LASIK surgery is often regarded as an incredibly easy procedure with no recovery necessary. While we are the first to tell you that the recovery after LASIK surgery is quite easy when compared to other medical procedures, it’s not to be brushed off. LASIK surgery still comes with its share of possible side effects, and while LASIK requires little to no downtime, you still have to be careful.
Here are some of the most common questions we get about LASIK recovery.
What Is LASIK?
LASIK surgery is a procedure that corrects common refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is extremely popular, and millions of people have seen great success after LASIK surgery.
During LASIK surgery, your surgeon will create a circular, hinged flap on the surface of the cornea using either a blade or a laser. This flap is lifted and the cornea underneath is treated. Once finished, the flap is smoothed back into place. No stitches are required, as the cornea is self-healing.
The Recovery Process
LASIK recovery is not particularly painful or difficult. However, your eyes still need to heal. Many people think that because the cornea does not need stitches, that the eye is already healed. This is not true! Your cornea needs some time to regrow cells to heal the incision that was made in your eye. While this is happening, you can return to most daily activities. You will have to avoid certain activities, such as wearing makeup, doing contact sports, or going swimming. Basically, anything that may cause bacteria or foreign bodies to get into the eye, or anything that may cause your eye to get accidentally injured, should be avoided.
How Long Until You Can Return to Work?
You can return to most jobs the day after surgery. Some people choose to go back to work the very same day, although we recommend resting up a bit after surgery. If your job involves being near eye irritants like wind or dust, or the possibility of causing eye trauma, we recommend staying away for a few days. The first few days after LASIK are an important part of the healing process and you don’t want to return to a job that presents the possibility of disrupting the process.
How Long Until You Can Wear Makeup?
You can wear makeup again after one week. When you do start wearing makeup again, be sure the makeup is brand new. You don’t want to use opened or used makeup on your eyes after LASIK, as this makes the possibility of introducing bacteria into the eye. Buy brand new eye makeup to ensure you do not cause an infection.
How Long Until You Can Swim?
You should try to keep water away from your eyes for the first few days, at least. If water gets into your eye, it can cause problems with the corneal flap or even introduce bad bacteria into the eye. Avoid wetting your face in the shower or going swimming in any body of water. Instead, use a facial cleansing wipe to wash your face and consult your doctor before going swimming again.
How Long Until You Can Play Contact Sports?
You should always be avoiding eye trauma, but this is especially important after LASIK. After LASIK, your cornea is fragile and you should do anything you can to avoid bumping, scratching, or rubbing your eye. This means avoiding common activities like contact sports. Consult your eye doctor before resuming any of these activities.
If you would like to learn more about LASIK and what you should expect after the procedure, contact Loden Vision Center in Nashville, TN. Our LASIK experts are here to answer any questions and get you on track for healthy, clear vision!