What Is The Recovery Process Like After LASIK?

Are you trying to figure out when to schedule LASIK? Are you worried about the recovery process?

LASIK is an extremely common and successful surgery. Like any surgery, there is a recovery period.  Luckily for LASIK patients – it’s short!

Right After Having LASIK

During your procedure, multiple numbing drops are instilled to make your eyes comfortable.  Immediately after your procedure, you will not feel much since your eyes will still be numb.  Before you leave, your doctor will check your eyes in an exam room.  You will receive protective eyewear to wear at all times (unless you are putting in drops) until the following morning.  You need to wear this eyewear to make sure that you do not touch your eyes or accidentally rub your eyes while you are sleeping.


Relaxing and resting are some of the best ways to let your eyes heal post-LASIK. Getting sleep allows your body to heal on its own.  Your doctor will instruct you to go home and take a three-hour nap.  After your nap, if you are feeling up to it, you may do light leisurely activities – like watch TV or read a book.  If your eyes are still uncomfortable, you may close your eyes or continue to nap until your eyes feel better.

Avoid Touching Your Eyes

You should never touch or rub your eyes but this is especially true after you have LASIK.  Your eyes could be a little bit uncomfortable after your procedure.  It’s natural that you might want to rub them.  If you find that your eyes are really bothering you after LASIK, use artificial tears or close your eyes. This will help with any feelings of irritation or discomfort you may experience.

Attend Your Follow-Up Appointments

We will see you the morning after to remove your protective eyewear and check your vision.  Depending on how you are doing during that visit, we will likely see you 1 – 2 weeks later, then 3 months, and finally 6-9 months after your procedure.  This lets your doctor keep an eye on your recovery and visual outcome.  If you do have any complications that come up after you have LASIK, it’s best to catch them early on. Following all instructions and going to your follow-up appointments is a must for your best recovery.

Use Eye Drops as Recommended

You will be taking one prescription eye drop and artificial tears multiple times per day while your eyes are healing.   Your doctor will give you these eye drops and instructions on how to use them.

One thing to remember before using your eye drops is that you need to wash your hands every time. If your hands are not clean, then you should keep them away from your face.

Clean hands are extremely important while using eye drops. Having clean hands helps to prevent infections after having LASIK.

Stay In a Clean Environment

Like having clean hands, you need to stay in clean environments after you have LASIK. This means avoiding dusty, smoky, or fume-heavy environments.

After LASIK, your eyes are more susceptible to infection than normal. Keeping your eyes clean and free from particles and dust is the best way to avoid an infection.

Avoid Wearing Eye Make-Up

For the first two weeks after LASIK, you will not be able to wear eye makeup. This helps keep your eyes clean and bacteria-free.  You may wear other makeup that does not come near the eye area.

When you can wear eye makeup after having LASIK, you should not use old makeup. To be safe, throw out mascara older than three months old because makeup is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Wear Sunglasses

While your eyes are healing, they will likely be more sensitive to light.  If you know you will be around a lot of light – especially outside – make sure to wear sunglasses.

No Swimming & No Contact Sports

For the first two weeks after LASIK, you cannot dunk your head underwater or go swimming in any bodies of water (including a hot tub.)  You may shower, but try to avoid getting water directly in your eyes.

Also, for the first month, our doctors recommend you not to participate in any contact sports.  Once you are able to resume contact sports, our doctors still recommend you wear protective eyewear.

Following these tips ensures you’ll have the best possible recovery and results after LASIK!

Have you decided that you are ready for LASIK eye surgery? Schedule a LASIK consultation at VisionPoint Eye Center in Bloomington or Champaign, IL to find out if you qualify for LASIK!

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