(Last Updated On: January 12, 2021)
Laser Eye Surgery Recovery and Aftercare
Although body parts work together to provide us with a fully functional system, the eyes are arguably the most important organ of the body. The placement of the eyes adds to their functionality, but it also exposes them to a wide range of potentially damaging objects and substances.
The good thing is that the eyes have powerful healing and defensive capabilities. They include the adjustable shield to guard against debris and light, a transparent layer containing antibiotic fluid to fight off infections, and an ability to regenerate quickly.
These properties make it easy to correct a wide range of eye problems, including refractive errors, to permanently improve impaired vision using different treatments like laser eye surgery.
Laser eye treatment is minimally invasive and combined with the extensive healing power of the eyes; getting a perfect vision is easy and does not take a lot of time. Most patients regain perfect vision immediately after the surgery and can resume their regular activities in no time. They also get to experience about 80% of recovery within a week following the surgery.
Although laser eye surgery in London has a high recovery rate and is minimally invasive, you need to consider the recovery process before going ahead with the surgery to ensure you have a quick and smooth recovery.
As you read on, you would know more about Laser eye surgery, particularly LASIK from the side effects, resuming your regular activities to getting high-quality aftercare.
Managing laser eye surgery discomfort
Undergoing any surgery comes with some level of discomfort, so people think that experiencing pain is an unavoidable part of a surgery. However, laser eye surgery is not like regular surgery. It is minimally invasive and lasts for only a few minutes. After laser eye surgery, the only difference most people notice is an improvement in their vision.
A few persons might experience mild discomfort during the first few hours after the surgery. They may also experience watery eyes, but in most cases, this is barely noticeable, and the stinging sensation only lasts for a couple of minutes. Patients also get anaesthetic drops which also ease any discomfort.
Most patients do not feel pain after Relax SMILE, PRESBYOND laser blended vison or LASIK, but the more traditional alternative like LASEK may cause discomfort for a while.
Recovering and adapting after PRESBYOND laser blended vision
The process for PRESBYOND laser blended vision is a bit different from other laser eye surgeries, and this makes the recovery process also different. Recovery time for PRESBYOND laser blended vision varies between individuals, and it usually depends on how fast the brain adjusts to the new way of seeing things.
In blended vision surgery, the surgeon creates a blend zone which makes vision smoother and gives a greater visual depth, unlike other laser eye surgery where the surgeon adjusts the eye to two specific points of focus.
A more natural field of vision enables the brain to adapt faster to see things differently, and most patients tend to adjust fully within a couple of weeks. If you undergo thorough screening before the surgery and the surgeon finds you suitable for the treatment, you have a higher chance, about 98% of tolerating PRESBYOND laser blended vision and adapting to your new vision.
In rare cases, some patients may have issues with either near or distance vision, but they can quickly correct the problems by wearing temporary spectacles. The balancing spectacles does not affect recovery, and they do not need to wear them for a long time.
Over time, about 4 – 6 months, most patients have a 100% adaptation after PRESBYOND laser blended vision. The surgeon will examine your eyes during your follow-up appointments to know how you adapt to your new vision.
Returning to work
Most people can return to work 24 hours after their laser. However, recovery time varies and depends on several factors. Most people take two days off work, the day of the surgery and the next day before they resume work. This usually applies to patients who undergo PRESBYOND laser blended vision, LASIK, and ReLEX SMILE. If you undergo PRK/LASEK, it may take longer to return to work, about seven days.
Most patients have no issue getting back to work, but ensure you lubricate your eyes, especially if you work with a computer and a place with an air conditioning system because they cause dry eyes. Working with a computer also makes you blink less, so ensure you take regular breaks.
If you work in certain places like a construction site with a higher risk of getting debris and dust in your eyes, ensure you take extra caution like wearing safety glasses to avoid irritation and other complications. If you work in a sunny environment, ensure you wear UV protection sunglasses for the first few weeks.
Driving after laser eye surgery
Most persons who undergo laser eye surgery can drive 24 – 48 hours after their surgery. The experience for most persons is exciting as they can see clearly while driving without glasses or contacts.
The time needed to heal before driving depends on the clinic you undergo surgery and the type of laser eye surgery. About 95% of LASIK patients can drive a day after their surgery, but this takes longer for PRK patients. Your surgeon will advise you about driving on your next-day follow-up appointment.
You may be able to drive after the surgery, but surgeons recommend that patients drive for short distances within the first few days. You may experience halos and starburst if you drive at night. These side effects are common to the recovery process. While some people do not notice them at all, others experience them mildly.
The first 24 hours after your laser eye surgery, ensure you rest. You would have to arrange for transportation home or a family member or friend to drive you home and bring you to the clinic the next day for your follow-up appointment.
Timeline for using devices following laser eye surgery
After laser eye surgery, there is a strict no-screen rule which lasts for about 24 hours. This applies to tablets, computers, e-readers, TVs, smartphones and even books. Adhering strictly to the no-screen policy will help ensure you have a smooth and quick recovery.
During the first 24 hours of your laser eye surgery, you should relax at home, get used to your new vision and eye drop routine. When you start using a computer after your laser eye surgery, ensure you take frequent breaks and lubricate your eyes because using a screen can make your eyes dry.
Bathing and exercising after laser eye surgery
After laser eye surgery, you need to take some time off certain sports and exercising. However, it is only for a short while. After the surgery, you will experience inflammation, which is normal, so your eyes may be more sensitive. Your body will be under more stress because of this, so it is unwise to put your body under more strain by engaging in strenuous activity or allow foreign substances like dust to enter your eyes.
For the first 24 hours after laser eye surgery, it is advisable to take a bath instead of showering. Ensure you stay away from steam rooms, Jacuzzi and sauna for a while.
If you want to exercise, you can engage in less strenuous exercises like stretching or walking. After about three days, you will be able to lift small weights, jog, and cycle. Avoid engaging in a sport that would cause running sweat to enter your eyes and try not to rub your eyes because your cornea is still in the recovery phase.
By the second week after your surgery, you can engage in certain activities like squash, swimming, skiing, squash, and mountain biking, but ensure you wear the right protective eyewear.
You should avoid high-impact sports like sumo wrestling, boxing or martial arts for about a month after your surgery.
Travelling and taking the tube after your laser eye surgery
You need to follow certain travel guidelines after your laser eye surgery if you usually take a tube to work or want to travel. After your surgery, ensure you limit travelling. The flap heals after the surgery for most people, but it is important to rest because your eyes are still recovering.
Tubes have a high level of microparticles and dust, so it is advisable to avoid using them for a couple of days after your surgery. Most patients are free to travel by air after their next-day appointment. However, ensure you have lubricating eye drops and use them often.
Wearing make-up after your laser eye surgery
It is best to avoid wearing make-up like eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner for about a week after your laser surgery. However, you can apply general face make-up after the first 24 hours of undergoing surgery.
Aftercare and recovery timeline
Laser eye surgery recovery is quick and usually complication-free. Most times, people can return to their regular activities the day after their surgery. Following laser eye surgery, you need to visit the clinic at certain periods for the first 12 months.
Generally, LASIK recovery time is shorter than that of PRK/LASEK, and PRESBYOND laser blended. To recover fully from laser eye surgery and certain side effects like dry eyes, you need about 3 – 6 months. However, after the first few days of the surgery, you would notice an improvement in your vision.
First 24 hours after surgery
- Immediate vision improvement
- A few hours after the surgery, you may experience blurry or foggy vision
- Avoid all screens and other activities like reading which causes eye strain
- Take a bath after your laser eye surgery instead of a shower to prevent eye irritation
- Use your eye drops to avoid dry eyes
- Be careful not to poke or touch your eyes
The day after the surgery
- You will visit the clinic for a follow-up appointment to check if there are any issues
- You can use your phone or watch TV but ensure you use your lubricating eye drops
- You can resume work, but ensure you use your lubricating drops and use protective eyewear
- You can travel by air, but keep your eye drops close
- You may experience starburst and halos with night vision, but this would subside as your corneal swelling reduces
- You can engage in light exercises like stationary cycling and jogging
- Avoid sweat in your eyes and try not to either rub or touch your hands
- You may experience blurry vision, and occasional vision fluctuations as the eyes continue to heal
- You need to be careful while driving at night. The surgeon may prescribe temporary glasses to ensure you see clearly during the first few months of healing
- Ensure you avoid vigorous and strenuous activities
- Night glare and other side effects will gradually disappear, and your surgeon will assess your progress
- You can now engage in different sporting activities like scuba diving and tennis
- You still have to avoid high-impact sports like water-skiing and martial arts for about a month
- You can now apply make-up but ensure you do it with caution
3 – 6 months after
- A few persons may still experience dry eye symptoms at this point, but they can manage using drops
- You still need to avoid sunbeds
- You will visit the surgeon for an aftercare appointment at three months and your last follow-up appointment after 12 months
Side effects of laser eye surgery
- Night glare
- Light sensitivity
- Dry eyes
- Vision fluctuations
These laser eye surgery side effects tend to disappear after a few days to a few months after the surgery as the cornea heals.
If you need a clinic with a comprehensive laser eye surgery aftercare, ensure you contact Optimal Vision experienced eye surgeon.