How long after laser eye surgery can I watch TV?

When you think of someone recovering from surgery, you picture them in a hospital bed or lying on the couch in their dressing gown, indulging in a family-size chocolate bar and passively consuming the joy that is day-time TV.

There’s nothing quite like a rowdy episode of Love Island or a tour of extravagant holiday homes in Andalusia to help you forget about your current situation.

But what about if it’s not your legs, stomach, or [insert body part here] recovering when you’re trying to watch Homes Under The Hammer but your eyes? Should you even be looking at the TV? And what about other screens like your mobile phone, tablet and computer?

The no-screen period

If you’ve heard or read a little bit about Laser Eye Surgery, you’ll know it’s far from your typical surgical procedure.

The same goes for the recovery phase after it — forget spending weeks in bed, most patients are back to their normal routine before they have the chance to say “Coming up on Amazon Prime”.

We advise patients to spend the first 24 hours after surgery away from harsh lights, screens, and visually demanding activities like reading. We call this the 24-hour no-screen period. However, as soon as the day after Laser Eye Surgery, patients can be back at work, using a computer, and enjoying their devices as normal — that includes watching TV.

Below is a brief guide of what to expect in this 24-hour period after Laser Eye Surgery.

The first 24 hours after surgery:

  • In the 3-4 hours, it’s advised to keep your eyes closed and rest.
  • Later in the day you can return to light activity, but be aware of anything that may harm your eyes — e.g. dust, air conditioning — and activities that may lead to something getting in your eyes.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes and use the lubricant drops provided to resolve any itching or dryness.
  • Opt for a bath over a shower and avoid getting soap or water in your eyes.
  • The day after surgery you can return to activities like reading, watching TV, and using your tablet or smartphone (make sure to keep using the drops to prevent your eyes from drying out).
  • At around 24 hours post-surgery, most patients return to work and start getting back into their normal daily rhythm.

At this stage in the recovery, the eyes are still in the early stages of healing, and therefore it’s important to follow certain precautions to ensure their recovery goes smoothly.

When looking at a screen for prolonged periods of time, lubricated drops should be applied every so often to prevent your eyes from drying out. If some drying does happen, don’t worry — it will not affect your outcome. It can, however, cause temporary and minor fluctuations in your vision. It’s a good idea to use the 24-hour no screen period to adjust to your new vision and establish a good routine with the drops.

Providing you stick to these guidelines and those provided by your laser eye surgeon, your eyes will very quickly return to full health. And before you know it, it won’t just be Corrie and Eastenders you can experience in 4k Ultra HD, but your whole life.

If you’d like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic or find out more about the Laser Eye Surgery recovery timeline, leave us a comment or give us a call on 020 7224 1005.