Top 5 Aftercare Tips for Laser Eye Surgery
25 November 2021
Top tips for laser eye surgery recovery
One of the most important parts of your patient journey after receiving laser eye surgery is the aftercare process. Taking good care of your eyes following treatment is extremely important to ensure your eyes can heal as best as possible during the recovery period. It can also help to minimise the risk of complications from surgery – even though complications from laser eye surgery are incredibly rare. Here are our top 5 aftercare tips to help you through the recovery period following laser eye surgery, which can help your eyes heal faster and prevent the risk of infection.
1. Avoid water (near the eyes) like the plague!
In the period following laser eye surgery, one of the most important rules to follow is avoiding showers for a week post treatment. Instead of showering, take a bath, as this can help prevent any soap or water from getting into your eyes. In other words, you’ll have to temporarily become a bath person rather than a shower person, lest you run the risk of infection. If any irritants (such as shampoo or water) get into your eyes, you could also experience burning, irritation, and dry eye symptoms. If you must shower, however, take extra care to ensure no water gets in your eyes during your shower.
2. Stay natural and makeup-free
During your treatment, no makeup should be worn to prevent any bacteria from getting into your eyes and causing an infection. The same applies for the first two weeks post-surgery – with eye makeup in particular. Cosmetics such as mascara, eyeshadow and eyeliner can potentially flake off into your eyes, which can disrupt the healing process after surgery. Face makeup like foundation and other cosmetics, such as moisturiser, may be worn one week post-surgery, but make sure to keep these products away from your eyes to decrease any risks of infection.
3. Avoid rubbing your eyes for two weeks
Following your laser eye surgery treatment, you should completely avoid rubbing your eyes for the first two weeks, and avoid touching your eyes as much as possible within the first four weeks. This is to help ensure you don’t disrupt the healing process of your eyes. We help you achieve this by providing goggles for you to wear after your treatment, especially when you are sleeping. If you have undergone the LASIK procedure, you should take extra care after surgery to prevent the flap in your cornea from becoming displaced, which can hinder your healing and have an adverse effect on your vision. Although this rarely happens, it is still something to consider during your aftercare journey so it can be avoided.
4. No smoking (or smoky areas)
Smoking is already known to have many negative side effects on our health. One side effect of smoking that you may not have known already is that it can cause dry eyes. You may experience dry eye symptoms in the weeks after your surgery (this is usually a temporary part of the recovery process), but smoking or being around second-hand smoke can increase your chances of developing dry eye syndrome after treatment. Smoking is also known to cause itchiness and redness, as well as slowing your healing process and increasing your chances of infection. Smoking has been connected to patients experiencing a longer recovery period, as it can weaken your immune system, causing the corneal flaps to not heal correctly. A weakened immune system also makes it harder for your body to fight off eye infections, so it’s best to quit the nicotine after treatment to let your eyes heal.
5. Hold off on the tan!
No matter how badly you wish to achieve that summer glow, we suggest you stay away from sunbeds for at least eight weeks after laser eye surgery. This is because UV light is known to cause considerable damage to the eyes, which is why wearing sunglasses is always recommended – whether you’ve had laser eye surgery or not! In regards to tanning bed use, after eight weeks it should be safe for you to tan again, but make sure you wear protective goggles to avoid damaging your eyes and your new vision. Wearing protective goggles while tanning can help reduce your chances of developing eye conditions like photokeratitis and cataracts.
Full recovery from laser eye surgery can take up to a few months, so it is incredibly important that you attend all of your aftercare appointments with us to ensure your eyes are healing well. You may begin to see improvements to your vision almost immediately, particularly after undergoing LASIK treatment. However, we will continue to see you for up to 12 months before you are discharged. You will be discharged once we are confident your eyes have healed and you’re happy with your vision which, for most patients, is around three months after their surgery. Following our tips above can help you in your aftercare journey and support the healing of your eyes – so you can enjoy your new vision!
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