The Dos and Don’ts of Post Operative Care
Having Laser Eye Surgery can be a daunting prospect – especially given all the uncertainties that present themselves when you first make your decision. But fear not. Here at London Vision Clinic, our experienced and knowledgeable surgeons and clinic coordinators will be on hand to help from start to finish – from pre- to post-operative care.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the dos and don’ts that you should be aware of after your surgery.
Driving after Laser Eye Surgery
Being able to drive without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses is a huge reason that many people opt for Laser Eye Surgery in the first place. But, exactly when you can start enjoying this freedom is an extremely important consideration.
The exact answer to this is dependent on several factors – including your recovery speed and the type of treatment you’ve had.
For example, with LASIK treatment, it is generally advised that you should take at least one full day off from driving. This will mean that you will need to arrange alternative transportation on both the day of your surgery and at least the morning after.
The best option is to rope in a friend or family member to drive you around, followed by calling a taxi. We don’t recommend taking public transport due to the dusty environment.
This should be considered only as a guide, as every person will respond differently to treatment. The majority of patients will find that they are back behind the wheel within a few days; however, you might find that your vision remains a little blurry for longer or you experience some glare around lights when driving at night.
But don’t worry, your surgeon will confirm with you when your vision is back up to driving standard. The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t drive before this time. Not only will your car insurance not be valid, but you could endanger yourself and others.
Flying after Laser Eye Surgery
Air travel is another important consideration when planning for your recovery. Many people have holidays booked in advance, have to travel for business, or have flown into the UK to have their treatment.
While Laser Eye Surgery won’t stop you from being able to fly in the long term, your eyes and vision do need some time to settle before you get a plane. The exact time needed will be discussed with you at your initial consultation to prevent you from missing a flight.
However, most patients can fly around a day or two after their procedure. If you have to travel by plane in the days following Laser Eye Surgery, be sure to be stocked up on lubricating eye drops to keep your eyes comfortable during your flight.
Sport and Exercise after Laser Eye Surgery
Understandably, we get asked a lot of questions here at London Vision Clinic. One of the most common questions we are asked is: “When can I get back to playing sport or the gym after having treatment?”
Again, the answer will depend on the circumstances and will vary on a patient-by-patient basis. For example, which treatment you had and the sport in question will affect the answer. Nonetheless, as a guide, you will be advised to avoid all sports and exercise for the first week following your treatment.
This is recommended to avoid any potential interference with the effective healing of your eyes. For example, getting sweat in your eyes can cause irritation, and being in a competitive environment can put you at an increased risk of damaging your eyes.
Having said that, light exercises such as jogging or yoga are generally considered fine to continue within a day or two after surgery. It is contact sports, such as football and martial arts, that are generally off the cards for a few weeks to avoid a direct blow to the head or orbital area which may damage the eye.
If you are a keen sportsperson who can’t imagine life without exercise, you may want to consider SMILE. This minimally invasive procedure has a shorter recovery time than any other treatment. This could mean you’ll be back at your favourite sport before you know it.
Showering after Laser Eye Surgery
Our eyes face a lot of obstacles that, in normal circumstances, we don’t really have to think about. One of these obstacles is water.
From your morning shower to your post-gym sweat or getting caught in the rain, we often get water in our eyes. After your Laser Eye Surgery treatment, however, you should try to avoid this for a few weeks.
While it is unlikely that any problems will occur should you get water in your eyes, it does carry the potential for infection. To prevent this, it is recommended that you take a bath instead of a shower in the first 24 hours after your procedure.
It is also a good idea to avoid going out in the rain and to take a wide-birth of the swimming pool for a few weeks. This will help to avoid non-sterile water from making contact with your eyes.
Make-up after Laser Eye Surgery
Another one of our frequently asked questions concerns make-up. For many people, make-up is an everyday necessity, so it can be surprising to hear that Laser Eye Surgery requires a make-up-free period.
The good news is that this period is relatively short – as little as 24 hours. On the day of your procedure and for the 24 hours following, you should avoid all make-up products in order to lower the risk of getting non-sterile substances in your eyes.
After this period, you will again be able to apply general make-up such as concealer and blush; however, eye make-up such as mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow should be avoided for around a week. Again, your surgeon will discuss the exact period with you at your consultation.
Working after Laser Eye Surgery
One of the most incredible things about modern Laser Eye Surgery is just how fast our patients can be back to their everyday life. This is great to know for those of us who are simply unable to take long periods off work.
Depending on the type of treatment you have and the nature of your work, you can be back to work in as little as 24 hours. It is generally advised, however, to allow two days after your surgery to ensure a smooth recovery.
In the case of PRK/LASEK, you may even need to take up to two weeks off work. Again, this will be discussed with you at your initial consultation.
You should also consider your working environment. For example, if you work in a dusty environment such as a construction site, you will be advised how to best take care of your eyes while they recover. Similarly, if you work indoors at a computer screen, or in an intensely air-conditioned environment, you will need to take precautions to ensure your eyes don’t become too dry. You will receive lubricating eyedrops following your treatment to prevent this.