How Long Does It Take to Recover From LASIK?

LASIK surgery is a very popular elective surgery. In fact, it’s the most popular vision correction procedure. 

LASIK surgery is a low-risk procedure with high success rates. Over 95% of patients are happy with their results. 

The procedure is also pretty simple and is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you go home the same day you have the procedure. The recovery process after surgery is also relatively easy.

It will take up to six months for your eyes to fully heal from LASIK, but initial recovery only takes a few weeks at most. Keep reading to learn more about LASIK, including how long it takes to recover from LASIK!

What Happens During LASIK Surgery?

During LASIK surgery, your LASIK surgeon uses a laser to reshape your cornea. LASIK surgery aims to correct your natural refractive error, whether you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

When you have a refractive error, it’s due to the shape of your eye. When the shape of your cornea, the clear round dome at the front of the eye, has irregularities, or your eye is too short or too long, it causes light to refract inaccurately.

In order for you to have clear vision, light must land directly on the retina. When your eye shape is irregular, the light will not land on the retina.

During LASIK surgery, your LASIK surgeon will change the shape of your cornea in order to correct these irregularities. First, your LASIK surgeon will create a flap in the top layer of your cornea.

Then, the flap is lifted, and your LASIK surgeon reshapes the corneal tissue beneath the flap. After LASIK surgery, the flap is repositioned, where it acts as a natural bandage and heals naturally.

Many people notice an immediate improvement in their vision. However, in some cases, it may take a few months for your eyes to fully heal.

What’s Initial Recovery Process After LASIK?

The day you have LASIK surgery, you’ll need a ride home as you won’t be able to drive yourself right away. You must be cleared by your eye doctor once your vision has improved before you can drive again.

You may notice some slight discomfort, itching, or redness during the initial recovery process. These side effects usually only last a few days at most and can often be eased by using over-the-counter eye drops.

During the first week or so after LASIK surgery, you’ll have to use prescription antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory eye drops to make sure your eyes don’t get infected as they heal. Many people feel well enough to return to work as soon as the day after LASIK surgery.

For the next few weeks, it’s important to take precautions in order to keep your eyes protected while they’re healing. At night for the first week or two, wear the eye shield provided to you by your eye doctor to prevent accidentally rubbing your eyes during sleep. 

You should also avoid wearing eye makeup and anything else that can get too close to your eyes, including running water, so you’ll need to be careful when showering. You should avoid pools and hot tubs altogether for two weeks. 

As for physical activity, you can return to exercising as normal within a week or two with your eye doctor’s approval, but you should wait to do any high-intensity or contact sports for at least a month.

Besides these precautions, you should be able to return to most of your normal activities within as little as a week. After a month, your initial recovery will be complete.

During this time, your vision will continue to improve. However, you likely won’t reach your peak vision until your eyes have completely healed in three to six months.

When Will I Be Fully Recovered From LASIK?

After your initial recovery, you’ll feel normal, but your eyes aren’t technically fully healed. It takes time for your corneal flap to heal again with the rest of your eye. 

While your eyes heal, though, your vision will continue to get better and better. You’ll see some improvement right away, but it’ll only get better and better until you reach the peak results for your LASIK procedure. 

Full recovery can take anywhere between three to six months in most cases. During that time, you’ll continue to have follow-up appointments with your eye doctor to make sure your eyes are doing well as they continue to heal.

Within a year after surgery, your eyes will be fully healed, and your vision will have stabilized. Once this happens, you can look forward to years and years of clear vision. 

LASIK surgery is permanent, so you don’t have to ever worry about wearing off. You may still develop age-related eyesight issues, as LASIK cannot prevent conditions like presbyopia.

Are you ready to determine if you may be a candidate for LASIK? Schedule a LASIK evaluation at Sugiki Portis Eye Center in Honolulu, HI, today!

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