Do’s and Don’ts after LASIK

Right after laser eye surgery, you may experience an itchy, burning feeling, light sensitivity or have the impression something is in your eye. It is normal for your eyes to be watery and red and for your vision to be blurry. You may also see halos around lights for a few days to a few weeks depending on how quickly you heal.

Proper care after LASIK is extremely important to ensure a prompt recovery so that you can go back to your normal activities as soon as possible. However, there are guidelines to be followed to make sure you don’t stop the natural healing process.

Many patients return to work within a day or two of their LASIK procedure, but it’s important making sure you follow the following steps for a smooth laser eye surgery recovery:

  • On the day of your surgery make sure someone can drive you home after the procedure has been completed. You can drive the next day as long as your vision is clear and if you can see a number plate at 25 meters. Your doctor will advise you if you meet the visual standards for driving at your postoperative check.
  • You can fly the day following your procedure.
  • We ideally suggest you take a nap for the 4 hours following the procedure when you get home, after having put the first dose of your eye drops. Patients who rest for the day of their procedure tend to recover more quickly.
  • After the first 4 resting hours, although you may watch TV or read as long as you lubricate your eyes with eye drops every five to ten minutes, we advise keeping the eyes closed as much as possible.
  • Don’t take a shower or wash your hair on the day of your surgery. After that, be very careful and avoid getting tap water, soap, lotions or hairspray in your eyes for a couple of weeks. Your lashes may become sticky because of accumulated material. Make sure you clean them using a cotton bud soaked in warm boiled water- stroking the lashes away from your eyelids.
  • You will tend to have dry eyes following Lasik and this can last for 6 to 12 weeks while your nerves regenerate. It is very important that you use the artificial tears provided regularly even if your eyes do not feel dry. Dryness can cause blurry vision and also regression of your correction.
  • Wait for four weeks after surgery before using mascara on your eyes; all the other make-up can be used from 2 days after surgery. It is also best to use new products in your eyes to avoid contamination.
Laser Eye Surgery Recovery
  • Needless to say, take time off work. Wait for 72 hours before going back working on computers.
  • Wear your strap-on googles when sleeping for four weeks after laser eye surgery. This is to prevent you inadvertently rubbing your eyes in your sleep or awakening.
  • Make sure you don’t touch or rub your eyes as this may move the flap.
  • Use the prescribed eye drops for the required time, they will prevent infection, inflammation and dryness.
  • You can go back to shopping, housework or gardening the day after your procedure but make sure you avoid dirty, smoky and dusty environments.
  • Protect your eyes from sunshine by wearing sunglasses for at least one week after your surgery.
  • If you are a smoker you should know smoke may irritate your eyes too and best avoided.

It is best to comply with the suggested LASIK eye surgery recovery time also when it comes to physical activities:

  • You can go back to all sport activities two weeks after the surgery except swimming. For contact sports, make sure you use protective polycarbonate sports glasses.
  • Avoid swimming, saunas and hot tubs for 4 weeks and scuba diving for 6 weeks.

Your vision will adjust and keep on improving in the first few months after surgery and can fluctuate during that time.

Enjoy your new vision!

Download IntraLASIK Postoperative Care Instructions

Author Information

Authored by Sheraz Daya MD FACP FACS FRCS(Ed) FRCOphth, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon & Medical Director, June 2019.