The process does not end at the surgery. Check ups are important for assessing healing and visual progress.
What to Expect After LASIK
Immediately after LASIK you will probably notice fluctuating vision, dry eyes, sensitivity to lights, glare and halos. These are typical during the recovery period and tend to subside as the eyes heal over the ensuing days to weeks. However, some of these changes continue for several months.
Nearsighted patients undergoing LASIK generally return to functional vision the day after surgery. However, patients in their late 30's often experience reading difficulty the first few days after surgery. This is expected. These patients can buy over-the-counter reading glasses for temporary help focusing things up close (wearing these glasses will not affect how the eyes heal). For patients already with presbyopia, the doctor may prescribe reading glasses between 1 to 3 months after the surgery, depending on when the eyes have stabilized.
Farsighted patients undergoing LASIK often experience dramatically improved near vision the next day although distance objects may be blurry. As the eyes heal, patients with presbyopia typically lose some near vision but gain the distance vision. In this regard, vision recovery from farsighted LASIK is different than for nearsighted patients.
Postoperative care with your optometrist or ophthalmologist is very important. Although your vision and eyes may feel well, you should not assume your eyes have properly recovered from refractive surgery. You still need visits to make sure you do not have a potentially vision threatening problem, such as clinically significant epithelial ingrowth and diffuse lamellar keratitis – both of which are usually easily managed if properly detected.
• After the surgery please go directly home. It is best to rest. You should sleep for at least 6-8 hours.
• Some discomfort will be felt after surgery. Symptoms may include burning, grittiness and tearing.
• Medicated drops and instructions will be provided at the one-day check-up.
• Dryness of the eyes will be experienced. We recommend you use artificial tears as frequently as you wish but at least five minutes apart from the medicated drops.
• Your eye(s) may be sensitive to light. Dark sunglasses are provided in the fanny pack to be used as needed.
• The eyes will be sensitive for the first 24 hours. Do not rub them.
• After surgery you should refrain from swimming for 2 weeks. Swimming goggles should be purchased and used when showering. After which time, being careful to protect the eye(s). You may gently clean the eye.
• Eye makeup should not be worn and participation in contact sports is not advised for 2 weeks following surgery.
• Vision will fluctuate throughout the day. For Myopic patients, near vision (reading) will be blurry after the procedure for up to 6 months. For Hyperopic patients, near vision (reading) will be good following the surgery and your distance may be blurry. As you heal, distance will improve.
• Inexpensive readers (found in a Drugstore or Department store) can be purchased to help with close up work while you are healing.
• Symptoms to be wary of is heavy, yellow or green discharge from the eye. Excessive tearing/watering is normal.
• If you have excruciating pain after the first day or notice your vision getting significantly worse, call the office.
• Do not remove the temporary contact lens (if one was placed). It will be removed one day post-operatively by the examining Doctor. Should it fall out of the eye on its own, do not try to replace it.
Schedule for Post-op Visits
Post-operative care is part of our service conducted in our office. Examinations to check your progress are essential.
These appointments are scheduled in our office on Monday, Wednesday or Friday. All patients are to be seen at the following time periods: 1, 3, 6, and 12-month intervals post procedure. Most importantly for all LASIK patients, is the one-day post-operative check.
The post-operative examination may include one or more of the following: Visual assessment, topography, refraction, and possible dilation of the pupils.