If you’ve been considering LASIK, you likely heard that the LASIK eye surgery procedure itself is very brief, but what about the recovery period? Most people experience only mild, short-term discomfort following laser eye surgery, so the recovery period is really about monitoring your eye health, and making sure that you get the best possible results. After surgery, you will have a series of follow-up appointments with your surgeon, and your regular eye doctor may also monitor the healing process.
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Learn What to Expect from LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery
Day of LASIK Procedure – Your recovery starts as soon as your laser eye surgery procedure is completed. It’s important that you arrange a ride home from surgery, and your surgeon may recommend avoiding strenuous eye activity for at least 24 hours. Your surgeon may also prescribe eye drops, which promote healing and minimize discomfort when used as directed. Minor sensitivity to light is fairly common the first day, but typically goes away quickly.
24 Hours after LASIK – Your first follow-up appointment will usually occur 24 to 48 hours after your laser eye surgery. In addition to performing some basic vision tests, your surgeon will check in on your healing and answer any questions you have about the process. Your surgeon may recommend that you wear sunglasses when outside in the days and weeks immediately following surgery, for protection and comfort. Most people are able to begin reading and watching television after 24 to 48 hours, though that depends entirely on your surgeon’s direction.
One Week after LASIK – With each day after your LASIK surgery, your vision should begin to stabilize, though minor fluctuations are a normal part of the healing process. Your one-week follow-up appointment will be another chance for your surgeon to check your progress, and for you to ask any questions that come up. While your LASIK eye surgery recovery will be progressing by this point, it’s vital to keep using prescribed eye drop medications as directed.
One Month after LASIK – If you’ve been itching to get back to the gym or resume your favorite athletic activities, your one-month (or three-week) follow-up is the time to ask your surgeon about getting back to the action. Your surgeon will check your vision again during this appointment, to track your progress. You may still experience minor sensitivity at this point, though it should be tapering off.
Three to Six Months after LASIK – By the time your reach the three to six month mark, you should notice significant improvements to your vision, and its stability. While you’ll likely be healing quite well by this point, it’s still very important to attend your follow-up appointments and follow your surgeon’s instructions. Most people have few – if any – activity restrictions by this point in the recovery period.
The LASIK eye surgery recovery period typically follows a consistent schedule, but everyone heals at their own pace. If you have any questions about recovery time-lines, medication, or resumption of activities, don’t hesitate to reach out to your laser eye surgery center. Your surgeon wants you to get the best results possible, and knows the steps needed to reach your goals.