LASIK is a safe and effective procedure that can deliver clearer vision and an enhanced quality of life. While most patients can return to work and other daily activities a few days after surgery, full LASIK recovery can take several months. Symptoms such as discomfort, halos, and light sensitivity are all common after LASIK eye surgery. At our New York, NY, ophthalmology practice, Dr. Laurence T.D. Sperber can give you specific instructions about how to care for your eyes during recovery to protect your health and maximize your results.
LASIK Recovery Overview
Generally, patients undergoing LASIK surgery experience a fast recovery. In fact, most patients notice an immediate improvement in their vision, with continued enhancement over the next three to six months. The total length of your recovery will depend on your original vision prescription. Those with a lower prescription typically heal quicker than those with a high prescription.
Dr. Sperber will provide patients with a detailed list of post-treatment guidelines. These instructions should be followed closely to reduce the risk of complications.
What to Expect during the First 24 Hours
When the anesthesia wears off, you will likely notice dryness, slight discomfort, and light sensitivity. You may even experience foggy or slightly blurred vision immediately after the procedure. These side effects are all normal and will diminish over the next few days. In the meantime, these symptoms can be mitigated with eye drops and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Patients should avoid watching television or working at a computer for the first 24 hours, as these activities can strain the eyes and prolong the healing process. If you go outside, be sure to wear sunglasses. Dr. Sperber may also recommend that you wear protective shields while you sleep for the first couple of nights to avoid touching or rubbing the eye.
Following LASIK surgery, patients will visit our office for routine checkups. Dr. Sperber will begin monitoring your healing the day after your procedure.
If you are considering LASIK, it is important to know what to expect before, during, and after your treatment.
Common Post-Treatment Side Effects
After the first 24 hours, it is not uncommon to notice halos around lights, especially at night. You may also experience puffy eyelids, light sensitivity, and excessive tearing. In some cases, these symptoms will diminish within one week. However, in other instances, visual fluctuations may last up to a year. It is important to note that your corneas must have sufficient time to stabilize before clearer vision is achieved.
Things to Avoid after LASIK Surgery
To enjoy a comfortable and successful LASIK recovery, you will need to avoid:
- Rubbing your eyes: LASIK surgery involves creating a flap on the surface of the cornea. To reduce the risk of flap displacement and other issues, avoid rubbing your eyes for the first few days after your procedure.
- Smoke and dust: These irritants can cause post-operative discomfort as well as infection. Therefore, it is important to wear protective eyewear whenever necessary, especially during the first week.
- Pools and hot tubs: Swimming, bathing, or any other activity that involves submerging your head under water should be avoided for at least two weeks to reduce the risk of infection and other complications.
- Contact sports: Although physical activity can be resumed after one week, patients who play contact sports should wear protective goggles or eyewear for at least one month.
Contact Our Practice to Learn More
If you are considering LASIK, it is important to know what to expect before, during, and after your treatment. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sperber. Contact us online or call us at (212) 753- 8300.