Millions of people undergo eye surgeries every year, from laser eye surgeries to Photorefractive Keratectomy surgeries to cataract surgeries. The procedures are usually short and uneventful, while the recovery time depends on several factors. These include the type of eye surgery patients receive and the way they take care of their eyes post-surgery.
As someone who’s scheduled for eye surgery, there may be quite a few questions you might be asking yourself. To help you out, we’re listing a couple of useful tips on how to recover from eye surgery and what you can expect during the recovery process.
Go for all the follow-up appointments after your eye surgery
After performing the procedure, your doctor will schedule follow-up visits. It is essential that you attend all the check-up appointments that they have recommended. Typically, you can expect your doctor to schedule an appointment within the next 24-48 hours post-surgery.
During the first follow-up visit, the doctor will examine your eyes to assess the healing process and make sure that there are no complications. They’ll also test your vision during the appointment. If you’re feeling discomfort, eye pain or your blurry vision doesn’t seem to improve even after a few days post-surgery, make sure that you report that to your doctor so they can take proper care of your eyes. You can also expect your surgeon to schedule additional visits during the next six months after the surgery. That way, they’ll be able to track your progress of healing and recovery, so it’s important that you don’t neglect these appointments.
Talk to your doctor about post-surgery symptoms and the recovery timeline
Eye discomfort is a typical post-op symptom. After your eye surgery, you may experience feelings of dry eyes and an itchy sensation. Your eyes may get teary or watery, and you may experience blurry or hazy vision. Your eyes may also become sensitive to light, and they may also become red or bloodshot. After the procedure, some patients may also see streaks, halos, starbursts, and glares. In cases where the patient has received the anesthetic, there may be some bruising that typically disappears after a few days.
Generally speaking, patients undergoing laser in-situ keratomileusis or LASIK surgery can expect similar symptoms as patients who have undergone cataract surgery or Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK surgery. Talking to your doctor about the recovery timeline and the postoperative symptoms that you can expect will help speed up the process. It’ll also help you recover from eye surgery more easily.
Keep in mind any post-surgery activity restrictions
After undergoing eye surgery, patients will need to rest for the first 24 hours. It’s important that you give your eyes enough time to heal. This will usually mean avoiding doing too many things too soon. For starters, don’t drive your car after the surgery. Instead, make sure you have someone to drive you home following your procedure. Talk to your doctor about when it’s safe to resume driving.
To avoid straining your eyes, your doctor will also recommend you avoid reading or watching television following surgery. To minimize the risk of developing infections, it’s best that you keep out of the pool and hot tubs for a few weeks and wait before you continue using any creams, lotions, and make-up in the eye area. Also, try not to rub your eyes after the surgery, and do your best to keep your eyes protected from irritants. You should also try to increase the consumption of carrots and especially kiwis which are known for their numerous health benefits and high content of nutrients required for eye health. Finally, limit strenuous activity for several weeks, and make sure to wear the protective eye shield that your eye doctor provides you with.
Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions
In addition to recommendations about resting your eyes and avoiding putting any extra pressure on them, your doctor will prescribe certain medications to help ease the aforementioned symptoms. For starters, they may prescribe pain relievers to help ease eye discomfort. They will also prescribe two types of eye drops – antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops. The former will help prevent any infections while the latter will work by reducing eye inflammation.
Make sure that you apply the eye drops exactly as your doctor prescribed and don’t miss a dose. Typically, you’ll need to apply your eye drops several times a day during the first week after your eye surgery. Regardless of the eye condition, you were suffering from before your eye surgery, ensuring proper post-op eye care is essential for ensuring a quick and comfortable recovery. Therefore, make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
As a fragile organ, the eye needs time and proper care post-surgery in order for it to heal as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that the recovery period and the severity of symptoms will vary from patient to patient. If you stick with your eye doctor’s instructions, take medications as prescribed, and follow post-surgery activity restrictions carefully, you will be able to manage the post-op eye discomfort and symptoms more easily, prevent any postoperative complications, and ensure a speedy recovery.