Should I Avoid the Sun After Lasik?

LASIK surgery is one of the most recommended and successful eye operations undergone by patients with visual acuity issues. It is a type of refractive surgery mostly recommended to people with myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. LASIK surgery uses lasers to treat these kinds of vision-related problems. Most patients instantly recover from refractive errors through this surgery, reducing dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses. It is a minimally invasive surgery with minimal pain during the operation. A few guidelines need to be followed post-surgery because some patients might feel discomfort in their eyes.

LASIK surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia, and it takes around 15-20 minutes. In this surgery, the cornea is reshaped to enhance your vision. After the surgery, it usually takes about six weeks to 9 months for a full recovery. However, it varies from one patient to another. You will be asked to meet your eye surgeon regularly post-surgery to monitor your progress. Generally, resuming normal activities after a day of surgery is acceptable. However, there are a few guidelines that every patient must follow after the surgery. The patient must keep up with the follow-up appointments as the surgeons must monitor their patients even after the surgery.

Complete recovery varies by patient, and it might take three to six months for a LASIK surgery patient to recover from vision-related issues completely. Thus, patients must remember a few things before completely losing themselves post-LASIK eye surgery.


What should you avoid after LASIK surgery?

After the surgery, a few precautions must be taken to ensure smooth and hassle-free healing. Your eye surgeon will give you some medications and painkillers to prevent dryness, itchiness, and other discomfort. Along with it, the patient must be careful about a few things:


Avoid physical activities –
Workouts, strength training, heavy lifting, and driving should be avoided as much as possible. All of these activities might affect the eyes and can cause pain. If you urgently need to go out, accompany someone with you who will drive you to the place.


Avoid direct water contact –
It might be difficult, but incorporate a less water policy for a few days after surgery. Direct water contact with the eyes might cause a problem in the healing.


Reading –
No matter how much you like books or reading, it is mandatory to put some time off from reading books or newspapers or doing any activity that might cause pain or discomfort in the eyes. Instead of reading, listen to audiobooks or podcasts to pass the time. It is usually recommended to avoid straining one’s eyes for at least 24 hours post-surgery. However, you must consult your doctor and check up with them before resuming any activity.


Wearing Makeup –
Avoid any eye makeup as it can irritate your eyes. You might develop more redness and face difficulty healing from the surgery. Secondly, it can carry bacteria into your eyes, which might trigger further infections. Consider waiting until your eyes are completely recovered before you start applying makeup.


Swimming –
Eye surgeons usually instruct their patients to avoid all kinds of water-related sports, including swimming. Introducing or letting moisture in your eyes after LASIK surgery is not advisable. Water will irritate your eyes and make the recovery process a bit difficult. Additionally, swimming pools have chlorine which affects the eyes even if a person is not recovering from surgery. Therefore, it is usually advised to close your eyes underwater. With someone recovering from eye surgery, the chlorine will have adverse effects if not careful in such places. It might trigger infections in your recovering eyes.


Avoid sunlight –
Wear glasses when you go out directly in the sun. Sunlight might be harmful to the eyes just after LASIK. Direct sunlight might cause irritation, redness, and even eye discomfort. Thus, avoid going out into the sun immediately after the surgery. Stay indoors and limit your exposure to the outside world for a few days.


Benefits of avoiding sun exposure after LASIK

After a LASIK eye surgery, or any form of eye surgery, a patient is sensitive to bright lights, and this goes for direct sun exposure and bright tube lights or bulbs, even indoors. It happens due to several reasons. After eye surgery, the patient needs time to heal, and their eyes need time to adjust to the new corneal contour. There is a corneal flap during the surgery, so the eyes must heal from the whole process. During this recovery and healing period, light sensitivity might be affected. Additionally, bright lights will also cause redness and irritation in the eyes.

Light sensitivity usually lasts for a few weeks, so the patient is advised to avoid bright lights until their eyes are adjusted. Major issues related to light and contrast sensitivity are generally resolved after a week, and the patients will not face any pain or discomfort by that period. However, the contrast sensitivity might still be affected. Moreover, most patients after LASIK surgery will completely heal and adjust to their new vision by the end of six weeks. However, in some cases, it may take two to three months.


How to deal with Light sensitivity?

In the initial days after the LASIK surgery, a patient is advised to avoid going out in direct sun exposure, which is one way of dealing with light sensitivity. Avoiding sunlight will help reduce eye discomfort, such as redness, itchiness, irritation, etc. Patients are advised to wear sunglasses after surgery, even during the time they are at home. It is done to keep the lights away as much as possible. A patient can also consider wearing a hat and sunglasses if they need to step out. For the first two to three days, a patient recovering from LASIK is advised to avoid using electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, laptops, video games, television, etc, as much as possible. These devices will pressure the healing eyes, making it difficult for the patient to adapt to the light and complicating the recovery process.

Thus, a patient should avoid sun exposure after LASIK eye surgery or any eye surgery, as it becomes a hurdle in the healing process, which might be otherwise smooth and speedy.


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