How long is Laser Eye Surgery recovery?

Most of the time when we hear the word surgery, one of the first things that come to mind is a long, tedious recovery process. Images of spending days if not weeks or months in bed, missing important events of family or friends, and falling behind on critical projects at work seep into our minds.

Thankfully, in the case of Laser Eye Surgery, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact, as soon as you sit up after the short 15 minute procedure your eyes will have already started healing and in just a matter of days you’ll be well on your way to making a full recovery.

Usefully, we created a video guide to Laser Eye Surgery recovery.

Laser Eye Surgery Recovery: Tha Basics

As the first step towards recovery, the body responds with a predictable inflammatory response—otherwise known as swelling. This is the body sending fluid and white blood cells to the areas that need them to accelerate the healing process.

Following Laser Eye Surgery, the Cornea experiences slight swelling. This can cause your vision to appear a tad foggy or blurry immediately after surgery, although you will be able to notice your vision is more in focus.

This response is completely expected, and the swelling of the cornea and the slight blur of your vision usually settles down within just 24 hours. By this time you’ll have surpassed the biggest step in your recovery, and will be attending your first of several aftercare check-ups and easing back into your normal day-to-day routine.

Getting back to normal activity after Laser Eye Surgery

After Laser Eye Surgery you’re not going to have much time to binge watch your favourite TV series for the sixth time. In fact, to promote a speedy recovery, it’s recommended to avoid screens—TV’s, smartphones, tablets, computers—at least for the first day.

This period is likely the only time you’ll need to take a back seat and get some rest. By taking a back seat we mean coaxing a friend or family member into driving you home from the clinic, and on any other journeys, you need to make that day. Due to the high level of dust and micro-particles that infest the tube, you cannot take the tube getting home after surgery or coming into your one-day post-operative visit. All being well, at the post-operative visit your surgeon will sign you off to resume all public transport.

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The majority of patients are back driving the following day, which is handy as it’s likely that by this time you’ll be fit to return to work. It’s important to note however that starbursts and halos around lights and some blurriness and fluctuation in vision is to be expected for several weeks, so extra care is necessary when driving—particularly at night.

These symptoms gradually disappear over the next few weeks and will be kept an eye on at your 1-3 week aftercare examinations.

Laser Eye Surgery recovery in the workplace

Swiftly getting back to work is generally not an issue for most patients. However when you are there, there are a few small things to bear in mind depending on the environment you work in.

As we mentioned, staring at screens for prolonged periods of time can disrupt your vision. This is simply because—along with things like air conditioning—it can dry out your eyes. If either of these are part of your working day, then it’s advised to keep your eyes well lubricated with artificial tears.

Extra care is also necessary if you work for example on a construction site, where there’s a heightened risk of dust or debris entering the eye. Safety glasses and other adequate precautions need to be taken to avoid this from happening and causing irritation or any unnecessary complications.

Making a complete recovery after Laser Eye Surgery

Normally around the third day following surgery the tissue of the corneal flap made during a standard LASIK procedure has started to strengthen. That means you can hit the gym and start doing some light exercise.

Some examples of exercise you can do include jogging, stationary cycling, and lifting small weights. As the cornea is still in recovery mode, it’s important not to allow any sweat to run into your eyes, and to avoiding rubbing them for the first two weeks.

By the second week, the tissue of the cornea will have healed further, making it safe to take part in sports such as tennis, squash, swimming, mountain biking, and skiing (while wearing the appropriate eye-wear). Physical and high-impact sports like boxing, martial arts, and water-skiing, are to be avoided until at least one month after LASIK surgery. Always seek guidance from your surgeon regarding whether it is safe to resume certain activities.

As you get used to your new life of greater vision, you’ll have another few aftercare check ups at three months, six months, and twelve-month marks, to ensure everything is going smoothly. The cornea takes around six months to return to its full pre-operative strength, and thus most patients will have completely clear and stable vision by the time of their penultimate aftercare appointment.

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

How long is Laser Eye Surgery recovery?

12 Comments
  1. Becca Holton 26/01/2018 at 01:28

    Recovering from laser eye surgery doesn’t seem that bad. It seems like it doesn’t take too much time since you said that most people get back to work swiftly. I’ve got a friend who is considering getting this procedure done and wants to know more before making a decision. I’ll make sure to pass along some of these facts.

    • Bethany Kingsley 01/02/2018 at 10:11

      Hi Becca,
      We are glad you have found our information useful!
      Contact us on 020 7224 1005 if you have any more questions 🙂
      Thanks,
      LoVC

  2. Martin 08/06/2018 at 11:40

    I had LASIK 2 weeks ago and still have blurry distance vision. Is this fairly common and might it resolve to clear distance vision as my eyes heal ? I was found to be still slightly short sighted at my one week check up (don’t know the figures) and it feels as though I still am. My starting prescription, before surgery, was -4.50 in both eyes. I feel I can only just get by without glasses but I couldn’t recognise a familiar person from across a large room. I’m beginning to think I will need an enhancement procedure. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Chloe Lay 13/06/2018 at 10:19

      Hi Martin, at this stage it is too early to tell if you will need an enhancement procedure as your eyes are still settling. FLuctuations in your vision during the recovery process are normal but if you are worried, we recommend you contact the clinic that treated you for further support.
      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

  3. Diane 28/07/2018 at 21:49

    I had cataract removed but after a year my long sight went blurry so last week I had a laser treatment at my local hospital.but my eye is still blurry

    • Chloe Lay 09/08/2018 at 08:56

      Hi Diane, thanks for your message.
      Unfortunately, it is difficult to comment without seeing you for a full eye examination. We would recommend you remain in contact with the team who treated you at your local hospital and make them aware of your symptoms. They will be able to advise you further.
      Best Wishes,
      London Vision Clinic

  4. huma 08/08/2018 at 13:32

    i had a laser treatment before 2weeks ago, but i have no clear image ‘ when i put drops in my eyes then for 1 to 2 minutes vision becomes clear after that it becomes again blur. i am worried about it.

    • Chloe Lay 09/08/2018 at 09:04

      Hi Huma, thanks for your message.
      You should seek advice from your treating clinic immediately so they are able to monitor this for you.
      Best wishes,
      London Vision Clinic

  5. Cristonkay 22/08/2018 at 11:29

    good evening. I have my cataract laser surgery last August17,2018. As of this date (Aug22,2018)my vision is not yet clear, so I’m not happy yet. Please advise when can I experience very clear vision.

    thank you.
    Cristonkay dela Cruz

    • Chloe Lay 29/08/2018 at 09:40

      Hi Criston,
      It is difficult to comment without examining your eyes, you should seek advice from the surgeon who treated you if you are unsure about anything.
      Best Wishes,
      London Vision Clinic

  6. Angelina Guadiano 22/08/2018 at 19:10

    I had laser surgery on 8/16/18 on my left eye. I had ACR Sof IQ ReSTOR Multifocal TORIC IOL (Model- SND1T4) (Power 23.0 D)by Alcon. I’ts been seven days and I still see blurry. I went to the doctor on 8/20/18 due to the blurriness & he said everything was fine. Well I don’t think so, I am worried sick. What do you think might have happened. I had cataract surgery on my right eye, several years ago. I had the Multi Focal ZMB00+23.0 Add+4 by Abbott. I could see fine with my right eye before surgery but now I see blurry through both eyes.

    • Chloe Lay 29/08/2018 at 09:46

      Hi Angelina,
      Sorry to hear you are struggling with your vision. Although it is impossible to comment without seeing your eyes for a full examination, we would advise you to seek further help from your treating surgeon. You may also wish to get a second opinion should your vision continue to be blurry.
      Best Wishes,
      London Vision Clinic

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