At the end of the LASIK procedure, you will have transparent plastic shields placed over your eyes to protect them. Keep these in place until they are removed at your appointment the day after your laser eye surgery. To help reduce the recovery time, you will be required to wear the shields while sleeping for 1 night to prevent your eyes being knocked or rubbed during sleep.
Within 6 hours your vision will start to become quite clear. We encourage you to go home and sleep so your eyes can heal. The local anaesthetic wears off within half an hour after the procedure, and your eyes will start to feel irritable and very light sensitive. You’ll find it difficult to keep them open, and they will water for several hours afterwards, which is why it’s best to go home and rest with them closed for a few hours.
You will be given some analgesic tablets (we use Panadeine) to assist with the recovery. You can take more of these if you like, or any analgesic medication you are comfortable with, such as Panadol or Nurofen, later if required.
The following day, you will attend a post-operative consultation. The surgeon will check your eyes and give further post-operative instructions regarding eye drops and care.
The recovery time frame
You will be able to make out your surroundings immediately after the procedure. After approximately 6 hours your vision will become quite clear. Your vision will continue to improve day by day for a week or so after the procedure. You will also be aware of further subtle improvement for up to 3 months.
What to expect
- Expect some variability in your vision in the first few days afterwards. Your vision can initially be a little hazy and sometimes fluctuate even as you blink. You may find it more difficult than usual with prolonged computer work or reading to start with, and you may notice that your eyes get tired easily. It’s best to take more than one day off work if you have to do a lot of computer work, especially if you are working in an air-conditioned environment.
- The corneal flap can be shifted or dislocated with a firm rub on the eye in the first month after the procedure, so you need to be very careful with your eye(s) during this time. There is not a great deal of restriction on your activity, however.
- It’s fine to exercise, but we advise you to be careful about rubbing your eyes and avoid sweat getting in the eyes for the first week after treatment.
- Do not swim or use a spa for 2 weeks as this could bring about infection.
- We also advise no surfing for 2 weeks.
- No diving or contact sport for at least I month after the surgery.