LASIK surgery itself only lasts about 15 minutes. The recovery process, however, can sometimes take up to six months; this is because a person’s vision takes time to stabilize. Most patients recover quickly, but there are variations from patient to patient. Some patients experience sensitivity to bright lights, in which case protective eyewear is prescribed. Other patients may require antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications. Occasionally moisturizing eye drops are recommended. In this article, we will explain what you can expect with life after LASIK eye surgery.
Why You Will Have Multiple Doctor Visits
Regular check-ups are necessary to ensure that your eyes are healing properly, so don’t think you’ll only be visiting the doctor the one time for surgery. LASIK surgery is irreversible, but multiple check-ups can help to nip problems in the bud and prevent any problem from getting worse.
Varying Recovery Times – How Long Will It Take You To Recover?
Recovery times will depend on the patient’s particular condition. Certain LASIK procedures have longer recovery times, and some patients simply heal more quickly. Nearsighted patients usually regain functional vision within 24 hours. However, some people have trouble reading for the first few days, and for some it takes a few months for vision to be restored completely. Farsighted patients almost always see dramatic results within 24 hours, although some patients report that distant objects appear fuzzy, but only temporarily. Astigmatism patients, on the other hand, have the longest recovery times. Even though these patients are usually good candidates for LASIK surgery, surgeons have a harder time correcting astigmatism than farsightedness and nearsightedness. However, astigmatism patients can still achieve good results and eventually see dramatic improvements.
Possible Complications Of LASIK Surgery
Researchers have found that LASIK generally carries significant risk for dry eyes in people who did not have the problem previously, and that dry eye symptoms persisted in about 25 percent of LASIK patients six months after surgery. Even though complications can occur, most patients who have LASIK surgery can return to work and resume their normal activities within 24–48 hours after the procedure. It’s said that there is little to no postoperative discomfort, but most doctors will recommend you go to sleep as soon as possible to reduce the amount of postoperative pain associated with the surgery. After you awake, the improvement of your vision will have become noticeable.
Possible Post-Operative Complications:
- Dry Eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Burning sensation
- Epithelial growths
Again, doctor check-ups are necessary and will be scheduled for the weeks and months following the procedure. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms well after the original surgery, your doctor may recommend a follow-up surgery to correct any complications.
LASIK Complication Statistics – A Look At The Numbers
More than a million people undergo LASIK surgery each year. The FDA reports that one out of five patients will experience complications after surgery. Other complications experienced by postoperative LASIK patients include:
- Sensitivity to light: 1.7 percent
- Visual fluctuations: 2.6 percent
- Halos around light sources: 3.5 percent
- Vision worse than before the procedure: 3 percent
So again, make sure you do your homework before choosing a surgeon and a specific type of LASIK surgery. There are many variations of LASIK surgery, including: conventional LASIK, Bladeless LASIK, EPI-LASIK, and PRK. Your surgeon will recommend the procedure he or she thinks is best for you, but it’s up to you to find out what’s different about each one, how each procedure is performed, what makes you a candidate for certain procedures, and what the recovery and postoperative expectation is like for each.
Post Surgery Care – What You Should Know
Your doctor should give you a list of things not to do within the first 24 hours after surgery. Caring for your eyes in the days, weeks, and months following your surgery can help to prevent any future problems with your eyes. Watching TV, reading, staring at the computer, driving, and any other strenuous eye activities are not recommended. It’s important to let your eyes relax. Sleeping and lying down with your eyes closed are always encouraged to help your eyes relax as much as possible. You’ll also be directed to avoid rubbing your eyes at all costs, and you will need to wear some kind of protective shield at night for the first week. Avoiding dusty and smoky environments will help prevent any discomfort, burning, or pain. Baths are recommended over showers for the first week in order to avoid any direct spray into your eyes. Of course, your doctor will probably have a few more dos and don’ts to add to the list, so keep in mind that these are just the basics.