The post-eye surgery experience is different for every patient. As with any medical procedure, how your body reacts depends on your age, underlying conditions, the type and intensity of the procedure, and even the environmental factors.
The good news is, laser eye surgery is minimally invasive. While full recovery may take up to six months, you will be able to go back to your everyday activities within 2-7 days of your surgery.
Here is a close look at the post-laser eye surgery recovery timeline:
24 Hours After Laser Eye Surgery
Immediately after surgery, you will be advised to wear eye shields or sunglasses when you step outside. As such, you will need someone to drive you home.
The most important thing to do after laser eye surgery is to get a lot of rest. The first 4 hours post-surgery are the most uncomfortable—your eyes may feel alternately grainy or watery, and you will be very sensitive to light. Wearing an eye patch for a day or two will discourage eye rubbing, especially while you’re asleep.
It’s best to avoid eye-intensive activities, such as looking on your phone or watching TV. Also, don’t get any water in your eye when bathing! Only use eye drops if your surgeon prescribes them. Your eyes may look bloodshot for some time after the surgery—but don’t panic; that’s completely normal.
7 Days After Laser Eye Surgery
Your surgeon will tell you when you should come in for a follow-up appointment. For LASIK eye surgery, this is usually the following day!
Many patients can go back to work or school the day after their surgery, but it’s best to schedule some time off anyway if you still have some trouble focusing your eyes. Take frequent breaks and use your prescribed eye drops whenever you feel any dryness. Regular hydration helps, too.
You can go back to your regular exercise routine within 48-72 hours after your surgery. Just be sure to practice caution if playing contact sports or any sport with a ball.
Don’t drive a vehicle until you get the go-ahead from your doctor. For the first week after surgery, don’t wear any eye makeup and avoid getting water, dust, or smoke in your eye either. If you find yourself instinctively reaching up to rub your eyes, it may be best to keep your eye patch on for several days.
Improvement in vision occurs quickly for most patients, usually within the first 24-72 hours. If you still feel significant discomfort or your vision remains abnormally blurry, check in with your doctor immediately.
Long-Term Laser Eye Surgery Recovery
You will need to go in for several follow-up appointments in the first six months after surgery. This ensures that your recovery is going smoothly, so make sure not to miss any of them even if your eye feels perfectly fine. Report any aberrations or eye problems to your doctor to have them resolved as soon as possible.
Within a couple of months, you should be able to see the full effects of your treatment. In fact, over 90% of patients have 20/20 or 20/40 vision after LASIK surgery. Despite getting a full treatment done, it’s still important to go in for annual eye exams to keep track of your eye health as time goes on.
Laser eye surgeries are minimally invasive and take less than 20 minutes, but recovery still takes some time. It’s essential to follow all of your doctor’s instructions to the letter and go to all follow-up appointments even if your eye feels perfectly fine. Long-term eye health is vital for quality of life, so you must take good care of your eyes for the rest of your life.
Are you looking for the best laser eye doctor in Abbotsford? Valley Laser Eye Centre’s ophthalmologists specialize in LASIK, PRK, cataract surgery, and more. Book a consultation with us today to see if our LASIK or other corrective surgeries are right for you.
Disclaimer: This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented before consulting a fully certified medical professional.