Dos and don’ts of post-op care

Driving after Laser Eye Surgery

Being able to drive without glasses or contacts is a pleasure after Laser Eye Surgery. But exactly when you can get back in the driving seat depends on several factors including your recovery speed and the particular treatment you’ve had.

For LASIK, it’s advised to take at least one full day off from driving. This means on the day of the surgery, and possibly the morning after, finding an alternative way to get around. The ideal options would be to call on a friend or a taxi — public transport like the tube is not advisable due to the dusty environment.

Everyone’s eyes respond differently to treatment. So whereas you’ll most likely be back driving within a few days, you may find your vision is a little blurry or that you experience some glare around lights when driving at night.

Your surgeon will confirm when your vision is back up to driving standard. It’s important not to drive before this time as your car insurance won’t be valid.

Flying after Laser Eye Surgery

Many people have holidays booked, have to go away on business, or simply need to fly home after having their treatment.

After Laser Eye Surgery, your eyes and vision need some time to settle before getting on a plane. Exactly when you can safely fly will be discussed at your initial consultation, so you don’t have to worry about missing a flight.

Typically, most patients can fly a day or two after the procedure. If you are on a plane in the days and weeks following treatment, you can use lubricating drops to keep your eyes comfortable in the dry cabin.

Sport and exercise after Laser Eye Surgery

One of the most common questions we get asked is “when can I get back to playing sport or the gym after having the treatment?”

The answer again depends on how quickly your eyes heal, which treatment you had, and the exact sport or exercise in question. Typically, within the first week, it is advised to avoid the gym or any sport. This is to avoid interference with the healing of the eyes, for instance, by getting sweat in them, and to prevent any damage that may occur from being in a competitive environment.

Light exercise such as jogging and yoga is usually fine within a day or two after surgery. Contact sports such as football and martial arts are generally off the cards for a few weeks as to avoid a direct blow to the head or orbital area which may damage the eye.

If you are keen sportsperson and/or love your exercise, you may want to check out SMILE, a minimally invasive procedure that has a shorter recovery time than any other laser eye treatment.

Showering after Laser Eye Surgery

Our eyes are exposed to a lot of things every day that we don’t normally think too much about. One of these is water.

Whether it’s the rain, sweat, or taking a shower, you should try not to get water in your eyes in the weeks following Laser Eye Surgery. It’s unlikely that anything will happen, but this ensures no damage is caused that could lead to infection.

This doesn’t mean you can’t shower or go out in the rain. We advise to take a bath instead of a shower in the first twenty-four hours after treatment, to make a special effort not to rub them for the first few weeks, and to not go swimming or diving for four weeks so as to avoid getting non-sterile water in your eyes.

Make-up after Laser Eye Surgery

Some people get a bit of shock when they find out that having a treatment on your eyes involves a period of time without wearing make-up.

Luckily, that period is as short as 24 hours for general make-up and five to seven days for eye make-up. Again, the exact timing will be discussed with your surgeon and can vary according to your recovery speed and treatment type.

When they see how great their vision is, though, most people are happy to oblige. Avoiding make-up in the days following your procedure reduces the risk of infection and helps avoid damage that may accidentally occur when removing the make-up.

Working after Laser Eye Surgery

While some people are happy to have as long as possible off from work, others have to or simply can’t wait to get back to their job as soon as possible after treatment.

The time you have to take off work to have Laser Eye Surgery is relatively short compared to other procedures. Depending on your work environment, it can be as little as twenty-four hours. In general, though, you will be able to get back to work within two days of having treatment. This is the case for LASIK and ReLEx SMILE surgeries, but it can be up to two weeks for LASEK/PRK.

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. Likewise, if you work indoors at a computer, as air conditioning and screens can dry out your eyes.

To find out more about the Laser Eye Surgery recovery process or to book your consultation, leave us a comment or get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators today.