The best LASIK surgeons in Los Angeles agree that proper aftercare is crucial to having a successful surgery. You need to treat your eyes with a lot of care and love as they just went through a lot of work, as I’m sure anyone would need if they had lasers set on them!
Here’s what to expect after getting your life-changing laser eye surgery.
The First Few Hours After Your Surgery
After the surgery is completed, your eye surgeon will let you take a little cat nap to let your eyes recover from the ordeal. Then, when you open your eyes again, you’ll notice that everything around you will be pretty foggy like you’ve just opened your eyes underwater.
This can be a little disconcerting, but you shouldn’t worry about it. It’s completely normal! Your vision will eventually clear up the more your eyes heal, though some of our past patients had reported being very impressed by what they could already see the second they opened their eyes.
However, since your vision is still pretty affected, you still won’t be allowed to move around on your own. All LASIK surgeons will require a companion with you to either drive you to and from the appointment or guide you around public transportation. This is for your safety and the safety of others.
Your surgeon will also require you to wear eye shields. These need to be worn the whole day after your surgery and often the next few days as they will protect your eyes from damage. Eye shields prevent you from accidentally touching or rubbing your eyes, especially when you’re asleep and can’t control your movements. It also protects you from bacteria moving from your bedsheets or pillows to your eye.
And speaking of sleep, you’ll be doing a lot of it once you get home from your surgery. Sleep is the #1 way to let the eyes heal, so have a minimum of four hours of shuteye for a faster recovery process.
Once you wake up for the second time, the effects of the anesthesia will have worn off. You might experience discomfort and even pain—some of our patients describe it as having something sharp stuck in your eye, or a burning sensation that won’t go away.
Use your prescribed medications to help soothe your eyes. They should help you manage your pain by preventing infection and reducing inflammation. They also stop your eyes from itching by keeping them well-lubricated.
Here’s a neat trick: if your surgeon allows it, you should refrigerate your eye drops! They feel so good in the eye and can wake you up really quick.
The First Few Days After Your Surgery
As we mentioned earlier, you’ll need to wear your eye shields for the next few days to protect your corneal flap. While they’re technically only required at night, we still highly recommend wearing them whenever you can, especially if you’re prone to reaching for your eyes.
While you’re outside, you can start switching to sunglasses—they’ll protect your delicate eyes from the harsh UV rays and is something everybody should do even without getting LASIK. This is also super important as your eyes will still be pretty sensitive to light post-surgery.
Now, when it comes to taking a shower, you need some extra protection. Having unfiltered water and chemical-laden shampoos in your eye is a first-class ticket for harmful bacteria and unwanted pain. That’s why we highly recommend wearing swimming goggles or face shields while you’re showering, as these will keep your eyes nice and dry while you wash off. Alternatively, you could also keep your eyes firmly shut while you wash your hair, and then quickly wipe off the water with a towel after you’re done.
Not showering at all is also an option, albeit a slightly smelly one.
Lastly, you’ll need to visit your doctor for a follow-up appointment a day or two after your surgery. They’ll need to monitor your early recovery to see if it’s going as planned. Here, you can tell them what kind of side effects you’re experiencing—if you have dry eyes, puffy eyelids, excess tears, or any other condition, your doctor can prescribe something to help.
The First Few Weeks After Your Surgery
While the recovery process for LASIK Los Angeles is pretty quick, there are some things you still need to limit.
For one, you need to spend less time in front of your computer or reading. These activities contribute to dry eyes. If you must, just make sure to use your eye drops frequently to keep them lubricated.
Secondly, avoid wearing makeup products altogether. Eyeshadows, eyeliners, mascara, and other products have bacteria in them that can get transferred over to your eyes. This is why you should avoid large bodies of water like pools, lakes, and oceans too—they’re cesspools of bacterial contamination!
Thirdly, avoid being in places that have a lot of dust, dirt, and smoke. The tiny particles can enter your eye and can exacerbate the itchiness. Trust us, when you’ve got a healing corneal flap, the last thing you want to do is get a dust particle lodged in there! Avoid gardening and heading to places with lots of air pollution.
About a month after your surgery, you’ll be cleared for vigorous activities like aerobic exercises and weightlifting. With that said, you’ll still need to wear polycarbonate sports glasses to prevent trauma, even if you’re not required to wear eye shields to sleep anymore.
Your vision will fluctuate during this period as your eye heals even more. This is normal. Contact your surgeon only if your vision gets worse or if you start feeling pain for no reason.
The First Few Months After Your Surgery
It’ll take up to six months for your vision to stabilize, and it’s important to have regular check-ups with your eye surgeon. As we mentioned earlier, they can track your healing process, prescribe medications, and identify any issues before they get any worse. Aim to visit them at least once every month.
As your vision stabilizes, you might have problems with halos, starbursts, glares, and others. They resolve themselves for the most part, but in some extremely rare cases, they might not be fixed. Your vision could also not be 100% even after proper healing. In that case, you can consult with your doctor and see if this is something that can be fixed with another surgery, free of charge.
LASIK in the Long Run
Now, keep in mind that LASIK isn’t a magic surgery that’ll make you immune to all future eye problems. LASIK only fixes irregularities in your cornea—it doesn’t prevent irregularities that eventually develop in other parts of your area. As you get older, you can become nearsighted or farsighted again due to conditions like presbyopia and hyperopia. You can also develop eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts.
However, these conditions don’t usually show up until you’re well in your 40s. You’ll have lots of time to enjoy the benefits of your LASIK, free of pesky eyeglasses and contacts. Savor it while you can!
If you’re interested in learning more about LASIK, why not contact the office of Dr. Ferzaad Moosa? He is a licensed, board-certified surgeon that has been offering high-quality LASIK in Los Angeles for the past 23 years. He’ll help you achieve the perfect vision with outstanding talent, revolutionary technology, and state-of-the-art care facilities.
Visit our website here and fill out our free evaluation form. You could also contact us at (310) 905-8622 to set an appointment.