LASIK Recovery — Frequently Asked Questions
With over 19 million surgeries having been conducted since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved LASIK in 1998, this procedure remains the most popular solution for long-lasting vision correction around the world.
1. Are there any after-effects?
Usually, the efficacy of the numbing drops that are used during a LASIK surgery wears off about 20 to 30 minutes post the completion of the procedure. When the effects start to ebb, you might feel a mild itching or burning sensation; it's vital that you do not rub your eyes during your LASIK recovery phase.
During the critical recovery time, the corneal flap undergoes healing. By rubbing your eyes, the flap can get displaced, which, in turn, will cause damage to your eyes.
For the initial 10 to 12 hours after the procedure, your eyes may get teary, develop red spots, and/or appear bloodshot. As normal and temporary symptoms, they will soon subside.
2. Should I rest my eyes post-surgery?
For the first two hours post the procedure, you might feel irritation or a burning sensation in your eyes. During this time, your vision might be blurry, which is why we recommend our patients go home and get some shut-eye so that they can rest their eyes for at least a couple of hours.
Over the next few hours, as the side effects subside, your vision will begin to clear. By the next day, any irritation should have completely disappeared, leaving one with crystal-clear vision.
3. Will I require eye drops during the recovery phase?
Yes. Dr. Nemi will give you a combination of steroid eye drops, lubricating eye drops, and prescription antibiotic eye drops to be applied to the operated eye/s at regular intervals for a specific duration of time. It is essential that you apply these drops as per his specific instructions to ensure you help your eyes heal as quickly as possible.
4. How many days will I need to take off from work?
A majority of our patients are able to go back to work in a few days, with many of them returning to their normal work routines the day after the surgery.
5. When can I resume my normal activities?
Following a LASIK surgery, many of our patients can resume normal activities within the first day or two, with many of them being able to see clearly within the first 24 to 48 hours post-surgery.
For the first 3 to 6 months, further improvement can occur, because everyone’s healing process is subjective. Contact sports, saunas, hot tubs, and swimming have to be avoided for the first few months after surgery. Plus, it’s essential to carefully follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions, like wearing sunglasses to limit light sensitivity to facilitate protecting your eyes.
6. What is the success rate?
According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCR), LASIK has an exceptional success rate, where 96% of patients achieve a 20/20 vision. Since the healing process varies between patients, in a few exceptional cases, further corrective treatment may be required to achieve optimal results.
Integral to the success of the surgery, it’s vital that a highly qualified and experienced laser eye surgeon, like Dr. Nemi, conducts the procedure to enhance the chances of achieving the best results.