LASIK is becoming increasingly common as patients learn how easy it is to correct their vision with this laser-based surgery. Still, some patients steer clear of laser surgery because they're unsure of how the recovery process will go. Here's a closer look at that process so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not the procedure is right for you:
Timepoint: 1 Hour
About an hour after surgery, the anesthetic eye drops will have worn off. Your eyes may start feeling a little dry and itchy, though they should not be painful. Most eye surgeons recommend going home and taking a nap at this point. If you cannot sleep, at least lay back with your eyes closed for a few hours. You will need to put lubricating eye drops and antibiotics drops into your eyes every couple of hours.
Timepoint: 1 Day
Within a day after surgery, your eyesight should be greatly improved, and the itching should be gone. Most people can see well enough to drive themselves to their eye doctor for a checkup the day after surgery! You'll still be putting eye drops in your eyes, and you'll need to be careful not to rub your eyes at night or when you're in the shower. Your eye doctor will probably give you goggles to wear to bed to prevent rubbing.
Timepoint: 1 Week
A week after surgery, you'll be finished or almost finished using your antibiotic eye drops. You'll still need to use the lubricating drops to keep your eyes moist. Your eyesight should be nearly perfect, though you may notice some glare coming off lights at night. Many patients deal with this by just avoiding driving at night for a little while.
Timepoint: 1 Month
A month after surgery, you'll be basically healed. However well you see after a month will be your "permanent" result. Many patients can stop using the lubricating eye drops at this point, though you can certainly keep using them if your eyes feel a bit dry. Glare at night should start easing away, making it easier to drive at night again.
Recovering from LASIK is very easy and painless. Most people can go back to work a day or two afterward. You should never feel any actual pain during the process, and the itching feels similar to when you get something in your eye. If you have any further questions about recovery, speak to an eye surgeon in your area.
Contact a local ophthalmology center for more information and assistance.