May 31, 2020

Tips for Recovering from Laser Eye Surgery

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Read the full NZ Herald article here

There are many closely-related laser-based eye procedures; LASIK eye surgery, SMILE, PRK, etc. All of these are extraordinarily common and safe surgeries, and millions of people around the world have benefited from them. These procedures all tend to have very quick recovery rates too, but to help make that recovery time even quicker, we’ve put together a few general tips for recovering from any laser eye surgery procedure.

Try not to touch your eyes

When your body heals, it itches. This means it is common for the eyes to itch after a surgical procedure, and this is totally normal. However, you must try to avoid rubbing your eyes, no matter how itchy they get. 

This is particularly important for the first week after your procedure. Depending on the type of laser eye surgery you have had, this may not be such an issue, but in general, it’s best not to take the risk of undoing any of the improvements that the procedure made. The best way to avoid any follow-up work is to use the eye drops proscribed to you instead of rubbing your eyes if they get itchy. 

A great way to avoid doing this by accident, without thinking about it, is wearing sunglasses. Sunglasses are actually a good idea after an eye operation anyway, as your eyes will be more sensitive to light. 

Reducing the chances of any dust getting in your eye is another good benefit of wearing a good pair of sunnies, as foreign objects in the eye after a procedure does run the risk of causing infections. This means it’s also best to avoid makeup, especially around the eyes, for a few days after your procedure at least.

Avoid certain types of exercise

Getting the right type of exercise is important, as light exercise can help the body’s overall recovery. However, contact sports are generally best avoided for a while, and this is because bumping or knocking the eye can get in the way of a fast recovery. Too much sweat in the eyes can also lead to interruptions in the healing process. 

Swimming is also best avoided, as chemicals in chlorinated water can harm the eye straight after an eye procedure. Freshwater and saltwater are also a bit risky, as there are increased chances of coming into contact with foreign particles. In general, getting water in your eyes at all can slow the recovery process down. In some cases, you might want to wear goggles when showering or bathing, but chances are you won’t need to. Water-based sports, on the other hand, should probably be put on hold for about a week at least.

Be careful when showering

There isn’t too much you need to change here, just be careful not to get water or soap in your eyes, and try to let your face air dry, so you don’t rub your eyes with your towel. Ultimately, it’s best to follow the directions given to you by your eye doctor, as they’ll be able to let you know how to manage daily tasks like this, if they need any changes for the first week or so of recovery.

Avoid smoke (and smoking)

Anything that can transfer particles to your eyes should be avoided for a while, and this includes smoke, which you might come into contact with in kitchens, workshops, darkrooms, or even from cigarettes. We suggest that our patients drop smoking for at least 7 days after laser eye surgery. 

Try not to watch too much TV

If you’re off work for a day or two to recover, because your job requires you to come into contact with any of the things above, or because you need the time to adjust to your new vision, it’s common to spend the time enjoying a movie or tv show. We completely understand, but too much exposure to screens can strain the eye too, and this can slow down the healing process. It may not be directly harmful to your eyes, but it can make the process more uncomfortable at least, and there are risks of elongating your recovery period. 

Get plenty of rest

Sleep is a miracle worker when it comes to the body’s natural healing processes, so remember that staying well-rested is the best thing you can do to recover fast. 

While it’s very common for patients to be back at work only a day after laser eye surgery, keeping your eyes protected as they begin to recover is always important, no matter what that might entail, as recovery periods can differ from person to person.

If you want to know more about getting laser eye surgery in Auckland, then get in touch with us. The team at Re:Vision Sight Correction Centre are happy to answer any questions you may have, and even offer a free laser assessment, which you can book right now. Don’t wait—contact us today.

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