LASIK Recovery Timeline

By susand on December 03, 2017

At Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons, PC, we use advanced LASIK surgery techniques to correct common vision problems so our patients can see clearly without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. When considering if LASIK is right for you, it's important to understand that, as with any surgery, some time is needed for recovery. While most patients find they are recovered enough to resume their normal routine in just a few days after surgery, many will continue to see their vision improve for several months after treatment. Learn more about what to expect after surgery in this general LASIK recovery timeline from our Philadelphia, PA eye doctors.

An eye receiving eye drops after LASIK

The First 24 Hours After LASIK

Immediately after LASIK treatment, patients generally do not feel any discomfort until the numbing effects of the topical anesthesia applied during surgery diminish. Once the anesthesia wears off, about 30 minutes after treatment, the eyes may begin to burn or itch. Pain relieving medications may be taken based on your doctor's recommendations. 

Many patients notice clearer vision within hours after treatment, but will need to resist the temptation to overstress their eyes. Accordingly, it is recommended that patients rest their eyes for several hours after LASIK. Patients will not be able to drive after surgery and should avoid strenuous activity. Sunglasses should be worn when outside and protective eye shields will need to be worn during the day and while sleeping.

Although most find their vision is noticeably clearer shortly after LASIK, it is common for vision to be slightly foggy immediately after surgery.

The Week After LASIK

The day after surgery, patients may remove their eye shields. Most patients who experienced discomfort after treatment will find they have little discomfort the following day. Patients often see significantly clearer the day after LASIK, but may experience sensitivity to light for several days to a week after surgery.

Most patients are recovered enough to return to work and their normal routine the day after treatment, while others may wish to take off two to three days. With that said, strenuous activity should be avoided by all patients for the first two days of recovery.

It is also important during the first week of recovery that patients follow all post-operative instructions and use eye drops as approved and recommended. Eye make-up shouldn't be worn for the first week of recovery and patients should also avoid rubbing or touching the eyes in order to prevent complications, including infection.

The Next Few Weeks

During the next few weeks of recovery, it is important for patients to stay mindful of their eyes as they heal. For example, wear goggles if swimming to avoid eye infections and wear sports goggles whenever playing sports to avoid injuries. 

As the eyes heal, vision should become clearer, but patients may experience some side effects that typically resolve within a few months following surgery. Side effects may include dry eyes, halos around lights, or glare.

Three to Six Months After LASIK

Eyesight usually becomes clearest within three to six months after LASIK surgery. Those with severe myopia, or nearsightedness, often require a longer time to heal and may benefit from wearing glasses for a short portion of the recovery process.

Schedule a Consultation

To find out if LASIK is right for you, or for more information about recovery after LASIK, please contact our staff to schedule a consultation.

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