Watching TV after Laser Eye Surgery

laser eye surgery equipment

When you say the word television, most people think of the plastic box that sits as the focal point in living rooms around the world.

But to a growing number of people, TV means watching Netflix on their laptop, live streaming sport on their phone, or even watching something like YouTube TV projected onto a wall.

Television is now accessible from whatever our device of choice and has thus expanded way beyond the living room. It can accompany us on the Tube, in bed, in the bathroom, while waiting in line, even while exercising.

It’s our favourite pastime, and now we never have to go a minute without it again. Well, that’s unless you’re recovering from Laser Eye Surgery.

Put down your devices and step away from the TV

It only makes sense that intense periods of staring at a screen is advised against following treatment on your eyes. Most of us are aware of the dangers of screen overuse and are all too familiar with the symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS) — things like blurry vision and eye strain.

But do this mean you need to avoid all screens? What about just watching one episode of Game of Thrones? How long until you can get back to binge watching?

To answer these questions, it helps to understand a little bit more about the healing process the eye undergoes following surgery, particularly over the initial few hours.

After the tongue, the cornea is the fastest healing part of the body. And during the acute stages of recovery is when it puts its incredible healing powers to work.

Immediately after the treatment, the body’s inflammatory response is triggered, causing nutrients and fluid to surge to the area in what we know as swelling.

This acute stage lasts no more than 24 hours and sets the groundwork for the rest of your recovery. If the cornea is allowed to do its work in this time, it will rapidly regain much of its strength and accelerate the healing process.

You may hear it’s okay to watch TV after Laser Eye Surgery as long as you avoid watching it for long periods of time. But to improve your chances of a speedy recovery and allow the cornea to progress through the acute stages, we recommend avoiding all screens for the first 24 hours. We call this the 24-hour no screen period.

After this initial 24 hour period, the surgeon will sign you off to once again get back to TV and your other devices.

One of the reasons activities like watching TV make us more prone to eye problems is that when looking at screens our eyes don’t blink as often as they should.

For this reason, it’s also recommended to keep your eyes well lubricated during this stage using eye drops. Most good clinics provide these complimentary. However, eye drops aren’t enough to safeguard your eyes against overexertion — it’s best to use them, avoid strenuous activities like reading and watching TV, and rest your eyes often.

If you’d like to find out more about screen use during recovery or book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.