After you have had LASIK surgery, there are some do’s and don’ts that you have to follow to make sure you safely recover. You want a recovery period that is problem-free and you want optimal results, which is why it is good to make sure you have a solid understanding of how you should go about your recovery. If you are ever in doubt, it is good to talk to your Los Angeles, California, surgeon.
Rubbing Your Eyes After LASIK
After your LASIK procedure, you will wear a set of goggles home. These goggles are designed to protect your eyes as you heal. It is very important to protect your eyes at this time because the corneal flap has to heal closed. Touching or rubbing the eye could displace the flap, which can interfere with the healing process. If the flap doesn’t heal properly, you could have vision problems.
When rubbing your eyes, make sure you put light pressure on the eye for the first two weeks after the operation. You can then gently rub your eyes for the next couple of months. It is always recommended to avoid hard rubbing at all times.
Smoking After LASIK
Healing from LASIK surgery is dependent on the body’s natural healing processes. Smoking can interfere with the body’s ability to heal because it constricts blood vessels. Smoking also suppresses the immune system, which can increase the chance of an infection.
It is recommended that a patient stops smoking after having LASIK surgery so that the healing process isn’t compromised. In fact, it is best to stop a few weeks before surgery to make cessation easier and to give the body time to heal from the damage that has already been caused by smoking. It is also recommended to continue to abstain from smoking for at least two weeks after surgery. Some patients report that they are able to completely stop smoking because of the five or more weeks that they must abstain before and after the procedure.
More Tips for a Safe Recovery
Here are some additional tips to help you recover from LASIK surgery:
- Wear the protective goggles or sunglasses day and night for a few days following surgery.
- Get plenty of rest on surgery day.
- Expect discomfort the first few days in the form of redness and irritation.
- Block UV rays by wearing dark sunglasses.
- Artificial tears can be used to moisturize the eyes.
- Adhere to follow-up appointments so your recovery can be monitored.
- Consume foods that are high in omega-3s, which help dry eyes and corneal healing.
- Avoid the shower to keep water out of your eyes.
Here are the things you don’t want to do after you have LASIK surgery:
- Watch TV, read, or look at a computer screen for the first 24 hours.
- Exercise for one week.
- Drive within the first 24 hours.
- Swim in a swimming pool or hot tub for two weeks after surgery.
- Apply eye makeup or creams around the eye for one week.
If you have any questions, consult with your surgeon so that you receive any tips or instructions that are specific to your case.