Keeping Your Eye on the Prize – Recuperating After Lasik.

By: Thomas Hunter

OK. You have done all your homework. You have educated yourself on lasik and other vision correction surgeries. You have interviewed and chosen the right doctor to do your surgery. You went without your contact lenses for the required six weeks. You took a leap of faith and had the surgery. Now what? What happens next? Recuperation is the next step.

Although everyone is different, most people who have had a successful lasik procedure have a quick and relatively painless recovery. Most go to sleep and wake up the next morning seeing the world through new eyes. Be sure to follow your doctor’s post surgery instructions. This could mean the difference between a successful recovery and a recovery full of drastic complications.

Immediately after surgery most doctors will require you to rest in the office for a while and then send you home to sleep for several hours. This is why it is a good idea to have someone go with you the day of surgery. Sometimes the doctor will cover your eyes to protect them from the sun and other things that will cause problems with healing. Do not take these patches off until your doctor tells you too. If he says to keep them on until the next day, follow his instructions. This could mean the difference between a successful recovery and a recovery full of drastic complications.

Most people experience several hours of discomfort after surgery. A mild pain reliever such as acetaminophen or naproxen sodium is good at relieving the pain and discomfort. You never want to take aspirin after surgery unless your doctor says otherwise. Aspirin thins the blood and can cause bleeding from your wound. There are lots of blood vessels in the eye that will be affected if aspirin is taken. Your eyes will also feel itchy and you may have the impulse to scratch or rub your eyes. DON’T! There is a small chance that you could dislodge the corneal flap made by the doctor during surgery. This can cause blindness. So DO NOT RUB OR SCRATCH YOUR EYES! You may also notice sensitivity to light, but that goes away after a couple days.

While many people return to work the next day, it is best if you schedule a few days off of work to recover from surgery. You don’t want to over exert yourself. You need to avoid exercising and any strenuous activities. If you have a job that requires you to lift anything heavy or where you do a lot of moving around or if you work in a place with lots of dust, it is highly recommended that you take a couple days off to allow your eyes to heal.

Contact sports should also be avoided for several weeks. This is to ensure that nothing gets in the eye that can potentially damage the eye while healing. You also want to avoid doing anything that can cause the eye to be bumped or hit. This can undo everything that the surgery fixed.

During the first six months be prepared to visit your doctor on a regular basis for checkups to make sure you are healing fine. During the first six months your vision will fluctuate before finally stabilizing. Some dry eye may occur and your doctor can give you eye drops to counteract the dry eye. This is because your tear ducts may not be able to compensate for the new shape of your eye, so it does not produce enough moisture to keep the eye comfortable. You should contact your doctor at the first sign of irritation or blurred vision. Timing is important when dealing with the negative side effects of lasik. The best advice is to follow everything your doctor says. If you can make it through the first six months with no problems, chances are your eyes will do fine from then on.

Lasik is permanent, but your eyes naturally change over time. You may need to get glasses or reading glasses again in the future. There is no surgery to date that can fix your eyes forever. Until then lasik is the way to go. It is the wave of the future…for now.


This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease".

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