Laser Eye Surgery Aftercare: The Do’s and Don’ts Edition
Laser eye surgery is an advanced technology that uses an intense beam of light to reshape the cornea and correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Laser eye surgery is a non-invasive procedure that does not involve cutting or sutures, and can be completed in a matter of minutes.
While the procedure is relatively quick and painless, post-operative care ensures a smooth and successful recovery. Consequently, those who have undergone laser eye surgery must follow the recommended aftercare guidelines to maximize their results and prevent further injury or infection.
In this article, we will discuss laser eye surgery aftercare essential do’s and don’ts. We will also provide valuable information regarding advanced laser eye surgeries, such as Custom PRK, Laser Blended Vision, LASIK, and SMILE.
Custom PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a type of laser eye surgery that reshapes the cornea by using an excimer laser to vaporize tiny fragments of tissue from the corneal stroma.
Custom PRK is very effective in treating high degrees of myopia, but results in longer healing times and more discomfort while recovering.
Laser Blended Vision
Laser Blended Vision is a surgical technique used to address presbyopia, a condition commonly affecting individuals over 40, leading to difficulty focusing on near objects. This technique involves using a laser to adjust the vision of each eye differently, allowing for a balance between close and distant vision.
By reducing dependence on reading glasses or bifocals, individuals can enjoy a more convenient and flexible visual experience for their day-to-day activities.
Custom Bladeless LASIK
LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, and is one of the most common types of laser eye surgery used today. The procedure involves creating a small flap in the cornea while an excimer laser reshapes it according to specific measurements taken from your eyes during pre-surgery examinations.
Recovery times are relatively short compared to other types of refractive surgeries, and it has been known to achieve highly successful outcomes when appropriately performed.
SMILE stands for small incision lenticule extraction, which is similar to LASIK. However, instead of creating two separate incisions, only one small incision is made through your clear front surface (cornea).
This single-sheet cut allows surgeons access directly into the corneal stroma, using lasers to correct any refractive errors within your eyesight without disrupting the natural eye structure as much as other procedures do.
The Do’s for Post-Operative Recovery
While the postoperative recovery period varies from person to person, there are some general guidelines that doctors typically provide to patients.
However, it’s important to note that specific instructions may vary depending on individual circumstances, so it’s always best to consult your doctor for personalized advice. Here are some general post-operative recovery tips that can help:
1. Take the prescribed medications
After having undergone laser eye surgery, following the treatment guidelines prescribed by your doctor is essential. Taking any prescribed medications and using regular eye drops as directed by your ophthalmologist is vital in helping to reduce inflammation, promote healing, and prevent infection.
2. Understand your follow-up care
Consult your ophthalmologist for post-operative monitoring. They will track your progress and make any necessary adjustments to ensure the best possible outcome.
3. Wash your eyes carefully
Gentle cleanse the surrounding area using a mild soap or sterile saline solution to ensure proper hygiene and prevent potential irritation during the post-operative recovery phase of laser eye surgery.
Carefully washing the area around your eyes several times a day helps to ensure cleanliness and prevent any potential discomfort caused by dirt or debris. Please note that this refers to cleaning the area around the eyes, not directly washing the eyeball itself.
4. Protect your eyes from sunlight
You should also limit exposure to bright sunlight by wearing sunglasses outdoors or avoiding direct sunlight altogether until your vision is fully restored.
5. Minimize stress on your eyes
During recovery, limit activities such as driving long distances, reading, or watching television to give your eyes enough rest to heal properly without adding strain or stress.
6. Stay mindful of any changes in vision or discomfort
Seek medical assistance if there are any signs or symptoms of infection or inflammation after surgery. This may include redness, swelling, pain, eye discharge, itchiness, and blurred vision.
The Don’ts for Post-Operative Recovery
1. Don’t engage in heavy physical activity
It is important not to engage in heavy physical activity after undergoing this type of procedure. Activities like running and jumping may cause additional strain on the eyes. This may reverse some of the positive effects achieved through laser eye surgery.
2. Avoid swimming
Avoid activities such as swimming and contact sports during post-operative recovery. Swimming increases the risk of infection, while contact sports can cause physical trauma that could interfere with healing.
3. Don’t rub or touch the eye area
Avoid rubbing or touching around the affected area after surgery, as this can cause further inflammation and potentially reverse some of the positive effects achieved through laser eye surgery. Doing so can also increase the risk of infection at the surgical site, significantly delaying healing and recovery times.
4. Avoid makeup
Refrain from using makeup until your doctor has given approval since bacteria on cosmetics can quickly spread into sensitive areas around the eyes, which could result in severe complications down the road if left untreated.
5. Don’t smoke or consume alcohol
Alcohol consumption and smoking should be avoided after laser eye surgery. Smoking has been linked with slower wound healing times due to its ability to reduce blood flow. Alcohol can increase the risk of infection by lowering the body’s immunity to bacteria and other harmful agents.
Aftercare Is Key to the Success of Laser Eye Surgery
Taking the aforementioned precautions into consideration when recovering from laser eye surgery will maximize its effectiveness while minimizing potential side effects.
Remember, each person’s recovery may vary, and following your doctor’s specific aftercare instructions is essential.
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Clearview Vision Institute is a world-class provider of laser vision correction surgery in Toronto. We use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to ensure that each patient’s vision is corrected to the highest standard.
With the help of our board-certified and highly-trained eye surgeons, you no longer need to live with blurred vision.