More than 194 million adults in the United States use some form of vision correction, like eyeglasses or contacts.
That being said, not everybody enjoys the experience. There’s a solution available for those who don’t want to rely on glasses or contacts: LASIK eye surgery.
LASIK surgery essentially reshapes the eye, correcting the vision for issues like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It’s the most common eye procedure in the United States, with over 10 million Americans receiving its benefits since 1999.
It’s easy to see why the procedure is so popular. It has a 96% success rate, with 90% of patients gaining 20/20 vision or better. In addition to high satisfaction rates, the procedure has a quick healing time and can show results in about 24 hours.
If you’re considering getting LASIK in Las Vegas — and freedom from glasses and contacts — you might want to know what you can expect after the procedure. This article will walk you through the basics of the surgery and everything you need to know about LASIK aftercare.
Why Get LASIK?
Over 600,000 Americans choose to get LASIK eye surgery each year to correct their vision. For many people with vision problems, glasses and contacts can be inconvenient. Not only are they cumbersome at times, but they can restrict your ability to play sports or do certain activities. Contact lenses, in particular, can exacerbate issues like dry eyes, allergies, or sensitivity.
LASIK eliminates all of these conveniences, giving you the freedom to live your life without worrying about your eyesight.
The procedure is a great option for many reasons, including:
- Immediate vision improvement
- 20/20 vision or even up to 20/40 vision
- No bandages or stitches required with a quick recovery time
- Hundreds of dollars saved each year on prescription glasses and contacts
- A boost in independence and self-confidence
A Guide to LASIK Aftercare: What You Need to Know
The LASIK procedure itself is an outpatient procedure, and therefore relatively quick. You can expect the surgery to take about 10 minutes per eye. After receiving a local anesthetic through eye drops, your surgeon will make a small incision in the cornea and then reshape it to match your eyesight prescription. It’s considered a safe procedure with a quick healing time — you can expect to return to normal activities within about 24 hours of surgery.
However, there are some steps you can take to smooth the healing process and protect your eyes. This guide will walk you through the timeline of LASIK aftercare to take you on the path towards your best vision yet.
6 Hours Post-Op
In the first six hours after your procedure, it’s important to avoid any and all bright lights. As much as possible, keep your eyes closed.
While the procedure itself is relatively painless, you may feel some pain or discomfort after the procedure. If your doctor has prescribed any pain medication or eye drops, use these as directed.
24 Hours Post-Op
After a day, the worst of the discomfort will have passed. However, you should still avoid straining your eyes as much as possible. Keep reading, watching TV, or other screen time on computers, cell phones, and video games to a minimum.
A day after surgery, you should be able to shower. Just keep any soap or other chemical products away from your eyes.
Depending on your recovery, you may be able to drive. If you’re not sure whether you’re ready, you can always check in with your surgeon about your progress so far.
1 to 2 Weeks Post-Op
Within about a week of getting LASIK, you can start exercising again. Keep using the prescribed eye drops and use sunglasses when outside. Wait until at least two weeks before swimming.
For the first week or two, avoid using eye creams or lotion around the eyes to reduce the risk of infection.
1 Month Post-Op
After a month, you should be able to return to all your usual activities — including strenuous ones. When playing sports or other intensive activities, consider wearing sports goggles to protect your eyes.
LASIK Recovery Tips
The best way to recover is by following the instructions given to you by your surgeon — as well as giving your eyes plenty of time to rest. Here are a few tips for easing discomfort and ensuring a smooth recovery:
- For at least a month, avoid rubbing your eyes
- Stay out of places that are especially dusty or dirty
- Keep lights dim around the house to stay comfortable
- Take a day or two off of work or school
- Use artificial tears to keep your eyes lubricated
- Rest and keep your eyes closed as much as possible
- Use a lightweight cold compress over your eye
- Have entertainment on hand that doesn’t involve looking at a screen (podcasts, music, books, etc.)
- Turn down screen brightness and enlarge your phone’s text size
While you can expect some discomfort, the recovery process should be relatively quick. By the time of your first follow-up appointment after surgery, you should be experiencing less pain and improved vision. If your recovery process isn’t going as you expected — or you’re experiencing lingering pain — speak to your doctor right away.
Recovering After LASIK in Las Vegas
LASIK eye surgery can be exciting and liberating for anyone — especially lifelong glasses or contacts users. But you shouldn’t be too eager to jump back into your regular life after surgery. Recovery times are quick, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to take time to rest and recover.
Allowing your eyes to rest is the best way to get on track for recovery as soon as possible. Once you’ve recovered, you can enjoy the full benefits of LASIK surgery. At Brimhall Eye, your aftercare is never an afterthought. Our team is dedicated to making sure your LASIK eye surgery is smooth and seamless from beginning to end. If you’re looking for a Las Vegas eye doctor you can trust with your LASIK procedure, contact us anytime to set up a consultation or appointment.