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Our Laser Eye Surgery Aftercare
A thorough and effective aftercare process is essential when it comes to laser eye surgery. After the treatment, your eyes are very sensitive, so protecting them is critical to ensure you reduce the risks of complications, and see the best results possible.
At Optegra, we are proud to offer a well-rounded laser eye surgery after care programme to all our patients to ensure that every individual gets back on their feet, complication free, and in no time at all.
Each laser eye surgery treatment has different recovery periods, however the following guidance will give you a broad understanding of the post op laser eye surgery process.
After your treatment, you will be required to stay in the eye health clinic, or hospital, until you feel completely comfortable to make your way home. As with any kind of surgery, the body’s immediate response is inflammatory swelling. Your cornea could swell slightly, which may cause your eyesight to seem a little foggy or blurry in the few hours after surgery. This fades in time, and in most cases the swelling will have subsided, and any blurring disappeared after 24 hours.
However, this does mean that you can’t legally drive in the 24 hours after your surgery, so make sure you have organised transport, or have a family member or friend with you, to help you get home.
Aftercare during the first 2 days
Once you’re at home, it’s a good idea to spend a day or two letting your body recover. As we’ve mentioned, laser eye surgery is nowhere near as invasive as most other surgeries, but your body can always do with a little help.
Try to avoid having a shower immediately following your treatment, and during the first day of your recovery. We also advise not going into work for 1 – 2 days after your treatment, especially following LASIK, ReLEx SMILE or LASEK, to give your eyes the best chance to fully heal.
No matter where you work, your eyes will be exposed to different types of strain, so if you do need to venture outside try to stay close to home, just in case you feel any discomfort.
During the first few days of your aftercare, you may be required to attend a follow-up exam. During this appointment, the ophthalmic surgeon will review your eye health and determine if you will be able to drive and use gadgets, such as mobile phones and tablets. They’ll ask you some questions about how your vision is improving and make sure there are no complications with the healing process. Your surgeon will also let you know if you’re all clear to drive, and will advise you on when you can go back to work.
On average, most patients will start driving again within the first couple of days, however we highly recommend waiting at least a week before exposing your eyes to smartphones and computers.
Aftercare during the first week
During the first week, it is crucial that you reduce the chances of exposing your eyes to irritation. For instance, do not wear any eye make-up, apply any products around your eyes, or get soap or water in your eyes. Try to avoid being around smoke or people who smoke. This is also the case for dust as this can increase the temptation and chances of rubbing your eyes. Rubbing your eyes during the first stages of aftercare can cause severe discomfort and increases the risk of complications.
Optometrists also advise to avoid alcohol consumption for 1 week after your surgery as alcohol can interfere with your body’s healing process and cause dehydration to your eyes.
After day 3, your eyes will have recovered enough for you to start exercising again, such as going on the treadmill or going on a bike ride. However, we advise waiting at least a week before practicing yoga and aerobic exercises. If you lift weights, we advise waiting at least two weeks before continuing with your exercise routine. Weightlifting adds strain to lots of your muscles, including your eyes, so it is best to allow as long as possible for the eyes to recover before participating in this sort of exercise training.
Aftercare after a month
After a month, your eyes will be well on the road to recovery and will have adjusted enough for you to enjoy sports such as tennis, football, swimming, cricket and snowboarding. We advise waiting at least a month after your procedure before using a steam room or sauna.
If you are planning on travelling or going on holiday soon after your laser eye surgery, we recommend waiting at least 10 days before taking a trip away. However, the longer you can wait to travel, the more time your eyes will have to heal and there will be a minimal risk of complications.
Dos and don’ts after laser eye surgery
What to do after laser eye surgery:
- Make sure you’ve got the help you need – Ask a friend or family member to pick you up from the clinic after your treatment, and let someone know if you need any help with everyday tasks in the days following your surgery.
- Avoid dusty environments – It is important to avoid dust as much as possible for at least a week after having laser eye treatment. Your eyes will be healing during this period, and if they come into contact with dirt, it may cause an infection.
- Take care when showering – You need to be extremely careful when washing your face or your hair after having laser eye surgery. Avoid taking a shower until the day after your treatment, and take care not to get soap or other products near your eyes.
- Wear sunglasses – Your eyes may feel more sensitive to light straight after you’ve had laser eye surgery, so wearing sunglasses for a few days after treatment may help you to feel more comfortable.
- Use eye drops – Antibiotic eye drops can help to prevent infections from occurring, as well as helping to counteract problems with dry eyes. At Optegra, our experienced ophthalmic surgeons will provide you with suitable eye drops to use after your laser eye treatment.
What NOT to do after laser eye surgery:
- Go on holiday –You should wait around ten days after laser eye surgery before going on holiday. This is because your eyes need time to heal, and it’s also advisable to stay close to home in case you have any concerns or need further treatment.
- Go to work – You should be able to return to work after a day or two if you’ve had LASIK or SMILE eye surgery, but you may need longer if you’ve had LASEK, depending on your circumstances and the type of role you do.
- Wear eye make-up – You should not wear any eye make-up, or any products around your eyes, for at least a week after the surgery.
- Shower – You should avoid washing your hair or taking a shower for at least a day after the treatment.
- Rub your eyes – This is especially important if you have had LASIK eye treatment, as rubbing your eyes can interfere with the flap created during the surgery.
- Smoke or be around smokers – If smoke gets into your eye, it will increase the chances of you rubbing your eyes, and it can cause real discomfort.
The Optegra aftercare approach
Here at Optegra, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive aftercare to make sure we get the very best results for each patient. We also ensure that you see the same ophthalmic surgeon from your very first consultation right through to your treatment and aftercare, so you can rest assured that your aftercare will be provided by someone who really understands your needs.
If you have any other questions or concerns regarding your recovery, there’s no need to wait for your next appointment though – just give us a call and we’ll make sure you get the support you need.
By Author: Amir Hamid
Mr. Amir Hamid is our Medical Director for Vision Correction and an expert refractive surgeon, based in London.
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