LASIK Recovery Timeline
Countless people in the greater Chicago, IL area have benefitted from LASIK. This laser eye surgery allows people to see clearly without the aid of glasses and contacts, with a relatively simple recovery process.
Many LASIK patients at Wicker Park Eye Center have asked Dr. Daniel J. Tepper what they can expect as they heal from LASIK. Below is a general rundown of LASIK recovery, with a broad timeline that covers the healing process.
Should I Take Time Off from Work or School?
It’s a good idea to take a day off from school or work after undergoing LASIK to give your eyes sufficient time to rest. The day of the week you undergo LASIK could affect this, of course, depending on your work or class schedule. We can discuss this in more detail during your pre-op LASIK consultation.
What to Expect Right After LASIK Surgery
Immediately after LASIK is completed, you may notice an improvement in your vision clarity and quality. You’ll be asked to rest in the practice for around 10 to 15 minutes after the surgery has been performed.
It is dangerous to operate a vehicle or travel alone right after LASIK, so having someone with you is essential. A loved one will help you return home from the practice to recuperate. You’ll likely be given eye shields and sunglasses to wear in order to protect your eyes from discomfort and accidental rubbing or scratching.
The First Day After LASIK
After returning home, patients should avoid reading and looking at screens for 24 hours. This offers your eyes a chance to rest and fully recover after the laser eye surgery has been performed. You should also refrain from strenuous physical activity.
If you feel any discomfort after LASIK, be sure to use your medicated eye drops and lubricating eye drops as directed. You can contact our Chicago eye surgery center for any urgent issues that arise in this early phase of recovery.
The First Follow-Up Visit
The first post-op follow-up visit will usually be scheduled 24 to 48 hours after LASIK surgery. This will give your surgeon an opportunity to monitor your recovery and discuss any issues you may have experienced in the first day after surgery.
At this initial follow-up visit, we can let you know if you’re able to safely operate a vehicle on your own. We can also discuss when you can return to other common activities without risk any complications.
Returning to Normal Activities
Patients will be able to return to light-to-moderate exercise and other normal activities in the days after the initial follow-up visit, though heavy lifting and strenuous activity will still be prohibited. Swimming without goggles and the use of hot tubs will still be restricted until your eyes have fully healed and the infection risk is gone.
Your night vision may be altered over the next few weeks, so be careful when driving at night. Just to be on the safe side, it may a good idea to get rides from co-workers, classmates, or loved ones after daylight hours until your night vision has been restored.
Be sure to follow all instructions provided during the initial follow-up visit in this first phase of recovery. Keep liquid tears with you at all times to provide relief for itchiness and dry eyes, and continue to wear sunglasses when outdoors in order to prevent discomfort from light sensitivity.
Attend All Follow-Up Visits
There will be several follow-up visits in the months after LASIK surgery. This will allow us to continue checking on your recovery and ensuring your vision is improved and your corneas are healthy. Attend all of these follow-ups as instructed. You can continue to call us if you have any urgent concerns or questions about long-term LASIK healing.
Contact Wicker Park Eye Center
If you live in Chicago and would like more information about laser vision correction, be sure to contact a skilled LASIK surgeon and ophthalmologist. You can reach our practice by phone at (773) 831-7225.