How Long Is the LASIK Recovery Time?
The recovery time from having LASIK surgery varies, but most people will see significant improvements in their vision within the first two days. Depending on the skill of your LASIK surgeon and the type of refractive procedure performed, acquiring good vision may take between two and seven days. However, full recovery from LASIK surgery may take at least six months.
Short-Term Recovery From LASIK
You will need to arrange transportation for the day of your LASIK surgery, as you will not be allowed to drive. Your doctor will send you home with strict instructions to rest for the first few hours following surgery.During the first few days following LASIK, you will probably feel some eye pain, along with irritation and weeping. You may also feel like you have a piece of sand in your eye. You may be instructed to wear a patch or shield over your eye for the first few days, especially during sleep, as you must avoid rubbing your eye and eyelid. Your eyes may also be sensitive to light and your vision may be blurry for the first few days.
Depending on the type of LASIK performed, you may experience a subconjunctival hemorrhage. This usually occurs because of the suction device placed on your eye during the first part of the procedure. The hemorrhage may last for a couple of weeks but will fade every day.You will most likely have a check-up appointment within 24-48 hours after your surgery. Your doctor will examine your eyes and test your vision. You may be given medicated eye drops to help prevent infection and inflammation. You should not wear contact lenses during your short-term recovery period, even if your vision is still blurry.
Long-Term Recovery From LASIK
The complete healing time after LASIK is normally about six months. Be aware that you may experience several vision fluctuations during the recovery period. You will have several scheduled follow-up visits to check the progress of your recovery. Your follow-up appointments are critical to your full recovery and vision and must not be neglected. Most people obtain their best vision at four weeks after LASIK.Your six-month recovery period may include several restrictions in order to ensure proper healing. High impact activities should be avoided during the recovery process to help ensure that your eye heals properly. It is very important that you carefully follow all post-operative instructions.
Because all of us are unique, there is a 3-5% chance that some that have LASIK will need an enhancement procedure. It is best to wait for several months before deciding if you need an enhancement. An enhancement procedure is similar to having a full LASIK procedure. Your doctor will help you decide if an enhancement procedure is needed or worth going through the procedure again.
One vision problem that is should be addressed is the condition of presbyopia. Presbyopia is the condition that usually occurs after the age of 40 in which you lose the ability to focus on near objects. Developing presbyopia is not a condition that is considered an under-correction or over-correction but rather a normal process our eyes go through as we age. This will occur regardless of having LASIK. This is not a procedure that a typical LASIK enhancement procedure will fix easily. There are some modifications that can be made but for most, you will need reading glasses.
What You Should Know
After having LASIK surgery, it is very important to protect your eyes from injuries. Even after your eyes have fully recovered, you need to take certain precautions to keep your vision safe. Your eyes will be more prone to injuries after undergoing LASIK. It is highly recommended that you wear safety goggles to protect your eyes when you are engaging in risky activities such as working with power tools or playing sports.
A Word From Verywell
LASIK surgery often proves to be a life-changing experience for many people. If you are considering having LASIK, you might wonder how long your recovery will be, and how soon you can expect to feel normal again. Even though every patient is different, many people report feeling almost normal the day of or shortly after having the procedure.