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

Team member at Laser Eye Surgery clinic

Over the last few decades, Laser Eye Surgery has become the most popular elective surgery in the world. This achievement has been largely influenced by the relative simplicity of the procedure.

As with any good design, it takes tools and knowledge which are inherently complex – in this case, state-of-the-art lasers and the human eye – to form something that is accessible, effective, and can be enjoyed by all.

From the heydays of early techniques like PRK/LASEK, we are now celebrating the advances brought about by quicker and less invasive techniques. The development of LASIK and ReLEx SMILE have meant quicker procedures and faster recovery times – as well as increased accessibility.

Nowadays, patients are often in and out of surgery before they know it. Performing the procedure itself takes just a matter of minutes, and the improvement in vision is virtually instantaneous.

But while we can continue to advance and develop newer and more efficient equipment and technology, the human body is still subject to some natural rhythms and processes that we can’t improve (at least for now).

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).

When undergoing surgery on both eyes, you may wonder if both eyes will heal at the same time. As each eye is essentially an independent organ, the healing rate can vary marginally between them.

The eye’s natural healing process after Laser Eye Surgery

Undergoing any kind of surgery or treatment will likely stimulate a healing process. In the case of Laser Eye Surgery, the removal of corneal tissue causes the body to trigger an inflammatory response. This usually leads to some swelling.

However, swelling is one of the few inconveniences experienced by Laser Eye Surgery patients in the days and weeks following surgery. This temporary swelling can also cause several mild side effects, including light sensitivity, vision fluctuations, haloes and starbursts, and dry eyes.

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 is already beginning to heal itself to the rest of the cornea.

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

Things to consider for a quick and smooth healing process

As we have touched upon, there are a number of factors that can affect the rate at which your eyes will heal post-surgery. For example:

  • Everybody is different. Considerations such as our size, age, and health can all impact the rate at which we heal. General guidelines are great, but they are just that – guidelines. There is no one-size-fits-all for recovery times, so don’t worry if your eyes are taking 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 and refrain from rubbing your eyes. You will also be given lubricating drops to aid with post-operative dry eye.
  • 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, your laser eye surgeon will be on-hand to help.

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

For 2022, we have updated this article to ‘Quick guide: Laser Eye Surgery recovery’