The importance of laser eye surgery aftercare

With any kind of surgical procedure there are three distinct periods: pre-surgery, surgery and aftercare. Each is as important as the other in ensuring that patients are fully prepared, that procedures are successful and that recovery is smooth.
In the following post, we’ll take a closer look at why laser eye surgery aftercare is so important and what you should expect in the hours, days and weeks after your treatment.


Why is aftercare so important?

Although complications with laser eye surgery are rare, they do happen. And while problems are generally not serious, it is always better to be aware of the risks and to get help quickly if it’s needed.
At Optegra, we arrange a follow-up appointment the day after your treatment. This is a chance for your surgeon to assess how the procedure went and for patients to ask any questions about how they are feeling and what to expect. This also means that any problems are picked up and dealt with quickly.
Following on from this, you’ll have routine checks throughout the year after your treatment, and you can get in touch at any point should you have concerns. There is also an out of hours contact number should you have an urgent question or issue.


What happens after treatment?

After your surgery you will have some time to recover in our comfortable clinic before it’s time to make your way home. Of course, you won’t be able to drive at this point (it’s actually against the law) so you will need some help from a friend or family member to get home safely. Our care team will be on hand to make sure you have the right advice and can answer any questions you may have.

Laser eye surgery aftercare advice

  • As well as some help getting home, you may need a little help around the house for the first day or so, and you may need to take some time off work. You may have heard stories about people returning to work the following day, but it’s best to give your eyes as much time to recover as possible.  
  • You also need to take care when showering or washing after surgery. Although it’s ok to shower or bathe the day after your surgery, it’s best to avoid getting any soap or water near your eyes for at least the first week.
  • If you’re venturing outside then wearing sunglasses is advisable. Brighter light, even that of a gloomy day, can cause some straining of the eyes. Wearing sunglasses for a week or so can help to avoid eye strain and aid recovery.  
  • Dry eyes are one of the most common side effects of laser eye surgery. When this happens, it can be tempting to itch or scratch your eyes, which can interfere with recovery and even dislodge the flap created during the surgical procedure. Your eye surgeon will have prescribed you eye drops to keep them moist and comfortable so try and follow their advice, and the discomfort will soon pass.

What to avoid

  • It’s best not to book any holidays in the weeks after surgery. As we’ve mentioned, complication rates are very low, but it’s still best to be within convenient reach of your surgeon should a problem arise. Plus, your eyes need time to heal before you put too much strain on them.  
  • Computer and television screens can put strain on your eyes. It’s best to avoid using a computer for at least the first 24 hours, and ideally you should keep screen time to a minimum for the first few days whilst your eyes heal.
  • Don’t rub, itch or scratch. We know it’s tempting but it can cause damage. Use your eye drops and the dry and itchy sensation will go away after a week or so.  
  • Don’t smoke. This is always good health advice, but is particularly true in the days after surgery. In fact, try not to be around smokers or any kind of smoke at all.
  • You should avoid dusty environments for at least a week after surgery. That’s because while your eyes are healing they are still susceptible to infection. If dust gets into your eyes, there is an increased risk of complications.  
  • It’s best to avoid wearing eye make-up for a week after getting laser eye surgery. You may be keen to show off your new ‘no glasses’ look, but it could irritate the eyes and increase the risk of infection.

When to contact your surgeon

There are some warning signs that your recovery is not going according to plan. If you notice any of the following, then get in touch with your clinic without delay:
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Loss of vision
Here at Optegra, we take laser eye surgery aftercare very seriously indeed, which is just one of the reasons why we have such a low complication rate. If you’d like to know more about any of the risks, side effects or the aftercare available, just get in touch with a member of our team. 

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