LASIK recovery is famously quick with fairly simple aftercare instructions. If you have been thinking about LASIK, but you’re worried about caring for yourself afterward, this article is for you. LASIK recovery is easy, but you still need to make sure you’re properly caring for your healing eyes. Here are some ways you can make sure you heal quickly and avoid complications.
LASIK Recovery: Before and After
Before your LASIK surgery, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success. Some simply make your life easier (such as pre-cooking meals and taking care of errands) and others will ensure you have a successful recovery. Before your procedure, be sure to pick up your prescriptions and buy the over-the-counter eye drops recommended by your doctor. You should also make sure to arrange a ride home, as you will not be able to drive after the procedure.
Immediately after your procedure, you will feel some discomfort as the numbing drops wear off. We recommend you take a long nap after the procedure so that you sleep through some of the initial side effects. Don’t be alarmed if you experience some small red spots on your eye (blood vessels in the conjunctiva can sometimes burst during LASIK), burning, light sensitivity and the feeling of dryness. These symptoms are all typical immediately after the procedure.
Your doctor will give you a list of instructions on how to care for your healing eyes. You will use several different types of drops throughout the day for the first week. It is important that you use these drops as directed. You should use the over-the-counter lubrication drops that your doctor recommended to keep your eyes feeling comfortable.
Your doctor will also give you information on what you should not do after your LASIK procedure. This includes engaging in strenuous physical activity, playing contact sports, swimming, and even simply getting your face wet. Your surgeon will let you know when you can resume these activities.
After your procedure, you will attend a number of follow-up appointments. These follow-up appointments ensure that your eyes are healing properly. You should definitely not skip these appointments!
Common After-Care Mistakes
The first and most common mistake people make after LASIK is underestimating what goes into a successful recovery. LASIK is easier than most surgeries, it’s true, but it is still surgery. You need to take recovery seriously by following your doctor’s instructions.
Another common mistake includes skipping antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops. These are an essential part of your recovery and help you avoid complications like infection and swelling.
Participating in activities before getting your doctor’s approval can prove to be another dangerous mistake. These rules are in place for a reason! If you engage in activity that can get water into your eye, or where you could inadvertently hit your eye, you could develop a dangerous flap complication. Because corneal flaps are not stitched in place after surgery, you run the risk of dislodging the flap before it heals fully. This can seriously damage your vision.
Symptoms to Look Out For
It is important to know what LASIK complications look and feel like. If you notice any symptoms of LASIK complication, contact your ophthalmologist immediately. These symptoms include:
- Painful eyes
- Extremely red eyes
- Discharge from eye(s)
- Extremely dry eyes that are not helped with lubricating drops
- Visual aberrations (i.e. extreme glare, halos, double vision, starbursts, night vision problems)
LASIK complication rates are very low, but you need to make sure you are doing what you can to avoid them. Talk to your LASIK surgeon if you have questions about the safety of an activity or if you suspect you are experiencing a LASIK complication. If you have questions or if you would like to schedule a LASIK consultation, contact Malik Eye Care at our NYC location.