Should I expect both eyes to heal at the same rate?

Team member at Laser Eye Surgery clinic

Laser Eye Surgery is one of the simplest surgical treatments in the world.

Like any good design, it takes things which are inherently complex—ultraviolet lasers and the human eye—to form something that is so simple it can be accessible, effective, and enjoyed by all.

Today, Laser Eye Surgery is a hugely popular procedure around the world—particularly in the UK and the US where it is one of the most frequently performed surgeries.

Gone are the heydays of the techniques like PRK (LASEK) which took longer to perform and longer to recover from, and in its place has come the likes of LASIK and ReLEx SMILE—quicker and less invasive procedures which require a much shorter time in recovery. However, it is important to note that some patients still benefit from the PRK (LASEK) technique.

Patients are in and out of surgery before they know it; performing the procedure itself takes just a matter of a few minutes, and the improvement in vision is virtually instantaneous.

However, we can advance and develop the greatest equipment and technology, but the human body is still subject to some natural rhythms and processes (at least for now).

Along with the fact that each eye is a separate organ and treated independently from the other, this means the healing rate of each eye can marginally vary.

The eye’s natural healing process after Laser Eye Surgery

The body’s processes mean that pretty much any treatment carried out on it will stimulate a healing process.

In the case of Laser Eye Surgery where corneal tissue is removed from each eye, the body triggers its inflammatory response. This, of course, causes us to experience swelling.

Swelling is one of the few inconveniences which Laser Eye Surgery patients experience in the days and weeks following surgery. It’s temporary presence can cause several mild side effects including light sensitivity, vision fluctuations, halos and starbursts, and dry eyes.

But allowing the cornea to heal naturally is an important part of the eye’s recovery process. And fortunately one of the great things about the cornea is how quickly it heals. For instance, in the case of LASIK, as soon as the corneal flap is replaced, it begins to immediately seal itself to the rest of the cornea.

This means in just the first few days following LASIK treatment your vision will improve to near-optimal levels.

Things to consider for a quick and smooth healing process

As we’ve touched on, there is a huge range of factors that can affect the rate of healing of the eyes. Here are a few of the most influential to consider in your recovery:

  • We’re all different in size, age, and health, and so we all heal at different rates. General guidelines are great, but they are just that—guidelines. You know your body better than anyone else, so if you think your recovery process is a little slower than the average person, your eyes may take a little longer to recover.
  • Irritation can disrupt how quickly your eyes recover. Make sure to wear the appropriate eye-wear for sports or in your workplace, as well as use the lubricated drops provided and not rub your eyes.
  • It’s not uncommon to experience a slight dip in vision quality a few days after surgery. This is a normal part of the healing process and is to be expected. If you have any worries or doubts, you will be able to contact your laser eye surgeon on their personal mobile phone number (dependent on your clinic).

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

For 2017, we have updated this article to ‘Quick guide: Laser Eye Surgery recovery’