How long will I need to take off work after Laser Eye Surgery?

Your eyes have an incredible defence and healing power. They filter out dust and dirt, heal scratches within a matter of hours, and recover and adapt to adjustments made during Laser Eye Surgery in a very short time.

For us, that means little down time moping around the house and more time enjoying our new improved vision.

In fact, in as little as 24 hours after Laser Eye Surgery, the majority of patients are getting back to their normal routines, driving for themselves, resuming vision-intensive tasks like reading and using smart phones, and returning to work.

This is the case for the majority of patients who have LASIK or ReLEx SMILE surgery, however, if you have PRK (LASEK) the time spent away from work will be a little longer—generally around five to seven days.

Taking care of your eyes at work after Laser Eye Surgery

Although you’re soon fit and able to return to work, there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure a smooth and steady recovery.

For the many of us who work at a computer screen, the most important thing to remember is to keep your eyes well lubricated using artificial tears. This goes for all patients following Laser Eye Surgery, but is especially true for computer workers simply because staring at a screen for a prolonged period can dry out your eyes and cause temporary visual fluctuations.

Managing your screen time

One method to use alongside artificial tears in helping prevent your eyes from drying out is the Pomodoro technique. Pomodoro is an old school time management method that chunks working time into 25 minute blocks, separated by 5 minute intervals. Not only can the method improve mental agility and focus, but it can also be used as a handy reminder to taking some time away from the screen and using the drops.

Specific eye care for your working environment

We know heavy computer and screen use can dry out the eyes. However, if you’re fortunate enough to live in a climate where you need the air conditioning on inside your workplace, then you also need to be aware that it too can further dry out the eyes. If this is the case for you, simply use the lubricated drops more often to keep on top of it.

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Outside of the office environment, there are other factors to consider. For instance, if you’re working in a place where there may be dust or debris like a construction site, proper eye-wear and additional care is needed to avoid anything entering the eye and causing irritation.

Also if you happen to be outside and in a sunny environment, wearing sunglasses with 100% UV protection is a must for at least for the full time of your recovery.

Makeup and travelling after Laser Eye Surgery

As you’ll want to avoid anything from entering the eye, it’s important not to wear eye makeup until seven days after the surgery. Makeup like lipstick and blusher is fine to use after surgery, but things like eye shadow, eye liner, and mascara are a big no-no.

And for the lucky ones who have a business trip abroad, there’s no need to cancel or re-schedule your flight. Following your day one post-operative appointment there’s no reason not to fly. However as your eyes will still be sensitive and the cabin dry, make sure to have the lubricated eye drops on hand to keep your eyes comfortable.

Like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic or find out more about returning to work after Laser Eye Surgery? Leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.

How long will I need to take off work?

  1. Ellen Hughes 02/08/2018 at 01:35

    It was nice that you pointed out the importance of wearing proper eye-wear if you’re working on a construction site. to make sure that eye irritations are going to be prevented. My husband is actually working for a construction company, so he’s always in the construction field. Since his right eye has a cataract that needs to be operated on, I will be sure to share your blog with him.

    • Chloe Lay 09/08/2018 at 08:58

      Thanks for your comment Ellen!
      London Vision Clinic

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