What to Expect After Your LASIK Procedure
LASIK surgery is so common nowadays that it is often performed in outpatient centers rather than a hospital. You will be able to get up and walk around, but we strongly recommend that you arrange for a ride home. Do not go back to work; instead, dedicate the first 24 hours after your procedure to resting and only light activity.
After the LASIK procedure, a clear shield is placed over the eye, so please keep it in place while you are resting. Drs. Terry and Alsheikh recommend lying in bed or on the couch and closing both eyes for at least four hours. Afterward, it is safe to remove the eye shield until bedtime. Following the procedure, it is also common for some patients to feel mild sensitivity to light as well as mild discomfort. These symptoms will only last for the first 24 to 48 hours.
Starting the first day, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops are used four times a day for a week, or as instructed by Dr. Terry to prevent dry eyes. Preservative-free artificial tear lubrication can be used to help sooth any discomfort that comes after the surgery. Examples of these artificial tears include TheraTears, Bion Tears, Refresh Plus, Cellufresh, and Genteal. The drops also promote healing and can be used as needed following the LASIK procedure.
Symptoms During Recovery
The cornea takes time to heal so vision will not be perfect after the first day of the procedure. Even though healing takes time, your vision will be greatly improved and you will be able to see better each day as you heal. Some of the temporary side effects patients may experience after a normal LASIK procedure include:
- Dry contact lens sensation
- Eyes may heal separately
- Halo or glares around two to four weeks
- Fluctuation in vision because of lack of hydration
- Dryness for four to six weeks
If you experience pain, a white spot on the cornea, increased redness, or dramatically decreased vision it is recommended you call Dr. Terry or Dr. Alsheikh immediately to schedule a follow up inspection.
After LASIK surgery, most patients notice a decrease in their vision at the one week appointment with Dr. Alsheikh. This is normal and is no cause for alarm. Your vision will improve greatly over the next three months as your cornea heals.
The recovery process is different for near and farsighted patients. Nearsighted patients will have more difficulty reading initially, but it will become normal within the first month. Farsighted patients will have difficulty seeing distance immediately after the procedure. The vision will improve within the first month to where distances will become clear. However, those over 40 may need ordinary reading glasses to see up close.
Avoid Swimming and Avoid Getting Soap in Your Eyes
Rest as much as possible the day of your LASIK procedure as your body needs to heal. Try not to let your eyes dry out by avoiding long periods of computer work or reading.
Do not go swimming, enter in hot tubs, and be very careful while gardening for the first three weeks following the procedure. Avoid getting water or shampoo in your eyes while taking a shower or bathing as this will be irritating and could cause discomfort.
Do not wear any type of eye makeup for the first week after LASIK surgery. Furthermore, try to avoid rubbing your eyes for the first three months. If needed, just dab it gently with a soft tissue.
After your LASIK procedure, a follow up appointment will be scheduled with Dr. Terry or Dr. Alsheikh. The appointment will be set for the following morning to see how you are healing. If a touchup procedure is needed, it will be performed a minimum of three to four months following the initial surgery.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact Dr. Alsheikh or Dr. Terry as soon as possible.
Local: (210) 591-1533
Toll Free: (800) 683-0584
Emergency service: (210) 222-2154
Fax: (210) 225-2424
Th-F: 8am – 5pm