What to Expect After LASIK Surgery

After LASIK, you may notice some eye irritation or dryness, and you will need to follow certain restrictions on activities.

We understand that you may have questions about what happens during your LASIK recovery. You also may have questions about how to prepare or about what happens during LASIK, which can reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contacts.

How long after LASIK will I notice improved vision?

Most people can see better within seconds after the procedure versus what you saw without your glasses or contacts, and have good vision within a day or two after LASIK. Your vision, even with LASIK, may not reach its best level until a few weeks after the procedure. However, the speed of visual recovery depends on personal healing patterns, and patients with higher prescriptions may recover more slowly.

When can I return to work after LASIK?

Most people can return to work and most activities the day after LASIK. Your optometrist or surgeon will tell you if your particular occupation may present any unusual risks after the procedure.

What will my LASIK recovery be like?

After LASIK, your eye may feel a foreign body sensation or irritation for a few hours, but most patients are quite comfortable after taking a short nap. It’s not unusual for dryness in your eyes to last for several days. In some patients this can last longer. You may receive an eye patch to protect the corneal flap while sleeping during the first few days.

Will my activities be restricted after LASIK?

You will need to follow these restrictions during your LASIK recovery:

  • Wait one full day after LASIK before taking a shower.
  • Do not drive until seen and approved by the doctor during your one-day post-op visit.
  • Sunglasses should be worn for the first few days of your LASIK recovery.
  • Read and watch TV in moderation the first few days.
  • Do not wear eye makeup for two weeks after LASIK.
  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • Avoid gardening and dusty environments for two weeks during your LASIK recovery.
  • Smoking is allowed, but you will probably find smoke very irritating during your LASIK recovery.

Otherwise, as long as you follow your doctor’s instructions, you should be free to resume other normal activities after LASIK.

What kind of follow-up care will I need?

Follow-up care and eye medications are just as important to your LASIK recovery and results as your actual procedure. You must use prescribed antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops during your LASIK recovery, typically for a week.

Periodic examinations are also required to ensure that:

  • Your eye is healing as expected
  • There is no evidence of infection
  • We can measure your visual acuity progress

Each follow-up appointment takes about 30 minutes, and several appointments are included in the initial surgical fee to help ensure the best possible LASIK recovery.

At Henry Ford, patients come first.

The Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology is committed to providing our patients with compassionate, personalized care. We feature the most advanced treatments in eye care and are dedicated to vision research – always staying at the forefront of innovation. A leader in Michigan, as well as one of the largest ophthalmology practices in the United States, we treat more than 55,000 patients per year at 12 locations throughout southeast Michigan. In addition, our team works closely with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians in other departments, providing multidisciplinary, coordinated care for those patients who need it.

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