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LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery Time

Oftentimes the burning question about LASIK is this: What happens when it’s over?

In the days before surgery, you will be preparing per your surgeon’s orders—resting, getting your paperwork in order, drinking plenty of fluids, using eye drops if prescribed, and so on. But what can you expect during your immediate, and longer term, LASIK recovery?

Immediately following the surgery:

At LASIK Vision Centers of Cleveland, you will be guided to the patient recovery room, where you will meet with your surgeon and the family member or friend whom you arranged to drive you. If you chose to take a mild sedative offered by your surgeon, the effects of the sedative will begin to wear off. In addition, the numbness you experienced during your surgery due to numbing eye drops will also begin to fade. You may feel a slight discomfort or burning sensation in your eyes, but the single most important thing to remember is this: Do not rub your eyes. Rubbing will only increase any discomfort and is strictly discouraged. Your surgeon will send you home with protective eyewear and suggest that you wear that or your sunglasses on the car ride home.

In the hours following the surgery:

Once you arrive home, you will likely be under orders from the surgery to lay down, close your eyes and rest. You will wear protective eyewear like goggles or eye shields while you are sleeping, to avoid any rubbing or irritation in your eyes, and will continue to do so for at least 4 days. When taking a shower, keep your eyes closed—particularly when washing your face and hair—and, again, take extra care to avoid rubbing your eyes as well as the area around your eyes and eyelids.

In the days following the surgery:

You will continue to avoid rubbing your eyes and wearing protective eyewear during sleeping. Any minor discomfort or burning sensations you had experienced should subside. You will adhere to your surgeon’s recommended restrictions, which will include avoiding heavy exertion, like outdoor labor or exercise, and excessive alcohol for several days. You will not be allowed to swim in a pool, lake, or the ocean for one week and you should not use a hot tub for 3-5 days.

While no patient’s recovery will be identical, in general, any discomfort should subside within the first few days. Many patients experience the benefits of vision correction within just a day or so following the surgery. For questions specific to LASIK surgery recovery, contact LASIK Vision Centers of Cleveland.