If you’re considering LASIK eye surgery, you’ve probably done at least a little research. In addition to costs, one of the factors that can affect your decision on whether to go ahead with the procedure is the LASIK eye surgery recovery process. As with any surgical procedure, you can expect some recovery time for your LASIK operation. Keep reading to find out what’s normal during your LASIK eye surgery recovery and tips on how to look after your eyes during the healing period.


What to Expect During Your Recovery Time for LASIK

Contrary to other major surgeries, you don’t typically need to set aside a prolonged period of time for your LASIK eye surgery recovery. However, you do need to take it easy and abstain from certain activities for a short while after your LASIK eye surgery

After your procedure, you’ll be sent home with protective plastic shields over your eyes. Your eyes may feel gritty, scratchy or have a burning sensation, which is normal. This feeling should subside significantly within a few days after your LASIK eye surgery. Your eyes may also look red and water or feel dry, which is a normal finding during a typical recovery time for LASIK. During this time, you can use lubricating eyedrops or even take oral painkillers if you find the discomfort a bit too much. Some people may also report glare sensitivity or seeing haloes around lights, which are normal and will resolve with time. 

Most people will experience a quite rapid recovery after LASIK eye surgery in regards to their clarity of sight. You may notice your vision is much clearer without glasses than it was before the operation as soon as you walk out of the clinic. Others may take several hours or a day to clear. In total, it can take up to six months for your eyes and sight to stabilise completely, though you will be comfortable and functional well before then.

Even if your sight feels perfect only hours into your LASIK eye surgery recovery process, it’s important not to drive until you’ve had a review appointment with your surgeon. You would have been advised to make pre-operative arrangements to have someone drive you home after your operation. A follow-up appointment is usually organised for a day or two after your LASIK eye surgery. At this consultation, your surgeon will ensure your vision meets the minimum driving requirements before you get back behind the wheel. 



In terms of returning to work, you will probably want at least a few days off to devote to your recovery time for LASIK. You may still be symptomatic in terms of redness, burning, or scratchiness. Dryness is common after LASIK eye surgery, too, so this can make computer work or reading quite uncomfortable. If your work involves a potential for facial or head injury, or if your work environment is particularly dusty or dirty, you may need to take an extra week or two of leave. This can include occupations such as the police force, cleaners, construction workers, and those who work with chemicals. 


LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery Tips

As with everything, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for both pre-operative and post-operative care. The LASIK recovery guidelines you’ll be given after your procedure are intended to help protect your eyes as they heal and give you the best chance of avoiding a complication. Though complications are rare after LASIK, they can occur. Some are mild and can self-resolve over time, while others can have significant and permanent visual impact. 


Avoid rubbing your eyes

It can be tempting to rub at your eyes, especially when they’re feeling scratchy or gritty, however, it’s important that you don’t touch them. The corneal flap created during the LASIK procedure is typically not stitched back to the eye. Instead, the flap is cut in a way to allow it to self-seal with time. Rubbing your eyes can dislodge or dislocate the flap, exposing your eye to contamination and inflammation. This is why your surgeon fits you with a protective shield when you leave the clinic. You will need to wear this shield overnight for at least a few nights to prevent you from accidentally rubbing your eyes in your sleep. 


healing process lasik eye treatment melbourneAvoid cosmetics or other products around your eyes

Using makeup or other lotions, creams, cleansers, and oils near your eyes is an infection risk.

For the first two weeks after your LASIK operation, you should keep these products away from your eye area.

You may also want to be mindful of aerosols such as deodorant or perfumes. 


Avoid unsterile water

Activities in the pool, sauna, spa or at the beach should be restricted for at least a month after your LASIK procedure. These bodies of water contain microorganisms that can cause severe eye infections. This does mean that if your occupation involves being immersed in water, such as a lifeguard or swim teacher, you will need to take extended time off work. 


Avoid strenuous activities

For about a month, you should avoid any activity that can injure your eye. This includes contact sports or even playing too closely with rough pets.


LASIK surgery is a safe and effective procedure but does require a recovery process. Talk to your surgeon by calling on 03 9000 0389 about whether you’re suitable for LASIK.



Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.





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