Sometimes, uncertainty about what to expect after laser eye surgery can put people off getting treatment. Some people fear that they will be in pain or discomfort for an extended length of time, whilst others worry that they will need to take a lot of time off work. The good news is, recovery from laser eye surgery is straightforward and quick for the overwhelming majority of patients. Of course, everyone is different, and recovery times vary for different types of laser eye treatment. To get a better understanding of what to expect, take a look at our guidance below.
What are the possible side effects of laser eye surgery?
As with any type of surgery, there are always potential side effects. Following surgery, you may experience one or more of these side effects, or you may not experience any at all. Everyone is different. So, let’s take a look at some of the possible side effects of laser eye surgery in further detail:
Halo effect – Some people experience a mild halo effect or a glare around bright lights, especially at night once they have had laser eye treatment. In most cases, this will reduce significantly within the first month after treatment. After roughly three months, you should not have any issue with this whatsoever but any lasting effects can usually be managed with the help of your ophthalmic surgeon.
Hazy vision – It is not uncommon to experience slightly reduced sharpness of vision or hazy vision, often likened to “soft focus”, for the first few weeks following treatment, especially in low-light environments.
Dry eyes – Some people experience some dryness of their eyes after laser eye treatment. You will be provided with eye drops in order to manage any discomfort. Your eyes will return to their pre-surgery state once they begin to heal.
Temporary discomfort – You should expect temporary discomfort for the first few days after treatment, especially if you have had LASEK surgery. This might include symptoms such as light sensitivity and mild irritation, and patients often find wearing normal sunglasses when outside is helpful.
How long could it take to get back to normal after laser eye treatment?
The recovery period depends on the type of laser eye treatment you have. LASIK is the most popular form of laser eye surgery, and most people see results within a mere 24 hours. This is a quick procedure, and the results are rapid. There will be no stitches required, and life tends to go back to normal very quickly.
Not everyone is suitable for LASIK surgery, however, and therefore LASEK surgery may be the treatment for you. The recovery process is slower with LASEK treatment. Your eyes may feel uncomfortable after the treatment for a few days. You will also find that bandage contact lenses need to be worn for up to a week. However, there is less chance of experiencing dry eyes when going down this route.
Another innovative treatment option provided by Optegra is SMILE laser eye surgery. Like LASEK, there is less risk of developing dry eyes with this approach, and the good news is that the recovery process is quick. You may have blurred vision for a little longer than with LASIK, but this is completely normal and nothing to worry about.
For more guidance, take a look at our recent blog post which outlines how soon after laser eye surgery you can resume normal activities, like driving, showering and going back to work.
Possible complications from laser eye surgery
The good news is that complications after laser eye treatment are very rare. In fact, fewer than four per cent of patients experience any complications, and if you choose a quality clinic, you can be sure they will do everything they can to reduce the risk of any issues happening. The main risks of laser eye surgery are as follows, and although they are rare, it is good to be aware of them:
Flap complications – The chances of flap complications are minimal when using a clinic such as Optegra, as we provide a range of innovative, bladeless laser eye treatments. This is a much safer approach when compared with the traditional blade methods used by some other clinics and, if complications do arise, they have a much better likelihood of resolution.
Vision after surgery is not as anticipated – Some people, although very few, find that they still have some degree of astigmatism, long-sightedness, or short-sightedness once their eyes have healed from surgery. Everyone reacts different to the treatment, and such individuals may find they still need glasses for certain tasks. However, your surgeon may be able to recommend alternative options, such as an enhancement of the original treatment, to further boost your vision.
Laser eye surgery aftercare from Optegra
When you choose Optegra for laser eye treatment, you can be sure of exceptional aftercare. We ensure that you see the same ophthalmic surgeon from your consultation, through to your surgery, and your follow-up appointments. Once you have had laser eye treatment, you will have a follow-up appointment the next day to ensure that everything is how it should be. Our laser eye surgery aftercare then involves routine checks throughout the following year, and, of course, you can always contact us whenever you have any queries or want to make an appointment.