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What is LASIK Recovery Like?


Happy woman sitting outside with ice cream in a cup

LASIK surgery is one of the most popular forms of vision correction. Recovery from LASIK can vary from person to person, however most people see 20/20 by the next morning after their LASIK procedure. Although the patient’s vision is usually very good, that does not mean that healing is complete. It is common for healing to go on for weeks to months after the procedure. During this healing period, most patients can go about their usual work and recreational activities. After a LASIK procedure there is customarily 5-6 follow-up visits over the first year.

Immediately after LASIK surgery, patients should expect to experience discomfort, tearing and blurry vision. Additionally, there will be some restrictions on the patient’s activities for a period of time after the procedure. Understanding the recovery process will help a patient to avoid making mistakes which can be detrimental to the recovery process or otherwise put the patient and their vision at risk.


Post-Operative Care

After surgery, you will need a family member or friend to drive you home. Once at home you should lie down, relax and close your eyes. Napping can encourage your eyes to start healing immediately. Watching television, reading or operating a computer should be limited for the first 24 hours. The surgery recovery process requires your eyes to remain relaxed. To help with any pain or discomfort, medications may be prescribed following treatment; alternatively, you may be able to use over-the-counter pain medications to help alleviate irritation.

Do not rub your eyes! Protective eye shields should be worn for the first 7 nights. Some patients report a mild burning sensation 2 to 4 hours into recovery as the anesthetic wears off. The sensation resembles wearing an itchy or dirty contact lens, or the feeling that something is in your eye.

It’s important that patients follow all their doctor’s advice and instructions on protecting the eyes after LASIK – even though the eyes tend to feel fine the first couple days after surgery.

Long-Term Healing

Although clear vision may be achieved in the first week, your eyes are still healing for the first 3-6 months. Once 3 months has passed, it is safe to say your prescription is fairly stable. If a patient experiences any side effects from LASIK (such as dry eyes or halos at night) for several weeks after surgery as the eyes are healing, those symptoms usually go away once healing is complete. During this time period, patients will have several check-ups with their LASIK surgeon to ensure that the recovery is proceeding smoothly.

To learn more about LASIK recovery or to schedule a consultation with our doctors, contact Schein Ernst Mishra Eye in Harrisburg, PA.

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