What Should I Do if I Experience Any Post-Operative Symptoms?
When preparing to have Laser Eye Surgery, it can be easy to get hung up on the nerves and anticipation about the procedure itself and forget about the longest part of the process – your recovery. As the day of your surgery approaches, however, you may start to wonder about less immediate things. For example – what should you do if you experience any post-operative symptoms?
Laser Eye Surgery can be a daunting prospect. Most of us don’t enjoy anything coming too close to our eyes at the best of times – never mind a laser! But the good news is, the procedure itself is typically over in just a matter of minutes. After this, it’s time to focus on your recovery and enjoy your new and improved vision.
Thanks to advancements in technology and the world-class expertise of our surgeons, the vast majority of our patients experience a smooth and fast recovery. However, there are a number of side effects and post-operative symptoms that every patient should be aware of.
Laser Eye Surgery’s Post-Operative Symptoms
While Laser Eye Surgery has become increasingly less invasive, it is important to remember that it is still a surgical procedure. As such, the changes made to the eye during treatment trigger an inflammatory response in the eye.
This often manifests as one or all of several side effects and post-operative symptoms, including:
This is one of the most common side effects of Laser Eye surgery. In most cases, dry eyes are easy to manage; however, this can cause some discomfort in the days and weeks following your surgery. So, what causes this dryness?
The corneal nerves on the surface of the eye are responsible for sending messages to the lacrimal gland. In turn, this gland provides continuous lubrication to the eye. However, during Laser Eye Surgery, this process is interrupted, leading to decreased lubrication and so, dry eyes.
Eventually, though, these nerves heal. In the weeks and months following your procedure, the lubrication levels in your eyes will return to normal. In the meantime, your clinic will provide you with “artificial tears” in the form of eye drops. Your surgeon will talk you through your new eye drop routine immediately after your procedure and at the aftercare appointments following.
A small number of patients – particularly those with pre-existing dry eye syndromes – however, may experience prolonged and/or more significant symptoms. However, thanks to our comprehensive screening process, such cases are extremely rare.
Another common side effect of Laser Eye Surgery is the occurrence of night glare. In fact, all Laser Eye Surgery patients will experience night glare to some extent. This is because night glare, such as halos and starbursts, is caused by swelling in the eye – a completely normal part of the eye’s healing process.
It can take a few months for this swelling to completely settle, at which point, night glare symptoms will also subside for most patients. However, it is possible for this symptom to persist beyond this point. In these cases, further testing may be performed to determine how to resolve this symptom.
Persistent night glare is more likely to occur in cases where laser treatment did not sufficiently alter the shape of the eye. In these cases, a follow-up procedure is usually helpful. The size of the pupils can also make one more prone to persistent night glare following Laser Eye Surgery; however, this can usually be avoided when a thorough screening is performed.
Sensitivity to Light
Following your procedure, it is inevitable that you will experience some sensitivity to light. For this reason, you will be asked to keep your eyes closed as much as possible during the first few hours of your recovery.
While this can be a little inconvenient, most patients find that their sensitivity begins to subside in as little as 12-24 hours. Of course, everyone’s eyes are different so you may experience light sensitivity for longer, or you may not notice it at all!
In most cases, light sensitivity can be managed by simply wearing a pair of sunglasses on the day of your procedure.
What if I’m concerned about my symptoms?
It is completely normal to experience some or all of these post-operative symptoms. Your surgeon and clinic staff will monitor your recovery to ensure that your eyes’ healing process is working effectively. However, if you are concerned about any of these symptoms, we are just a phone call away.
At London Vision Clinic, you will be given the telephone number of your surgeon so you can discuss any problems or concerns immediately.