Part 3: Recovery, Healing, and Life After LASIK
Part 3 of our LASIK experience guide
In Part 1 of our LASIK experience guide, we walked you through what you can expect from your LASIK consultation. In Part 2, we took a look at the LASIK procedure and the technology Grene Laser uses to correct your vision.
Now, in Part 3, we’ll look at what you can expect from the recovery and healing processes after LASIK and explore some of the possibilities for life after LASIK.
Recovery and healing
One great thing about LASIK is that the recovery time is very fast — we’re talking a day or two to resume normal activity.
During that time, most patients start to see a noticeable improvement in their vision. Of course, experiences vary based on a number of personal factors, but in most typical cases, you'll be back to yourself in no time.
The full healing time after the procedure typically takes 3-6 months, during which time your vision should continue to gradually improve.
The first 24 hours
Right after the procedure, you’ll be fitted with a pair of clear plastic shields to prevent you from accidentally rubbing your eyes. You’ll wear these shields for the rest of that day and through the night (and when you go to bed for the next two nights).
It’s normal to experience some slight discomfort or itching as the topical anesthetic wears off. The shields will keep you from instinctively reaching for your eyes.
If you’ve worn contact lenses before, it will probably be a familiar feeling — like you’re wearing a pair of dried out contacts. Don’t worry, this is temporary and you’ll be given some lubricating eye drops with instructions to help keep your eyes moist.
You’ll probably want to take a nap when you get home. In fact, we recommend it! It’s best to stay inside and rest your eyes for at least 2-4 hours after you get home. If you have to be outside, make sure you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Your first LASIK surgery follow-up visit
Dr. Wellemeyer will want to see you in a day or two after your procedure to test your vision and recovery.
You’ll be given further instructions at that visit. Common guidelines include:
- Don’t touch or rub your eyes for at least a week.
- For at least the first week after your procedure, avoid water that could be contaminated (hot tubs, swimming pools, lakes, etc.).
- Don’t use any makeup, mascara, eye creams, etc. on or around your eyes for the first week. These could irritate your eyes during the initial healing time or cause infections.
- Wait a week to resume exercise and stick to weight machines for the first week after you resume your workouts before moving to free weights. Wear goggles when swimming laps in a pool.
- Avoid contact sports for the first week. After that, wear sports goggles for the first month to prevent getting accidentally poked or hit in your eyes.
The 3-6 months after LASIK
The length of time it can take to fully heal from the procedure will depend on what your vision and eye health were prior to LASIK. For example, those with severe nearsightedness may take longer to heal, while those will less severe cases may heal rather quickly.
Dr. Wellemeyer will provide you with a full recovery plan, including a schedule for follow-up visits. It’s important to keep these appointments to monitor your progress and eye health.
Life after LASIK
Once your eyes have fully healed and you’ve been cleared by Dr. Wellemeyer, you’re going to want to experience all of the things life has to offer when you don’t have to deal with the hassle of wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Our patients have told us about the increased thrill of participating in everything from riding motorcycles to playing sports; from swimming to snow skiing and waterskiing.
Others report more joy in simple pleasures like watching movies, being able to wear non-prescription sunglasses, and seeing clearly when waking up first thing in the morning without having to reach for lenses.
Wondering how much LASIK can improve the enjoyment of little things in your life?
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and find out if LASIK is right for you.
In part 4 of this series, we’ll look at the LASIK procedure itself and the technology your doctor will be using to correct your vision.