Lasik eye surgery is the popular method of laser refractive surgery used to correct vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) and astigmatism (caused by an imperfection in the shape of the cornea or lens, which results in blurred vision despite the distance). Most complications of Lasik eye surgery can be avoided by following the aftercare practices advised by your Lasik surgeon. Let’s look at what you can expect during your Lasik eye surgery recovery time.
Lasik Eye Surgery Recovery Time
A fundamental precaution taken after Lasik eye surgery is the practice of keeping the eyes closed for a minimum of 4 hours, napping if possible, after your vision corrective surgery. This way you will allow uninterrupted rehabilitation of the ocular surface and decrease eye burning and itchiness for an extended period while the healing process continues.
Based on the average recovery time of other people who have undergone Lasik eye surgery, you may require anywhere from 7 to 10 days of Lasik eye surgery recovery time to heal, with some patients healing after 6 weeks. This time period is dependant on various factors such as the condition of health you are in and the complexity of your vision corrective surgery based on your needs which can be deduced from the vision problem you have been diagnosed with. For example, myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia or astigmatism.
To ensure that your recovery after Lasik eye surgery is as smooth as possible, you should ensure to follow your surgeon’s guidelines as closely as possible. These guidelines include:
• Wear eye shields when you sleep for a minimum of 4 weeks to avoid rubbing up against the eyes by mistake.
• Limit screen time in the form of television, mobile phone, or computers for as long as possible to avoid straining the eyes unnecessarily.
• Steer clear of exercise and high impact activities as these tend to strain the eyes and increase your risk of accidentally bumping the eyes which increases the risk of laser eye flap complications.
Managing Lasik Eye Surgery Side Effects
As with all surgical procedures, there are side effects that you can expect to encounter following your laser refractive surgery. Fortunately, most Lasik side effects are minor, manageable, and short-lived.
Once your procedure is complete, you will be briefed in full on how to properly manage the side effects during Lasik eye surgery recovery time and safeguard the outcome of your procedure. The side effects that you experience during Lasik eye surgery recovery time, along with the different strategies for managing them include:
Dry eyes during Lasik eye surgery recovery time are one of the most common and expected side effects of the procedure owing to a temporary decrease in the bodies ability to produce tears. This happens as a result of alterations to the nerves in the cornea such as cuts during the creation of the flap created during the surgery to correct vision impairment.
This leads to an insensitivity in the eyes which causes insufficient production of tears to lubricate the eyes. This lack of sufficient lubrication leads to a sensation of discomfort and dryness which may clear up within a matter of weeks or months, with rare circumstances of dryness lasting up to a year after the procedure. Amongst the best dry eye management strategies include:
• Limiting screen time – Digital screens generally lead to less blinking. Therefore, limiting screen time as much as possible for at least 48 hours leads to increased blinking which cleans and lubricates your eyes by distributing your tears over the eye surface to help get rid of any foreign irritants.
• Eye drops – The purpose of eye drops is to keep the eyes lubricated which will, in turn, result in an increased ability to expel foreign irritants from the eyes much like a decrease in screen time will do.
Light sensitivity experienced during Lasik recovery time is most commonly caused by inflammation of corneal tissue due to the trauma initiated throughout the creation of the corneal flap. Although the flap restores soon after Lasik eye surgery with limited complications, you may experience a continued light sensitivity throughout the duration of your recovery.
Light sensitivity has been described as discomfort that causes you to block your eyes or look in the opposite direction whether the light is emitted naturally by the sun or synthetically by a light fixture. Coping with this side effect may be as simple as:
• Avoiding bright lights such as screens or the sun – As mentioned previously, screens are bright and can cause a disruption to the healing process. In addition, avoiding direct sunlight will also help to alleviate the discomfort you may feel during Lasik recovery time.
• Taking extra protective precautions - Making use of protective gear such as hats or sunglasses will help shield the eyes from the bright light emitted by the sun during the day.
Blurred vision is a commonly experienced side effect during Lasik eye surgery recovery time. This side effect generally occurs due to your body’s natural healing reaction to trauma, which involves the stimulation of tiny particles within the cornea which swell up and prevent light from entering the eye. This results in indistinct blurry vision which will clear over a matter of hours or more, depending on your body’s ability to heal and adjust.
Pain Or Discomfort
The likelihood of severe pain being experienced after a Lasik eye surgery procedure is minimal. Pain experienced after Lasik eye surgery is generally likened to the feeling of a foreign object trapped in the eye such as a speck of dust, itchiness or burning. To avoid disrupting the body’s healing process after Lasik, you should by all means:
• Get plenty of rest. This will help you avoid placing any unnecessary strain on the eyes as they heal.
• Avoid rubbing the eyes and streaming water as this may lead to a flap dislocation or tearing which would, as you can imagine, result in more severe pain.
• Take medication as directed by your surgeon or prescribed by your doctor, ensuring that you do not exceed the recommended dosage.
Impaired Night Vision
Those who may not have had any trouble with night vision beforehand may struggle with impaired night vision temporarily during Lasik eye surgery recovery time which usually lasts a few days or weeks. This impairment is observed as glare or halos around bright lights such as headlights or streetlights. Reasons for this include enlarged pupils, corneal flap issues, or residual refractive errors.
Another implication of impaired night vision is a perceived double. Impaired night vision during Lasik eye surgery recovery time tends to clear up on its own but it is advised that you avoid driving at night until your night vision improves.
Conditions That Elongate Or Enhance Lasik Side Effects
There are certain conditions that may increase the unpredictability and risks of your Lasik eye surgery side effects. You may be an incompatible candidate for Lasik eye surgery if you struggle with any of the following conditions.
• Autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
• A weak immune system as a result of medications administered to aid in HIV management
• Pre-existing struggles with eye dryness
• Vision reformations caused by hormonal imbalances, pregnancy or age that have been observed recently
• Injuries or diseases directly impeded upon the eyes which result in inflammation of the cornea, cataracts and retinal detachment such as uveitis
Why Lasik Is Worth It
Lasik is an FDA approved vision corrective procedure with a track record of success. Amongst the many reasons why the surgery is totally worth the Lasik eye surgery recovery time is the freedom that you will have to engage in a diversified range of activities that you may not have been able to do proficiently before due to the need to wear glasses or contacts. These activities may include swimming or activities in which dust is inevitable.
Another reason is the obvious improvement in eyesight without the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. Yes, you will be able to wake up in the morning and just SEE, can you imagine? Not only will your vision improve greatly after the Lasik eye surgery, but you’ll also observe the improvement immediately after the procedure is complete, with the results developing even further as the days pass and the eyes continue to heal.
Are you ready to enhance your quality of life and enjoy the benefits of Lasik eye surgery sooner rather than later? Book a free consultation with one of our Lasik experts to discuss your candidacy and our packages in which you can save up to 75% on your life-altering vision correction surgery now.