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LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery Time

What is LASIK eye surgery? LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a very popular laser eye surgery to treat myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

It is a new generation of laser eye surgery, conducted by an ophthalmologist to improve the eyesight of patients and in many cases – to allow patients to get rid of the glasses. During LASIK eye surgery, a flap in the eye’s outer layer (epithelium) is created. The surgeon folds back the flap, then removes some corneal tissue underneath by the help of the laser. Then the flap is placed back, where the corneal tissue was removed. Throughout the whole eye operation, the ophthalmologist applies special drops, which moisturize the eye and soothe the pain.

As evidenced by high satisfaction rates and positive reviews of it, LASIK for eye gained popularity throughout the world, because of its effective results, the cost of becoming more reasonable and short recovery period especially in comparison to other available vision correction techniques such as PRK and LASEK. However, this doesn’t mean that patients may neglect the LASIK eye surgery recovery time. There is some advice worth taking into consideration while deciding for this eye correction surgery and we are more than pleased to present them to you in the following article.

READ: How much does LASIK cost? The average LASIK cost per eye

Recovery Right After LASIK Eye Surgery

Yes, it is true, LASIK eye surgery improves eyesight immediately. However, patients might not realize it in the first moment. Patients who had a higher prescription before their refractive eye surgery may see the difference instantly, while those with lower prescriptions generally do not see it, at least not right after laser eye surgery. The effect of drops applied during laser eye correction passes soon and from now on patient needs to use regularly the combination of drops, which help to moisturize the eye, ease the pain and prevent further risks and complications.

Right after the surgery, you will not be allowed to drive, so to arrange someone to drive you home for the day of the surgery is very important. During the first few days following LASIK, you will probably feel some eye pain, also feel like you have a piece of sand in your eye. You will wear a patch or shield over your eye for the first few days, as you should avoid pressing or rubbing your eye. Also, as your eyes may be sensitive to light, your vision may become blurry for the first few days after your LASIK surgery. It is important not to wear a contact lens in the operated eye, even if your vision is blurry.

Work & Hobbies after LASIK Eye Surgery

It is possible to come back to work one or two days after this refractive eye surgery! That’s what made LASIK surgery famous. However, you need to be careful. If the work is dangerous and, in an environment, irritates your eyes, give yourself some more time. Patients after LASIK eye surgery are advised to avoid activities, which may result in any harm to their eyes, including contact sports and other hobbies of this kind. You should also avoid any water that has the possibility of being contaminated such as hot tubs, swimming pools, lakes, seas, etc. for at least a week. Eye makeup such as eyeliner or mascara should also wait for at least a week. These precautions are for preventing any possible infections. After the first week, you can start your regular light exercises. If you are swimming regularly, it is important not to forget to wear goggles.

READ: LASIK Eye Surgery Popular Questions

How Long is LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery Time?

There is no fixed answer to this important question. The pace in which eyes recover after laser vision correction depends on many factors, including the previous prescription, the shape of an eye, age, lifestyle and many others. Although recovery time varies for each patient, most people will see the vision improvement within the first two days.

You need to stay in contact with your eye surgeon and go for check-ups after your laser eye treatment regularly. This way, you will get to know when your eyes will be recovered from LASIK eye surgery. Usually, six months are thought to be a threshold after which eyes are thought to be healed.

Side Effects of LASIK Eye Surgery

While this eye treatment is one of the newest and best laser eye surgeries, it comes with some side effects. In some cases, patients may experience temporary discomfort in the first 24 to 48 hours after LASIK eye surgery. This may be accepted as the most common side effect; the other rare side effects may include, glare, seeing halos around images, difficulty driving at night, fluctuating vision and dry eyes.

Enhancements after LASIK Eye Surgery

Some patients need an enhancement after their vision correction. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the ophthalmologist was incompetent, the shape of an eye and the prescription are important factors as well. If your vision isn’t 20/20 clear as you and your eye doctor expected after the recovery period is complete, you need to be evaluated for a LASIK enhancement. Vision is not stable after LASIK generally for 3 months; thus, enhancements are mostly performed after this period in order to perform a second LASIK surgery, the eye must be healed completely and properly.

READ: Lasik Eye Surgery: Is This the Best Option?


This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in 2023.

Comments (1)
megan alder
Dec 15, 2020

I'm glad you talked about what to do after having eye surgery and that you have to rest at least 2 days before going back to work. Recently, I've been looking up different options to improve my eyesight. I have always worn glasses, and they've started to feel uncomfortable. I will keep in mind that an eye surgery recovery process takes some time and that you need to be extra careful in your routine, at least the first few weeks.


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