What to expect after your Lasik surgery.
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What to expect after your Lasik surgery.

What kind of pain should I expect?  How much “down time” will I have after my Lasik?  What kinds of activities should I avoid post-eye surgery?  These are some of the most common questions we get from our patients and potential patients as they prepare for LASIK, PRK or other eye surgery with Commonwealth Eye Surgery.    We are going to use this article to dispel some of these fears as well as address concerns surrounding a delicate procedure such as Lasik eye surgery.

Commonwealth Eye Surgery provides our patients with all the information and tools needed to complete their post-operative condition successfully, and we will talk about these here.

Dr. Lance Ferguson preaches four words.  “Eyes Closed & No Pain.”  Immediately after your eye surgery you will be given:
Protective goggles/eye shields
Valium is given preoperatively so you will simply get 1 script for pain meds post op.
Pain medicine, which will be given to you before you are discharged.
Some boxes of preservative-free artificial tears.

Eyes Closed:  The only time you should open your eyes following your refractive procedure is to EAT, DRINK, or while going to the restroom.  We do not want you to hurt yourself but do avoid taking “sneak peeks”.  If you avoid “sneak peeks” it will pay off in spades regarding your recovery and visual outcome.

No Pain: Immediately following your procedure, we will administer your pain medicine and send you home with a prescription and the time of your next dose.  If you should have ANY discomfort (pain, throbbing, scratchiness, etc.) within the 4-6 hour time frame from your first dose; you should take another prescribed amount according to the directions on the bottle.   Be aggressive with your pain treatment on the day of surgery. Treat your pain before it gets ahead of you.

Immediately after your LASIK surgery Commonwealth Eye Surgery provides this advice:
Keep your eyes closed, your shields in place, and do not rub your eyes.
If you are uncomfortable, take your pain medicine as directed.  This discomfort usually dissipates after the first four hours.
Do not get your face wet nor shampoo your hair tonight

After the first 24 hours since your LASIK, the following is OK:
Use preservative-free artificial tears every 2-4 hours.
You may shampoo your hair, but avoid getting any water directly into your eyes.
You may wear facial make-up but no eyeliner or mascara.
Wear your shields for the next 3-5 nights.

After 5 days, the following is OK:
Use artificial tears at least four times per day. You can switch to non-preservative tears if you desire after 1 month.
You may get water directly in your eyes, but be careful not to rub them.
You may resume eye make-up.


Day of Surgery
•       The day of surgery should be a day of rest
•       Protective goggles remain on until evaluated at the one day post-op exam

Day 1
•       Restrict movement to light activities.  Work should probably be avoided.  Work at home is acceptable.
•       Driving short distances after the eye examination is okay IF adequate vision is confirmed at the post-op appointment.
•       Reading and watching TV is acceptable as long as adequate eye lubrication is maintained.
•       Flying in airplanes is okay but keep eyes generously lubricated (every 30 minutes).  Airplanes have very dry air.

Day 2
•       Driving can be resumed if adequate vision is confirmed at postoperative examination.  If you have had only one eye treated, wear your contact lens/glasses while driving and take it slowly.  You may not see as well without good binocular vision.
•       Shower (but continue to avoid any soap or water in the eyes).
•       Apply face make-up (but no eye make-up).
•       Do office work
•       Use computers (but it is very important to keep eyes well lubricated)
•       Jogging, rollerblading, cycling, golf (mulligans for any shot into the sand trap) may be resumed

Day 3
•       Sexual activity (avoid touching near the eyes)
•       Playing with children (be careful)
•       Drinking alcohol

Day 7
•       Applying eye make-up (avoid touching the eyes)

1 Month
•       Racket sports – squash, racketball, badminton (but wear eye protection)
•       Swimming
•       Scuba diving; snorkeling
•       Sailing
•       Sun-tanning
•       Motorcycling, dirt biking, mountain biking
•       Parachuting
•       Baseball, basketball, football, soccer
•       Skiing

3 Months
(Proceed with caution as these activities have a high risk of water being forced into the eyes)
•       Water Skiing
•       Wind Surfing
•       Kayaking
•       Surfing