Do I Need to Wear Sunglasses After Smile Surgery?

As the popularity of refractive surgeries such as LASIK, PRK, and SMILE continues to rise, patients often have questions about their post-operative care. One common concern is whether or not they need to wear sunglasses after undergoing SMILE surgery. The short answer is yes, you should definitely wear sunglasses after SMILE surgery. In this article, we will explain why and provide you with some tips on how to choose the right pair of sunglasses for your post-operative care.


Why Do I Need to Wear Sunglasses After SMILE Surgery?

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a minimally invasive laser eye surgery used to correct myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. During the procedure, a small lenticule is created in the cornea and removed through a tiny incision.
After SMILE surgery, it is crucial to protect your eyes from bright light and UV rays. Here are some reasons why wearing sunglasses is essential for your post-operative care:

  • Reducing Light Sensitivity:
    After any eye surgery, you may experience light sensitivity or photophobia. This is a common side effect and can last for a few weeks after the surgery. Wearing sunglasses helps to reduce this sensitivity and make your eyes more comfortable.
  • Protecting Your Eyes from UV Rays:
    Sunlight contains harmful UV rays that can damage your eyes. Exposing your unprotected eyes to these rays after SMILE surgery can interfere with the healing process and increase your risks of complications. Wearing sunglasses with 100% UV protection is crucial to avoid any potential harm.
  • Preventing Dry Eyes:
    After SMILE surgery, you may experience dry eyes due to reduced tear production or temporary damage to the nerves that control tear production. Exposure to sunlight and wind can worsen this condition. Wearing sunglasses can provide a barrier against these external factors and help your eyes retain moisture.
  • Promoting Healing:
    Wearing sunglasses helps to shield your eyes from dust, debris, and other particles that may irritate them during the crucial healing period. This can also prevent any potential infections and promote faster healing of your eyes.


Choosing the Right Sunglasses for Post-SMILE Care

When it comes to choosing sunglasses for your post-operative care, not all sunglasses are created equal. Here are some tips to help you pick the right pair:

  • Look for 100% UV Protection:
    As mentioned earlier, UV rays can be harmful to your eyes after SMILE surgery. Make sure the sunglasses you choose offer 100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Consider the Color and Tint:
    The color and tint of sunglasses can impact how well they protect your eyes. Gray lenses are a popular choice as they provide true color perception, while brown or amber tints can enhance contrast in low-light conditions. Avoid yellow or rose-tinted lenses, as they may distort your vision.
  • Check for Polarized Lenses:
    Polarized lenses are coated with a special film that helps reduce glare from reflective surfaces, making them an excellent choice for post-SMILE care. During recovery, your eyes may easily get fatigued with prolonged use. Wearing glasses provides better visual clarity and can help reduce eye strain.
  • Ensure Proper Fit:
    Your sunglasses should fit your face comfortably and snugly to provide adequate protection. Consider wraparound styles or larger frames that offer more coverage to shield your eyes from external factors.
  • Avoid Contact with Your Eyes:
    Make sure the sunglasses do not touch your eyes or eyelids. This can cause irritation and discomfort, especially during the sensitive healing period after SMILE surgery.


When Should I Wear Sunglasses After SMILE Surgery?

It is recommended to wear sunglasses for at least a week after SMILE surgery, both indoors and outdoors. However, every patient’s recovery is different, and your doctor may advise you to wear sunglasses for a longer period.

Here are some situations when it is crucial to have your sunglasses on:

  • When Going Outdoors:
    Bright sunlight can be harmful to your eyes after SMILE surgery, so make sure to always have your sunglasses on when going outside.
  • While Driving:
    Driving exposes your eyes to UV rays and glare from the road, making sunglasses a must-have accessory for post-SMILE care.
  • In Brightly Lit Environments or Harsh Indoor Lighting:
    Even indoors, you may encounter bright lights that can irritate your eyes. Wearing sunglasses in these situations can offer relief and help reduce the amount of light that enters your eyes.
  • While Laying Down or Sleeping:
    It is important to wear protective shields or sunglasses consistently, especially when going to bed or resting. Make sure the shields are positioned against your brow and cheekbones rather than on your eyelids. This will effectively prevent unintentional rubbing or touching and ensure the safety of your eyes while you sleep.


Other Tips for Post-SMILE Care

Apart from wearing sunglasses, there are a few other things you can do to take care of your eyes after SMILE surgery:

  • Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes:
    Touching or rubbing your eyes can cause irritation and even increase the risk of infection. Make sure to resist the urge to rub your eyes, especially during the healing period.
  • Use Prescribed Eye Drops:
    Your doctor will prescribe eye drops to help with healing and dryness after SMILE surgery. Make sure to use them as directed for the best results.
  • Rest Your Eyes:
    Give your eyes plenty of rest during the first few days after surgery. Limit screen time and avoid activities that strain your eyes, such as reading or watching TV for extended periods.
  • Attend Follow-Up Appointments:
    It is essential to attend all follow-up appointments with your doctor for a thorough checkup and any necessary adjustments to your post-operative care routine.

Wearing sunglasses after SMILE surgery is crucial for protecting your eyes and promoting healing. Make sure to choose the right pair and wear them as directed by your doctor for optimal results. With proper care and precautions, you can enjoy clearer vision and improved eye health after SMILE surgery.

So, it is important to prioritize post-operative care and follow all the instructions given by your doctor for a successful recovery. Don’t forget to wear those sunglasses!


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