After LASIK Eye Surgery Part III: Daily Activities
Once a LASIK eye surgery patient's procedure is complete, the Providence Eye & Laser Specialists team sends them home with their accompanying driver to take a long nap. When they awake, they will already experience clearer vision. However, it is important to remember that your corneal tissue requires several weeks to completely heal. While this occurs, patients often have questions about when and how they complete certain everyday tasks after their LASIK eye surgery. This three-part series covers when post LASIK individuals can bathe and shower, how to approach required medications and how to complete daily activities until your vision has stabilized.
As patients quickly regain their ability to do everyday activities the day after LASIK eye surgery, it is important to remember that even though you will likely not experience any pain, your corneal tissue takes time to completely heal. In order to minimize chances for corneal infections or flap dislodging, Dr. Mozayeni instructs post-op patients to wait to do the following:
1. Applying Makeup and Eye Creams: One Week After LASIK
- Wait 4 days after LASIK eye surgery to apply any eye makeup including eye cream, eyeliner (including kajal or kohl eyeliner), mascara or eye shadow. It is important when applying other facial makeup that you not rub near your eye, ensuring powders such as toners, foundations, or blush don't get into the eye.
- Generally, it is a good idea to purchase new eye makeup to wear after your LASIK surgery, as this will minimize any risk of infection.
- Please take extreme caution when removing your makeup after LASIK. Be careful not to use particular force on your eye or rub excessively when removing eye makeup, as this can harm the flap that was created. You may use very gentle or olive oil-based removers. Be sure to remove all of your makeup before bed to reduce any risk of makeup entering your eye while sleeping.
2. Exercise: One Day to Two Weeks
- You may begin exercise 2 days after your LASIK eye surgery.
- Dr. Mozayeni recommends avoiding public gyms for 5 days after your LASIK eye surgery, as there is an increased risk of infection.
- As mentioned in part one of this series, swimming exercises and other workouts involving chlorinated, salt or fresh water areas should be avoided for 2 weeks.
- Chlorinated water can especially irritate and inflame post op corneal tissue, risking discomfort and infection.
- Protective eyewear should be worn with any contact sports for four weeks after LASIK. This allows individuals to play their favorite sports while maximizing eye protection.
3. Work and Using a Computer: One Day
- The vast majority of people can return to work the day following LASIK eye surgery. Providence Eye advises the use of preservative-free lubricating drops that you purchased over-the-counter prior to your surgery once you return to work, especially if your job includes the use of a computer. Taking frequent breaks to rest your eyes until the corneal tissue has completely healed and ensuring dry eye symptoms are eased with lubricating drops is key in shortening healing time, maximizing comfort and improving your post op work productivity.
- If your job includes frequent computer use, try to blink more often, as studies show people tend to blink half as often as they normally do when they are using a computer. Additionally, it is important for you to change your focus every 20 minutes. We suggest you put a reminder on your calendar to stand up and focus on something that is farther away for 30 seconds to one full minute. This will help your eyes slowly adjust back to heavy computer screen use and keep your eyes lubricated throughout the day using your over-the-counter preservative-free lubricating drops.
4. Outdoor Work: Two Weeks
- Minimizing the chances for small or large outdoor particles to enter the eye enables a fast and speedy recovery from LASIK.
- Substances such as smoke, dust, dirt and yard work/gardening particles are likely to aggravate post-operative corneal tissue and can become lodged in the corneal flap, causing discomfort and potential infection.
- For this reason, Dr. Mozayeni instructs post op LASIK eye surgery patients to wait for seven days before working on projects involving landscaping, gardening, yard work or farm work.
- If you do happen to get dust or dirt into your eye within the one-week timeframe after your LASIK surgery, rinse your eyes with your preservative-free lubricating drops that you purchased prior to your surgery. Should your eyes remain irritated, do not hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Mozayeni to ensure no post-operative infection is occurring.
5. Sleep, Children & Pets: One to 14 Days (depending on your specific situation)
- Plastic shields will cover your eyes after LASIK eye surgery to ensure they are protected from irritants, bumps and rubbing.
- Sleeping: Providence Eye instructs patients to wear these protective shields for 3 nights following their surgery, in case the patient rolls over onto their face or subconsciously tries to rub their eyes during sleep.
- Children and Pets: Obviously, pets and young children do not understand what LASIK eye surgery is, or the dangers involved when post-operative eyes are jabbed. For this reason, Providence Eye highly suggests the wear of protective plastic shields for 10-14 nights when animals or children are allowed to sleep in the bed with their parent(s). In general, we highly suggest minimizing interactions with pets and children that involve high chances for facial contact for up to a full week after LASIK surgery, so sudden pokes, jabs and bumps do not occur.
Check out "LASIK Aftercare Part I: Showering & Bathing" and "After LASIK Eye Surgery Series Part II: Medications" to best prepare for other areas of life after undergoing LASIK.