LASIK After care

LASIK Recovery Time: What to Expect

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a popular vision correction procedure that uses lasers to reshape the cornea, improving vision for those with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. While LASIK offers the promise of clearer vision without glasses or contact lenses, understanding the LASIK recovery time and potential side effects is crucial for making informed decisions.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect after LASIK eye surgery:

First few hours after treatment:

  • Temporary eye discomfort: You may experience some initial eye discomfort, such as a tingly sensation or slight dryness.
  • Increased tear production: Your eyes might produce more tears initially to aid healing and lubrication.
  • Temporary light sensitivity: You may be temporarily more sensitive to light, similar to having an adjusted camera lens.

Your doctor will provide eye drops to manage discomfort and a protective shield for overnight wear. Best thing to do?  Try and get some rest right after treatment.

24-48 Hours:

Schedule a quick follow-up visit with your eye doctor to ensure your eyes stay healthy and comfortable. During the appointment, they’ll perform a routine vision assessment and discuss any adjustments to your eye care routine, like potentially prescribing new eye drops or recommending artificial tears for additional comfort. You’ll be able to resume your normal activities right away, but it’s best to avoid strenuous exercise for 1-3 days to allow your eyes to fully recover.

1-3 Weeks:

  • Temporary vision adjustments: You may experience some temporary changes in your vision, such as slight blurring or fluctuations, as your eyes heal.  This has been reported to be similar to an old glasses or contact lens prescription.
  • Light sensitivity: You might notice some initial light sensitivity, which is normal and usually subsides quickly.

Up to 3 to 6 Months:

Expect your vision to steadily improve over the next few months, with many people achieving clear and stable vision around 3 to 6 months. Regular check-ins with your eye doctor will help them track your progress and address any questions or concerns you may have along the way.

Factors Affecting LASIK Recovery Time:

  • Flap dislocation: A rare complication where the corneal flap created during LASIK moves from its position. It requires immediate medical attention and can prolong recovery.
  • Dry eye: The most common side effect, causing irritation and discomfort. Symptoms usually subside within a month, but can persist in some cases.
  • Infections: Extremely rare, but following post-operative care instructions strictly minimizes the risk.

Tips for a Smooth LASIK Recovery:

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions meticulously.
  • Avoid lotions, creams, and makeup around the eye for 2 weeks, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Continue eyelash hygiene as instructed.
  • Refrain from swimming, hot tubs, and strenuous activities for the recommended period.
  • Protect your eyes from getting hit or rubbed, especially in the first few weeks.
  • Use artificial tears to keep your eyes lubricated.
LASIK recovery days

Remember, LASIK recovery is a process, not an event. While most people experience significant vision improvement quickly, complete healing and stabilization can take up to 3 to 6 months. Consulting a qualified LASIK care expert and adhering to post-operative care guidelines are crucial for a successful LASIK experience.