Congratulations on having your vision corrected and ending your dependence on your contacts and glasses! We are very excited for you and hope that things have gone great so far.
To ensure a successful LASIK eye surgery recovery, be sure to use your preservative-free artificial tears and prescription drops as instructed. Most importantly, don’t rub your eyes!
Recovery for LASIK Eye Surgery
The healing process following LASIK eye surgery is typically quick and most patients experience little or no pain. You are able to resume most normal activities the next day and return to work within one or two days after your procedure.
The day of your procedure:
To start off your LASIK eye surgery recovery, try to sleep or rest with your eyes closed for at least two hours. You can take the first of your two prescription Restoril capsules when you get home. If you are not asleep after an hour, go ahead and take the second one. Otherwise, you can take the second one before bedtime, if needed.
Starting After your nap:
- Instill one drop of the Zymaxid (Gatafloxacin) antibiotic drop, then one more before bedtime.
- Instill one drop of the Prednisolone Acetate steroid drop, continue to use every two hours until bedtime.
- Use your preservative-free artificial tears as needed.
Remember to wash your hands before using your drops. Shake the drops well, make a pocket with the lower eyelid, do not touch the upper lid, and wait five minutes between each drop. If you have trouble putting drops in your eyes, you can refrigerate the drops so you can feel them when they get into your eye or run down your cheek.
Limit your “screen time” the day of surgery (computers, tablets, phone, limited reading and tv). Just allow your eyes to relax and recover from the procedure.
Keep your shields on until Saturday morning. You can take them off when you wake up. Be sure to sleep in your shields for four more nights.
Starting the first day after your LASIK eye surgery:
- Continue to use your Zymaxid (Gatafloxacin) antibiotic drop and your Prednisolone Acetate steroid drop four times a day for one week.
- Use your preservative-free artificial tears at least every two hours and as needed in between.
- Continue to wear your shields while sleeping for four more nights.
Your eyes may be sensitive to touch, scratchy, light sensitive, and slightly red. These symptoms will subside as your eyes heal. Vision may be slightly blurry and may fluctuate. This usually improves as the eye heals over the next week. If you notice occasional blurriness, this is typically due to dryness. Use your preservative-free artificial tears to keep your eyes well lubricated.
During LASIK eye surgery recovery, it is not uncommon to have a subconjunctival hemorrhage from your procedure. Seeing a subconjunctival hemorrhage on your eye can be alarming. Yet it is actually a common minor occurrence, is always harmless, and will heal on its own. A subconj hemorrhage does not affect vision and generally does not cause pain. There are usually no sensations or symptoms, other than the appearance of the red spot. In fact, you may not even be aware that you have a subconjunctival hemorrhage until someone points it out or you look in the mirror.
Avoid getting water directly in your eyes for one week. When you shower, keep your eyes closed when washing your hair and rinse so the water runs toward the back of your head. Also, try to aim the flow of water lower than your eyes. Gently pat-wash with a clean cloth around the eyes, avoiding your upper eyelid.
No eye make-up or mascara should be worn for one week. Foundation is fine, just avoid the eye area. After one week, you may wear eye make-up that is easily removed with soap and water.
No motorcycling, horseback riding, swimming, or tanning bed for two weeks. Avoid getting dust or dirt in your eyes. This will irritate them as well as increase your risk of infection. If dust does get in your eye, use preservative-free artificial tears to flush your eye. Wear safety glasses or sports goggles when participating in contact sports or while doing work where foreign matter may get into your eyes. Most importantly, do not rub or push on your eyes.
Common Side Effects
Dryness: It is normal for your eyes to be dryer as they heal after LASIK surgery. Dryness can cause your vision to fluctuate and your eyes to be red and irritated. Using your artificial tears as instructed help relieve these symptoms and the dryness will improve as healing progresses. Dr. Parker has some suggestions on this Dry Eye Handout, including using a gel artificial tear at nighttime. If the dryness continues to be bothersome, there are additional treatments such as prescription drops or punctual plugs that can help your eyes maintain their natural tears.
Nighttime Glare and Haloing: Night glare and halos can be noticeable within a few weeks of your LASIK surgery. This symptom should not be much worse than when you wore glasses or contacts and vision will improve over the next several weeks as your eyes heal. Keeping your eyes well lubricated helps improve nighttime vision.