One of the great things about LASIK eye surgery is that the recovery is very easy. Yes, you'll need to wear goggles to bed for a week or two and stay out of the sunlight. But there's no serious pain, you only need to take a day or two off from work in most cases, and patients usually see a drastic improvement in vision. Still, most patients wonder about that first-day post-surgery, so here's a look at what you can expect during those first 24 hours.
Itching and Mild Discomfort
Some people refer to LASIK as a pain-free procedure. This is close to being true, but it's not 100% true. You won't feel any pain during the procedure, and you won't have any serious pain after surgery, either. But there is some discomfort during those first 24 hours after surgery. You will likely feel like you got something irritating in your eyes, or like you have dust in your eyes. Some describe the sensation as a cross between itching and burning. Taking a dose of ibuprofen and closing your eyes for a few hours should keep things under control. This discomfort is usually fully or mostly gone within 24 hours.
Lots of Eye Drops
Prepare to put in lots and lots of eye drops during those first 24 hours. In most cases, your LASIK surgeon will send you home with three types: an antibiotic, a steroid, and lubricating drops. You'll be given a schedule to follow. Try setting alarms on your phone to remind you to use each of the drops at the right times.
Constant Visual Improvement
Patients are often surprised by how fast their vision improves after LASIK. Almost immediately after surgery, you will notice that you can see more clearly. A few hours later, your vision will be very enhanced, and by the end of the first 24 hour period, you should be able to see very clearly.
An Eye Doctor Appointment
Most surgeons want to see their patients for a checkup during the first 24 hours after surgery. This appointment usually takes place the next morning. Your surgeon will make sure your eyes are healing well, that your vision is improving as expected, and you are following all of the proper recovery protocols. Make sure you have someone lined up to drive you to and from this appointment — although many patients do feel capable of driving themselves.
Now that you have a better idea of what to expect in the first 24 hours after LASIK, you can walk into your surgery with confidence. This first day after surgery is not bad at all, and the days after that are even better.
To learn more about LASIK eye surgery, contact a local ophthalmologist.