How Long is the Recovery After LASIK?

December 20, 2022 | LASIK

A LASIK vision correction procedure might be the solution you've been looking for if you're tired of having to wear glasses and contacts and want to wake up every morning with clear vision. LASIK can treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. After your eyes have recovered from your LASIK treatment, many patients are able to stop wearing their glasses and contact lenses permanently.

The team of board-certified surgeons at ClearSight LASIK are national leaders in vision correction. With decades of combined experience, our team is dedicated to providing each of our patients with a life-changing experience. From your initial LASIK consultation through your recovery, we take care of our patients and will address any concerns along the way.

When considering a LASIK procedure, patients often ask us how long the recovery process will take. In this article, we will answer this question along with other frequently asked questions about the recovery process. Call our office today for more information or to schedule your consultation to see if you're a candidate for LASIK. We would love to be a part of your journey to visual freedom and answer any questions you have about LASIK.

How long is the LASIK recovery process?

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) surgery normally requires six to twelve hours of initial healing time. However, this can vary from patient to patient and is influenced by a variety of factors, such as the degree of inflammation. Most LASIK patients can see perfectly within 24 hours of their procedure, while some need to rest for two to five days. After LASIK, some patients may temporarily experience glare, halos, and fluctuating vision for a few weeks and, in some cases, a few months.

Your eyes will start to heal as soon as the procedure is finished, but the full recovery following LASIK usually takes four to six weeks. At your follow-up appointments, our skilled surgeons will keep track of your healing progress and offer you a better idea of your specific recovery timeframe.

More FAQ's about LASIK Recovery

What will take place the day I have LASIK?

Even though LASIK procedures only takes around 15 minutes, you can expect to spend about two hours at ClearSight LASIK in our Oklahoma City clinic. Additionally, since you may experience blurry vision and won't be able to drive, you'll need to plan a ride home with a friend or family member on the day of your procedure. Before starting the procedure, we occasionally repeat some of the tests done during your initial ClearSight LASIK consultation.

Before the LASIK procedure begins, you will be given eye-numbing drops, and a soft eyelid holder will be inserted so you won't have to worry about blinking. The laser eye correction process, which starts with the excimer laser treatment and lasts about 20 seconds for each eye, will then begin using advanced laser technology. Following your LASIK procedure, your surgeon will provide you with post-operative instructions and protective eye shields to wear while you sleep for the first two nights.

When can I drive after LASIK?

Although everyone's recovery timeline is different, and you should follow your doctor's advice regarding postop care for your particular situation, you are typically allowed to drive the day after surgery. If your vision is improving and you are healing as anticipated, your eye doctor will allow you to drive after your follow-up appointment.

Will my recovery from LASIK be painful?

Most LASIK patients feel little to no discomfort during or after their procedure, if any at all. After laser vision correction, it is typical to have itchy, dry, or irritated eyes, but you shouldn't experience severe pain. You will be given eye drops by your surgeon to ease any discomfort, eliminate dry eye, and accelerate the healing process. Contact ClearSight LASIK right away if you have any questions about any signs and symptoms you may be experiencing.

When can I wash my hair after LASIK?

You can wash your hair the day after your LASIK procedure. You should take additional care to avoid getting soap or water in your eyes when taking a shower or washing your hair, especially in the first week after LASIK.

Is there anything I can do to speed up my recovery from LASIK?

Patients who have undergone LASIK vision correction are elated to have clear eyesight and are anxious to resume their regular lives. You may accelerate your healing and prevent any setbacks by using these tips for LASIK recovery:

  • Avoid touching your eyes

  • Do not rub your eyes

  • Limit your screen time.

  • Rest and relax as much as you can

  • Attend every follow-up appointment

  • Follow the directions provided for any eye drops.

  • For a week, refrain from using face lotion or cosmetics.

  • When in bright light, wear sunglasses.

  • Skip the hot tub, swimming, and contact sports.

  • Follow your LASIK surgeon's recommendations

How long after LASIK until I can see 20/20?

LASIK eye surgery recovery time frames can differ from person to person. However, many LASIK patients see 20/20 by the next day, assuming that you do not have any other ocular conditions that would limit the potential of your eye to reach 20/20 vision; this will be known beforehand and determined at your pre-operative appointment. Although visual perception is frequently very good, this does not mean that the healing process is complete, and patients should carefully follow their doctor's instructions.

How long will I need to sleep with eye shields after LASIK?

The LASIK procedure, which has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, consists of two stages. In the first step, your eye surgeon creates a corneal flap that is lifted, and the procedure is finished by carefully resealing this flap into place. In the second step of LASIK, the cornea is reshaped using a different laser to correct vision.

The corneal flap must not be disturbed for the first week following a LASIK procedure which is why eye protection is advised. It is very secure after 48–72 hours, but if you apply too much pressure in one area as the eyes heal, particularly in the first 72 hours, you could possibly move the flap's edge. To help prevent this issue, we encourage patients to wear eye shields at night.

We advise utilizing eye shields while sleeping at night or while taking naps for the first several days following vision correction procedures. Patients should also use extreme caution and avoid rubbing their eyes to avoid putting pressure on the eye and instead use a clean tissue to carefully dab the eye. It is best not to touch your eyes as they heal.

What should I do for the first 24 hours after my LASIK procedure?

According to LASIK experts, you should use the first 24 hours following your laser procedure to rest. During this period, LASIK patients should avoid reading, using computers, exercising vigorously, and watching television. Wearing sunglasses is essential since you will be light sensitive after your LASIK treatment. As you recover from LASIK, protecting your eyes will keep you comfortable and speed up the healing process.

You can take a shower the day after your surgery, but avoid getting water or soap in your eyes.

Any prescription medication, over-the-counter analgesic, artificial tears, or lubricating eye drops your doctor recommends should be taken as directed.

When can I wash my face after LASIK?

Generally speaking, you shouldn't wash your face for at least 24 hours after having LASIK. Just like when you take a shower, you must refrain from getting water or soap in your eyes while washing your face for at least a few days. When using face wash, take your time and rinse it off slowly, being careful not to spray any water. Because the soap is more likely to drip into your eyes from your forehead than anywhere else, think about avoiding it totally. When it's time to dry your face, gently massage your skin with a towel, keeping your eyes out of the way.

Most patients wash their faces successfully throughout the LASIK healing period by simply following the advice above. Additionally, there are a few facial cleansing methods that eye specialists advise using to lessen the likelihood of getting something in your eyes.

One approach to washing your face without water or soap is to pour a face toner onto a cotton pad and apply it gently to dry skin. As an alternative, you can wipe your face with a damp washcloth to get rid of extra oil and debris. With either strategy, be careful to avoid your eyes.

What can you not do while you are recovering from LASIK?

While laser vision correction on the human eye is a quick, painless procedure with little recovery time, patients must take steps to guarantee that the healing process is as quick and painless as possible. To reduce the risk of infection, patients should avoid swimming in pools, hot tubs, saunas, and other bodies of water for at least two weeks after their treatment. It is also recommended to wear goggles for a few weeks after that. Although we understand that patients are eager to resume their normal routine with clear vision, it is crucial to give your eyes enough time to recuperate before engaging in rigorous exercise. You should also avoid contact sports for at least a week.

You shouldn't spend a lot of time looking at your phone or computer screen for the first 24 to 48 hours following your LASIK procedure. This will allow your eyes to recuperate and lessen any further strain that these kinds of screens may cause.

Following their procedure, LASIK surgery patients should not wear eye makeup for approximately one week. At your consultation, your LASIK surgeon will go over the LASIK recovery time recommendations. Follow your doctor's recommendations to ensure a speedy and trouble-free recovery for your eyes.

Call ClearSight LASIK today...

Call ClearSight LASIK now if you live near the Oklahoma City area and you are ready to eliminate the inconvenience of glasses or contacts. Come see what you've been missing! To find out if you're a LASIK candidate and to arrange your comprehensive eye exam, call our office today. Our highly trained team is here to walk alongside you every step of your path toward visual freedom. We look forward to meeting you soon!


“I wish I’d done it sooner!”

The number one thing we hear from our patients is that they wish they’d had Vision Correction sooner.

So the question for you is… why wait any longer?

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