Any surgery has the potential for complications that range from mild to severe. When you have LASIK eye surgery, you naturally want to minimize side effects and complications. These post-LASIK care goals from Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center should help you feel better faster, avoid risk for more serious complications and ensure a better outcome from the procedure.
1. Managing Pain and Discomfort
The first thing you may experience after the procedure is a mild burning. Your eyes may feel dry or gritty, and blinking does not appear to resolve the problem. As much as you are tempted to rub your eyes, avoid the temptation. The LASIK eye surgery procedure involves creating a flap in your cornea. If you rub your eye, you risk disrupting the flap, additional treatment may be needed if the flap becomes compromised. Your doctor will provide eye drops to help with this discomfort. Use them as directed to manage symptoms effectively.
Other than burning or dry eye symptoms, you may feel some mild pain that should be easily resolved with a mild pain reliever. Ask your doctor for advice if over-the-counter pain medications are not enough to relieve your pain. You could also have some blurred vision after surgery. This may last for a few days, so you should plan in advance to have someone available to help you around the house and get you to and from your appointments until it subsides.
After any kind of surgery, rest is important. Your body has undergone a procedure and requires recovery. LASIK surgery is no different. You should plan to avoid most activities for the first three days after your surgery. Once you start to feel better, ask your doctor about resuming normal activities.
Since many people struggle to avoid rubbing their eyes while sleeping, your doctor may give you special eye shields that strongly resemble goggles for swimming or skiing. You may need to wear them for at least a week to protect your eyes while you rest.
3. Follow-Up Appointments
Your first follow-up appointment will be 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. Plan to have someone drive you to and from the appointment. This is your opportunity to ask your doctor questions about your recovery, and raise any concerns. At this appointment, your doctor will test your vision and inspect your eye(s) for any signs of complication.
Your doctor will provide you with post-operative instructions. Please follow these instructions carefully. If you wish to use makeup or put lotions or creams on your skin near your eyes, ask your doctor about that at your first appointment.
After your first follow-up appointment, your doctor will arrange for you to have more appointments to check on your progress. These follow-up appointments may occur at one week, one month, three months and possibly again at 9 to 12 months. At each of these appointments, your doctor will test your vision and check your eyes. Keeping all appointments is crucial for the long-term success of your LASIK eye surgery.
4. Managing Long-Term Side Effects
While the most common side effects are dry eye symptoms, local pain and blurred vision, there are a few side effects that may require more of your attention. An FDA study released in 2014 revealed that the most common of the longer-term side effects are visual disturbances, such as:
Less than 1 percent of study participants said that they were unable to do regular activities as a result.
The FDA study indicates that most side effects will subside within 3 to 6 months. It is also possible that some side effects may also be as a result of dry eye, or dry eye symptoms. Keeping up with post-operative visits and annual eye exams allows you and your doctor to discuss any discomfort you may experience after your LASIK procedure. However, if you have severe pain or visual disturbances that make you unable to function in your daily life, seek immediate medical attention. These could be signs of more serious health problems and could affect your vision long-term.
5. Vision Improvement
People with the goal of improving their vision can expect that after LASIK eye surgery. Some people notice a dramatic advancement within days of the procedure, while others wait as long as 3-6 months to notice a significant difference.
After several months, your doctor will assess your vision to see how well the initial procedure succeeded, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The best thing you can do for your vision improvement is to understand the procedure and be realistic.
As long as a person maintains good general health, some vision centers, like Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center, have plans in place for further follow-up procedures. BDP surgeons participate in the VISION For Life program. VISION For Life means that qualified patients who have the initial surgery at a VISION For Life center can have retreatments at that clinic or another approved clinic, free of charge. About 5 percent of LASIK eye surgery patients will have an enhancement sometime after the first procedure.
Many people find that getting LASIK eye surgery is one of the easiest things they have ever done for their health. With services from Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center, people with this desire get expert eye care that improves their vision many years into the future.