The top 5 tips for a speedy recovery after laser eye surgery
Custom Vision Clinic patients who have laser eye surgery generally recover quite quickly and often notice improvements in their vision immediately after surgery. Here are five tips that we pass on to our patients following treatment to ensure that they do all they can to resume normal activities with their new vision as quickly as possible.
- Follow your consultant’s post-operative instructions to the letter
You will be given different types of eye drops after your laser treatment. These are usually an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory and a lubricating one. It is imperative that you stick to your eye drop routine and use the drops as instructed for the entire course. Your eyes heal better when you keep them lubricated, so we advise on using the lubricating drops several times a day.
After your laser treatment, it is likely that you will feel tired. Your eyes may feel better when you rest them, and they will heal better when you are asleep. Please ensure that you wear the protective eye shields that we provide for you to prevent you from rubbing your eyes while sleeping. Your eyes may feel a little gritty following surgery, but by the following morning, this should have subsided.
- Protect your eyes
Your eyes may be a little light sensitive for a few days after your treatment. This will settle down, but during that time it will help if you wear a pair of UV protective sunglasses.
- Attend your follow-up appointments
Attending all of your follow-up appointments is crucial. Some patients tend to think that it’s not necessary if they can see well and have no issues. But it is always better to have this confirmed by the experts – after all, that’s what you have paid for. Custom Vision Clinic does not charge for follow-up appointments, regardless of how many are required. Some patients may find that their vision has become slightly blurred, and a follow-up appointment may identify the problem to be something as simple as dry eyes, which the ophthalmologist can rectify with some lubricating eye drops. It can take up to six months for your vision to settle down completely following treatment, which is why we do not discharge patients until this point. Appointments become less frequent after surgery. We like to ensure that everything is healing well and see patients 24hrs after treatment, then one week later, then a month later, then three months after that. If all is well at that stage, we will discharge the patient. If, however, someone requires further appointments, then we will continue to see them until the clinician and the patient are both happy.
- Avoid contact sports and swimming
Your consultant will be able to provide you with a list of activities and how long you should refrain from taking part in them. For example, to reduce the chances of infection, we ask patients not to swim for up to a month. We also ask patients to refrain from contact sports for up to a month. We can offer recommendations for specific sports and activities at your initial consultation. Patients should avoid wearing eye make-up for a week post-operatively.
About the author
Mr James Ball | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
MA (Cantab) MB BChir FRCOphth CertLRS
I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic, St James’s University Hospital, and Nuffield Hospital. My major interest is in refractive surgery and finding the best treatment suitable for each patient.
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