Lasik eye surgery has been around for 25 years, and more than 10 million Americans have had the procedure since it was approved by the FDA in 1999. It is one of the safest elective surgical procedures available today, with a complication rate estimated at less than 1%. With that said, it’s important to be prepared and know what to do before and after Lasik eye surgery to avoid injury and infection.
Things to do before Lasik eye surgery
One of the best ways to ensure a successful experience is to know the right questions to ask before Lasik eye surgery so you can be prepared. Here are a few things you need to do:
- Find a board-certified Lasik surgeon and be sure to check their accreditation and hospital affiliations
- Talk to your surgeon and make sure you understand what’s happening with your specific condition and Lasik treatment
- Read customer reviews and talk to other patients who’ve had Lasik eye surgery
- Stop wearing soft contact lenses (if applicable) for 2 weeks and hard contact lenses for 4 weeks before your initial evaluation
- Stop using makeup (of any kind), lotions, creams, sunscreen and perfumes the day before surgery
- Arrange for transportation to and from your surgery and first follow-up visit
- Follow all of your Lasik eye surgeon’s pre- and post-operative instructions to ensure a healthy recovery phase and healing period
Things to do after Lasik eye surgery
You may have a lot of questions about what you can and cannot do immediately after Lasik eye surgery, like driving, playing sports or wearing makeup. As with any surgery, there will be a recovery phase, but the good news is most people can resume normal daily activities within a day or two. The healing period, however, can take between 3-6 months. There are a few things to do after Lasik eye surgery to help take care of your eyes as they heal:
- Rest your eyes for the first 2-4 hours and avoid strenuous activity.
- Wear sunglasses when outside and eye shields at night to protect your eyes as they heal
- Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes for the first week following surgery
- Make sure to use all of your postoperative medications and keep your eyes well lubricated with moisturizing drops
- Avoid hot tubs, swimming pools, lakes, rivers and the ocean for at least a week, as the water could be contaminated
- Do not wear makeup (e.g., mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow or eye creams) for a least a week after surgery to help prevent infection
- Avoid contact sports for the first month and wear sports goggles after that for a month to lower your risk of eye injury
If you experience severe pain at any time, contact your surgeon or optometrist immediately.
If you’re interested in learning more about Lasik surgery or finding out if you’re a candidate, contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana at 225-768-7777 to schedule a free consultation.