How Long After Laser Eye Surgery can I Watch TV?

What do you imagine when you think of a patient recovering from surgery? It probably involves a person lying in a hospital bed or on their sofa at home indulging in various comfort foods while passively absorbing the latest must-watch series or watching repeats on Dave.

I mean, is there anything better than a rowdy episode of Love Island or a gripping Scandinavian murder mystery to help transport you away from your current reality?

But imagine your surgery didn’t involve your arms, hips, stomach – or any other body part, really – but your eyes? Can you still enjoy the “latest” episode of Homes Under The Hammer after your eye surgery? Should you even be watching TV at all? And what about other screens like your mobile phone, tablet and computer?

The No-Screen Period following Laser Eye Surgery

If you have come this far, it is likely that you have already heard or read a little about Laser Eye Surgery and, if that is the case, you will know that it is far from your typical surgical procedure. For example, the procedure itself is finished in a matter of minutes with patients able to head home almost immediately!

The same can also be said of the recovery period following Laser Eye Surgery. Far from being forced to spend days – or even weeks – in bed, most patients are back to work and their normal activities within a few days.

However, there are some restrictions to bear in mind, particularly in the first 24 hours following surgery. One of these restrictions is the “no-screen period”.

For the first day following your Laser Eye Surgery procedure, your eyes will be more sensitive to lights – including those from screens of all kinds. Other visually demanding activities like reading can also add strain to the eyes during this period.

To promote effective healing and reduce discomfort, we recommend that all our patients stay away from harsh lights and screens and rest their eyes as much as possible for the first 24 hours post-surgery. However, most of our patients are able to head back to work and use their computers and other devices as normal – including watching TV the day after their surgery.

Below we offer a brief guide of what you should expect in the 24 hours after Laser Eye Surgery.

The first 24 hours after surgery:

  • In the first 3-4 hours, it’s advised to rest your eyes as much as possible.
  • Later in the day you can return to light activity, but be aware of anything that may harm your eyes — e.g. bright lights, dust, air conditioning – and activities that may lead to something getting in your eyes.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes and use the lubricating 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 resume activities like reading, watching TV, and using your computer and smartphone (make sure to keep using the drops to prevent your eyes from drying out).
  • At around 24 hours post-surgery, most patients are able to return to work and start getting back into their normal daily rhythm.

Promoting a smooth recovery

During the first 24 hours of your recovery, your eyes are still in the early stages of healing. It is therefore important to follow various precautions to promote a smooth recovery.

Looking at screens for long periods can dry out our eyes even at the best of times. Following Laser Eye Surgery, your eyes will be even more vulnerable to drying; you should, therefore, use the lubricating drops regularly during your recovery period to prevent your eyes from drying out. These drops will be provided following your procedure.

We recommend using the 24-hour no-screen period to adapt to your new vision and establish a routine with your drops.

If you stick to these recommendations – in addition to any specific guidelines provided by your surgeon – your eyes should return to full health in no time. And before you know it, it won’t just be Love Island and Eastenders that you’ll be enjoying in 4K Ultra HD – it will be your whole life, too.

Do you want to learn more about Laser Eye Surgery recovery? Get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators who will be happy to answer your questions. Alternatively, Book a Consultation at London Vision Clinic today.