Have you been considering LASIK eye surgery but aren’t sure what to expect during the recovery process? If so, you’re not alone.
Many people who could benefit from LASIK have questions and concerns about the procedure and healing timeline. Keep reading to learn more about LASIK, including what the recovery process is like!
What is LASIK?
LASIK is a type of refractive eye surgery that improves vision by reshaping the cornea. It is one of the most common elective procedures performed today.
LASIK can allow you to significantly reduce your dependence on visual aids such as glasses and contact lenses.
What Happens During LASIK?
The LASIK procedure takes ten to fifteen minutes per eye. First, your eye is numbed with medicated eye drops to prevent discomfort.
You will lie down under the laser system, and a device will gently hold your eyelids open during the procedure. Your LASIK surgeon will use a handheld instrument to create a thin, circular corneal flap, taking about thirty seconds per eye.
This flap is lifted and folded back to expose the underlying corneal tissue that will be reshaped. Next, the excimer laser is precisely applied to the exposed corneal surface to reshape it and correct vision.
The laser removes ultra-thin layers of tissue in a painless process that takes less than two minutes per eye. After the cornea is reshaped, the corneal flap is laid back into its original position, where it will quickly heal without the need for stitches.
The flap adheres back within minutes. Once the LASIK procedure is complete, your eyes will have been reshaped and corrected through this quick, bladeless approach.
You’ll be on your way to clear vision often within just a few days.
How Long is Recovery After LASIK?
The recovery period after LASIK surgery is shorter than most people expect. While vision is often blurry immediately after the procedure, it begins to rapidly improve in just a few days.
In the first twenty-four hours, it is normal for your eyes to feel scratchy, burn, or itch. It’s essential to use the medicated eye drops as prescribed by your LASIK surgeon.
The drops both prevent infection and reduce inflammation. Over the next one to three days, you will need to visit your eye doctor for a follow-up exam.
During this exam, your eye doctor will test your vision and ensure your eyes are healing properly. By day three, most patients report already seeing significant improvements in their vision.
It is important to rest and recover during the first week after LASIK. This will help your eyes heal properly and help avoid any complications.
Most people can return to almost all of their typical activities by one month after the procedure.
Tips for a Smooth Recovery After LASIK
There are a few essential tips that you can follow to ensure a smooth recovery after LASIK eye surgery. First, be sure to use the medicated eye drops as directed.
These are vital in preventing infection and reducing inflammation during the healing process. Also, wear sunglasses whenever you are exposed to light since your eyes will be highly sensitive to brightness.
Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes for at least the first week so you don’t risk displacing the corneal flap. Your LASIK surgeon may advise waiting a few days to weeks before returning to work, especially if your job requires heavy computer use or detailed vision tasks.
Also, avoid activities like swimming or being in dirty or smoky environments that could irritate your eyes. Get plenty of rest after your LASIK surgery because sleeping may actually help speed up the recovery process.
Be sure to follow-up with your eye doctor as directed for any post-operative appointments so they can examine your eyes and ensure proper healing.
Do you want to learn more about the LASIK recovery process? Schedule a LASIK consultation at VisionFirst Eye Center in Trussville, AL, today!