LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery Time – Know What to Expect

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LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery Time – Know What to Expect


March 2024

Imagine reclaiming the vibrant tapestry of your world in less time than it takes to watch your favorite television show; that’s the marvel of LASIK. As you step out of our office, the once blurry edges of your vision are no more, sharpened and clear. But with a life-altering treatment like this, it’s normal to have questions about how long your LASIK eye surgery recovery time will take before you can fully enjoy your newfound vision. This critical healing phase may be marked with anticipation and anxiety, but it’s a journey we’ll embark on together, reassuring you every step of the way with our guide on what to expect, below.

The Initial Day After LASIK – A Recovery Snapshot of the First 24-Hours

In the first 24 hours after your LASIK eye surgery, your eyes are in the very early stages of healing and are quite vulnerable. You’ll want to rest your eyes as much as possible, making sure to avoid rubbing or touching them and use the prescribed eye drops as instructed to prevent inflammation and infection. Proper care during this initial period can greatly affect the speed and success of your recovery.

  • In the first 2-4 hours as the anesthesia wears off, you’re going to experience sensations like itching, burning, tearing, and light sensitivity – paired with discomfort. A long nap will help you avoid the majority of these symptoms. Rest your eyes, avoid strenuous activity, and manage lingering discomfort with pain relievers. Keeping the eyelids closed during this phase will help speed the healing process.
  • Expect your vision to be foggy at first – as if you’ve opened your eyes underwater – and you may find your eyes feeling abnormally dry. Keep them moist with the lubricating eye drops provided.
  • It’s not uncommon to have teary eyes, puffy eyelids, and red spots dotting the whites of your eyes for a while. This is a normal part of the LASIK eye surgery recovery.
  • Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from bright light, and eye shields or sunglasses at night to avoid scratching or rubbing your eyes while sleeping.

After the first 24 hours, a follow-up appointment is necessary to have your vision checked and verify that your eyes are healing properly. This also gives you a chance to discuss any of the post-op symptoms that you’re having and get answers to any lingering questions.

One Week into Your LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery.

During the first week you should notice that your vision has begun to improve! The haze or fog of the first day has lifted. Daytime vision is clear and getting better. Night vision will likely have halos or glare around lights due to residual swelling. Don’t worry, this will get better during weeks 3-4. The eyes might feel dry when you first wake up in the morning or at the end of the day. Be sure to continue to use your artificial tears this week, even if you don’t notice any dry eye symptoms.

  • In the first week, you should avoid working in environments that are dusty or smokey, as debris particles in the air can irritate your eyes and slow down the recovery process.
  • Avoid wearing any eye makeup (eyeliners, mascara, eye creams) in order to keep your eyes clear of any oils, chemicals, or water.
  • You can take a shower or bath, try your best to keep soap and water away from the eyes. Avoid public swimming pools, hot tubs, and natural bodies of water, as these could be contaminated.
  • Stay away from contact sports like soccer, football, rugby, and basketball, as these carry a much higher risk of eye injury. If you do engage in contact sports, wear protective goggles.
  • If your work or hobbies involve a lot of screen time, take frequent breaks to give your eyes a rest.
  • Keep wearing your night shields for the first 5 nights if alone, or 10 if sleeping with children, or pets.

One Month Into Your LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery – What to Expect From the Healing Process

Now that you’re reaching the one-month mark into your LASIK eye surgery recovery, you’re likely more acclimated to the significant vision changes your eyes have undergone. No doubt enjoying the liberating sensation of reduced dependency on corrective eyewear. Any early dry eye symptoms are beginning to fade. Night vision has improved, the early halos have resolved. As your eyes continue to heal and stabilize, your vision will become clearer and sharper. What to expect moving forward?

Adjusting To Your New Vision 3-6 Months Post-LASIK Eye Surgery

As you move into the 3-6 month chapter of your LASIK eye surgery recovery time, you’ll find yourself marveling daily at the crispness of the world around you, as if you’ve stepped into a life of high-definition. Here is what to expect:

  • You’ll experience far fewer side effects, like halos or glare, and you’ll have fewer fluctuations in your vision with more consistent clarity. Any blurred or hazy vision should be minimal, and you’ll experience an enhanced ability to focus on objects at various distances.
  • You will need to continue with regular follow-up appointments, although these will be scheduled farther apart.
  • If you had severe myopia or very high astigmatism prior to LASIK, then you might need a little bit longer to heal than the 3-6 months. Patients with severe myopia who undergo LASIK are given a customized recovery plan, that may include wearing corrective glasses temporarily during the healing process.

Are you curious about your unique LASIK recovery journey? Reach out to us at OVO LASIK + LENS to get personalized answers on what to expect during your LASIK eye surgery recovery time period.

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