When Can I Watch TV After Laser Eye Surgery?

Most people will admit that TV has played a huge role in their lives, providing countless hours of entertainment from their childhoods right into their later adult years. But with the introduction of new media and platforms – which have seen us streaming films and sports on our laptops, tablets, and even phones – watching television has become our default option for switching off and unwinding, day or night.

So, with television playing such a huge role in our modern lives, it’s worth questioning: When recovering from Laser Eye Surgery, when will I be able to watch TV?

Laser Eye Surgery Recovery

If you’ve been considering Laser Eye Surgery, you will likely have come across some information about the recovery process. But before we get to the issue of your reunion with your favourite series post-surgery, let’s touch on some of the basics.

The complete recovery period following Laser Eye Surgery can vary depending on several factors, including the kind of treatment you receive. For example, patients undergoing LASIK or ReLEx SMILE will find that they can return to work and other regular activities more quickly than those who have a surface procedure such as LASEK or PRK. Nonetheless, most patients will be relieved to hear that their vision will be back to normal (in fact – much better than normal!) much more quickly than they thought.

As a rough guide, LASIK patients are usually able to return to work just 24 hours after their surgery. Furthermore, after this period, your surgeon will personally be able to sign you off to return to many other activities – but what about our precious television time?

Avoiding Screens After Laser Eye Surgery

Modern technology means that Laser Eye Surgery is more effective and increasingly less invasive than ever before. However, the procedure, which involves removing a predetermined portion of corneal tissue, triggers inflammatory responses in the eye. This can leave your eyes sensitive and vulnerable to symptoms such as dryness and irritation.

Thankfully, the cornea is among our fastest-healing body parts. This impressive healing power is demonstrated incredibly by the short recovery times after Laser Eye Surgery. Your eye begins the healing process immediately after your procedure is complete.

Swelling is a completely normal part of this process which is caused by a surge of nutrients and fluid to the treatment area. This response can be associated with some discomfort (but you shouldn’t experience serious pain) and blurriness of vision, particularly in the first few hours post-surgery.

As your eyes will be more sensitive at this time, it is recommended not only that you avoid screens, including televisions, computers and phones, but also that you rest with your eyes closed as much as possible. Even when you are not recovering from Laser Eye Surgery, it is important to take regular breaks from screens to avoid the symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS).

But how long will you need to avoid binging the latest TV series?

The no-screen period is surprisingly short

Finally, let’s get down to the crux of this article: How long, exactly, will you have to avoid television after Laser Eye Surgery?

Well, we’re sure you will be pleased to hear that the no-screen period is – in the grand scheme of things – only short-lived. Most patients will be able to catch up on all the films, music videos, and soaps their heart desires only 24 hours post-surgery.

The first 24 hours post-surgery are arguably the most important of your whole recovery period. That’s because it is at this time that your cornea will regain much of its previous strength. The better you can rest your eyes during this time, the sooner you could be enjoying the clear vision that led you to kickstart this whole process in the first place!

On the day of your surgery, the clinic staff will explain the necessary recovery procedures and provide you with an aftercare pack. This usually contains artificial tears in the form of eye drops, painkillers, and any other information you may need.

At your 1-day post-surgery appointment, your surgeon will sign you off to return to a number of activities. This typically includes returning to work and, of course, switching the TV back on!

However, it is advised that you be aware of side effects that can be caused by excessive screen time and take the necessary steps to safeguard your eyes from screen fatigue. Your lubricating eye drops can help with this – and remember to take regular breaks from activities that are strenuous for your eyes – including watching television and reading.

If you have any further questions about the recovery period following Laser Eye Surgery, get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators today. Alternatively, Book a Consultation to kickstart your journey to clear vision.