After you have LASIK, there is a lot to do during the next few weeks to ensure your eyes heal properly. There are many follow up appointments, lots of eye drops, and super fancy eye shades. If you missed my first post on What it’s like to have LASIK, click here!
On the day of surgery and 1 day post-op, you will be required to put in your antibiotic and steroid eye drops in your eyes every few hours while you’re awake. However, sleep is the best way to help your eyes heal, and I’d recommend that you go home and take a really long nap. You’re not supposed to shower for 24 hours after the surgery to prevent any soap/water from getting into your eyes, but I didn’t like the idea of not washing my face so I stocked up on Neutrogena face wipes. Even one week post-op I am still being really careful while I am in the shower! I find that hanging a towel over the shower curtain just in case I need to pat my eyes dry really helped.
For the first week they advise you to wear sunglasses outside whether its sunny or cloudy and it helps if you have a really cute pair, like my Karen Walker Crazy Torts, pictured above! You will have to continue with all of your perscription eye drops for the entire week after surgery, as well as using preservative-free tears for several weeks.
They usually suggest you get the surgery on a Friday, so you can take off Friday-Sunday to rest, and be back to work on Monday. I chose to go this route and was back to work on Monday, but by 3pm each day that first week my eyes felt tired and achy, especially after staring at the computer all day. Each day my first week back I took a little cat nap between 5:30pm and 7pm while I waited for my husband to get home from work. This sounds really lazy on paper, but it was really good for my eyes to have a break.
They also suggest you physically take it easy for a week after surgery–no working out or doing any heavy lifting, etc. I was totally OK with this, especially because there was a huge snowstorm the day I had my surgery. (Thanks, Doug, for shoveling!) They also say no swimming for 2 weeks, just to be sure your eyes are in good shape before any chlorine/saltwater comes in contact with them! And ladies–no eye makeup for at least a week!
For the first week, you will need to wear protective eye shields while you nap or sleep. These are to prevent you from accidentally touching or rubbing your eyes. For me, this was probably one of the worst parts about the entire LASIK process. The eye shields are these large clear lenses (pictured above) that you have to tape to your face. Yes. TAPE TO YOUR FACE! This was pretty uncomfortable and I felt like I had adhesive residue on my face the entire week, even after I scrubbed my face in the morning.
Immediately after surgery you will be able to see, but your eyes will be a little blurry. The nurses described it to me as “having Vaseline smeared across my glasses”, but this will slowly improve over the next few days. You may also feel gritty, itchy, burning, or foreign object sensations, especially towards the end of the day. These symptoms, which all signify dryness, will get better over time especially with the use of the preservative-free tears. Just a tip: buy the preservative tears in bulk, because you will definitely be using them all the time. You might also see some halos around nights, particularly while driving at night. This should get better too!
Thats all I can think of! But if you have any other questions about LASIK, please feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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