estimated 10 million Americans who have undergone LASIK treatment over the past two decades have likely had the same little worries and fears! Here’s a rundown of what you can expect in the hours, days, weeks, and months after your laser eye surgery is complete to help put your mind at ease.
The First 24 Hours
After your numbing eye drops have worn off, you can expect some mild discomfort immediately following surgery. It’s completely normal to experience an itching or burning sensation in your eyes. Your LASIK surgeon will give you a set of after-care instructions on the type and dosage of pain reliever to take to keep the discomfort at bay.
You can also anticipate foggy or blurry vision, making everything look as if you’re underwater, for the first day following LASIK surgery. This is normal and should subside within hours of the procedure. Additionally, you will likely experience dryness in your eyes, which will be helped by the lubricating eye drops your LASIK surgeon will provide.
Once you return home from your LASIK procedure, it’s a good idea to rest your eyes for several hours. Put your feet up, kick back, and enjoy a nice midday nap, taking care to avoid any strenuous activity. You can resume your normal activities the next day, as long as you make sure to wear sunglasses any time you’ll be outside and put your eye shields on before going to bed at night.
The First Month
Your LASIK surgeon will want to do a follow-up exam a day or two after surgery to ensure that your eyes are healing properly. He or she will remind you to avoid touching or rubbing your eyes at all costs for at least the first week following treatment.
One week after your procedure, you can resume exercising. However, if swimming is part of your workout regimen, wear goggles when you are in the pool. Be sure to avoid contact sports, such as football, for the first week following surgery. After that, game on!… as long as you wear protective sports goggles on the field to minimize your chance of eye injury.
The First Year
According to ClearSight, a LASIK surgery center in Oklahoma City, if you were severely myopic (nearsighted) prior to undergoing your LASIK treatment, your eyes may take longer to heal than those with mild to moderate myopia. This may mean that you occasionally still have to wear glasses as your eyes heal. Your LASIK surgeon will provide this information in your treatment and recovery plan.
Be sure to attend all follow-up visits with your LASIK surgeon to ensure that your eyes are recovering properly. If you have any questions or concerns about your vision or eye health, don’t hesitate to bring them up with your LASIK surgeon during these visits.
Keep in mind that these after-care steps can differ slightly from patient to patient. Your LASIK surgeon will be able to answer any additional questions we may have left off the list, and can advise you on next steps for any special circumstances you may have. With an excellent LASIK surgeon and a little patience, you will soon be able to experience the full benefits of seeing things clearly without the need for contacts or glasses!