How To Reduce Eye Swelling After Lasik?

Battling the Puff

LASIK surgery is a popular procedure for correcting vision problems, offering a quick and effective solution for those looking to reduce their dependency on glasses or contact lenses. 

However, like any surgical procedure, LASIK can come with some temporary side effects, one of which is eye swelling. 

While some degree of swelling is a normal part of the healing process, it can be uncomfortable and may affect your vision temporarily. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore effective ways to reduce eye swelling after LASIK surgery, ensuring a smoother and more comfortable recovery process for you.


Understanding Eye Swelling After LASIK:

Before diving into remedies, it’s essential to understand why eye swelling occurs after LASIK surgery. 

During the LASIK procedure, a thin flap is delicately created on the surface of the cornea to facilitate the reshaping of the underlying tissue.

This manipulation of the cornea can lead to inflammation and fluid retention, resulting in temporary swelling in the cornea and surrounding tissues, causing your eyelids to appear puffy.

Additionally, the use of surgical instruments and eye drops during the procedure can further contribute to post-operative swelling.

The good news is that this swelling is temporary and usually resolves within a few days. However, taking steps to minimise puffiness can greatly improve your comfort during the recovery process.


Strategies to Soothe the Swollen Eyes

1.Follow Post-Operative Care Instructions: 

Your surgeon will provide detailed post-operative care instructions, including how to manage swelling. It’s crucial to follow these instructions diligently to promote proper healing and minimize complications. This may include using prescribed eye drops, avoiding rubbing or touching your eyes, and wearing protective eyewear as instructed.

2.Apply Cold Compresses: 

Cold compresses can help constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation, effectively minimising eye swelling. 

Place a clean, damp cloth in the refrigerator for a few minutes, then gently apply it to your closed eyelids for 10-15 minutes several times a day. Ensure the compress is not too cold to avoid discomfort or damage to the delicate eye tissues.

3.Stay Hydrated: 

Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential for overall health and can also aid in reducing eye swelling. Proper hydration helps flush out toxins from your body, including those contributing to inflammation. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, or more if you’re particularly active or live in a dry climate.


Your body requires adequate time and energy to heal post-LASIK. Make sleep a priority, aiming for at least 8 hours per night.

5.Elevate Your Head While Resting: 

Keeping your head elevated while resting can help prevent fluid buildup around your eyes. Use extra pillows or a wedge pillow to elevate your head while sleeping, ensuring that your head is higher than your heart. This position promotes better circulation and reduces the risk of excessive swelling overnight.

6.Limit Screen Time: 

Excessive screen time, whether it’s from computers, smartphones, or televisions, can strain your eyes and exacerbate swelling. During the initial recovery period after LASIK surgery, it’s advisable to limit screen time as much as possible. If you must use electronic devices, take frequent breaks, and remember to blink regularly to keep your eyes lubricated.

7.Avoid Strenuous Activities: 

Engaging in strenuous activities or heavy lifting can increase intraocular pressure and worsen eye swelling. It’s essential to avoid such activities for the first few days following LASIK surgery to allow your eyes to heal properly. Opt for light activities like walking or gentle stretching instead, and gradually resume your regular exercise routine as advised by your surgeon.

8.Use Prescribed Medications:

Your surgeon may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or eye drops to help reduce swelling and discomfort after LASIK surgery. Make sure to use these medications as directed and notify your surgeon if you experience any adverse reactions or worsening symptoms.

9.No to Eye Makeup: 

Although it might be tempting to adorn your eyes with glamorous makeup, it’s best to resist the urge. Makeup and its applicators can introduce bacteria and irritate your healing eyes, possibly exacerbating swelling. It’s advisable to refrain from using eye makeup for at least a week post-surgery or follow the guidance provided by your doctor.

10.Eat a Healthy Diet: 

Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can support overall eye health and aid in reducing swelling. Foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, and nuts, can help combat inflammation and promote faster healing. Incorporate these foods into your meals to optimise your recovery after LASIK surgery.

11.Avoid Eye Irritants: 

Exposure to smoke, dust, pollen, and other irritants can exacerbate eye swelling and prolong the healing process. Avoid environments where these irritants are present, and if necessary, use protective eyewear or sunglasses to shield your eyes from potential harm.

12.Attend Follow-Up Appointments: 

Regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon are essential for monitoring your progress and addressing any concerns or complications promptly. During these appointments, your surgeon can assess your healing process, adjust your treatment plan if necessary, and provide additional guidance on reducing eye swelling.


Healing Timeline Breakdown

  • First 24-48 Hours: This period typically sees the highest level of swelling, with noticeable puffiness. However, it should begin to diminish over the next few days.
  • Days 3-5: Swelling should gradually decrease during this time, accompanied by an improvement in vision.
  • Week 1: By the end of the first week, most of the swelling should have subsided.
  • Weeks 2-4: Any remaining puffiness is expected to completely resolve during this period.

It’s important to note that individual experiences may vary. Attending follow-up appointments with your ophthalmologist is essential for monitoring progress and addressing any concerns you may have.


Staying Positive and Patient

While eye swelling after LASIK surgery is normal and expected, taking proactive steps to minimise it can help ensure a smoother and more comfortable recovery experience. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can effectively reduce swelling, promote proper healing, and enjoy the long-term benefits of improved vision. 

Remember, a little patience and care go a long way in achieving optimal results and enjoying the long-term benefits of clear vision.

With patience and proper care, you’ll soon be enjoying clear, crisp vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses and without the puffiness!


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