What happens after Laser Eye Surgery?

Immediately following your laser eye surgery operation it is likely that you wont be able to see much apart from blurred lights. Some people report their vision as recovering immediately, however this really depends on you individually as all people recover differently. As the anaesthetic eye drops begin to wear off, you may begin to experience a dull, achy feeling in your eye. Other symptoms you may notice are the feeling of having something in your eye, a burning sensation or excessive watering or dryness. It is important that you try to touch your eye as little as possible, as doing so can damage the corneal flap, which can sometimes require extra surgery or cause an infection.

Once you have had some protective eyewear put on your eye, you may be given some painkillers to help control any pain you may have. After a brief observational period you will be allowed home under supervision from a friend or family member. It is important that you do not drive, as your vision may not have fully recovered. If you have travelled a long way to the clinic, it is sometimes advisable that you book an overnight stay in a hotel, or in some cases within the clinic itself. This allows you to be close by as you will have an appointment with the surgeon in the first 24-48 hours following the procedure, just to check how your vision is. During this check up, he will tell you that you can remove any protective eyewear and also give you a number of eye drops to use, such as:

  • Antibiotics to prevent any infections
  • Steroid and anti-inflammatory drops to decrease any swelling
  • Artificial tears to help lubricate your eye

It is important that you follow the advice give by your surgeon as to when to use the drops, as they will help your eye heal as well as possible. At the same time they may give you or tell you to buy some mild painkillers that you can take should you get any pain. Your surgeon will also explain what is the normal course of the recovery period, what symptoms to expect and in what circumstances you should contact the clinic. This is usually in the case of severe pain or loss/blurring of vision.

Over the next few months you will be given appointments to see your surgeons regularly to check that your vision is recovering OK and you have no problems. In this period there are a number of rules that you must follow, being:

  • Do not wear contact lenses
  • No swimming or Jacuzzi’s for 8 weeks
  • You must wait around a week before resuming sports
  • Don’t wear any eye make up or creams for 2 weeks
  • No contact sports for a month
  • Ensure your eyelashes remain clean
  • By following these rules it ensures that you give your eye an ample amount of time to recover.

    During the first few months you may find that your vision changes from day to day. This is a normal occurrence and happens to many people following laser eye surgery. It may take up to half a year before your vision fully recovers, during which time you may experience some night time symptoms such as glare from lights. These symptoms usually resolve, but in some cases they may be permanent. If your vision is still not perfect after half a year, you may require some laser enhancement surgery to correct this. This should only be done when your vision has stabilised, usually over a period of a few months. Whereas blurred vision can usually be corrected, unfortunately symptoms such as glare, halo's and starbursts can become permanent.

    If you experience any symptoms following eye surgery that cause you concern then contact the surgeon that performed your procedure. Even problems that may seem trivial at the time can develop into more serious complications given time. It is always better to play it safe and get a check up.

    This article has outlined the do’s and dont’s following your laser vision correction procedure. It is important that you adhere to these as much as possible to ensure you get the best possible outcome following your laser vision correction procedure. The next article will explain how your eye will begin to heal in this period and how long your recovery can take.

    « On the day of Laser Eye Surgery Recovery after Laser Eye Surgery »