Long-Term Care in LASIK Surgery


Long-Term Care in LASIK Surgery


LASIK surgery is a refractive surgery that is used to correct visual issues like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.

These problems happen because of the changes in the shape of the cornea, which prevent a focused image or light from hitting the retina (the sensory apparatus that transmits visual images to the brain).

In this procedure, a doctor uses a specialized laser to reshape the cornea which can completely or partially correct the problem. This outpatient procedure is usually quick and painless. If you want this treatment, it’s important to know the care it requires afterwards; the more you know, the better off you’ll be able to care.

Benefits of Surgery

After LASIK surgery, what’s vital is that you carefully follow your doctor’s orders and recommendations. Most patients will be asked to take a couple of days off of work after the surgery. But what are the things you should do to ensure you benefit from the treatment? Here are some tips:

  • Don’t rub the eye. Especially after a few days of surgery, you'll be tempted to rub the eyes as there are chances of feeling dryness, itchiness, and as if something is stuck in there. If you experience these symptoms then take a mild pain reliever and eye drops to alleviate discomfort and try your best to not rub the eye as it can hinder the healing process or even cause an infection.
  • Wear your eye shield. After your first follow-up appointment, which will be within two days of the surgery, your doctor will give you a protective, plastic eye shield to wear over the eye. Follow your doctor’s instructions; in most cases, they’ll ask the patients to wear this while sleeping for the first few days.
  • Show up to appointments. With the first follow up appointment, which happens after 24 to 48 of the procedure, you’ll need to visit the doctor several times over the period of the next six or more months so that they can monitor the progress. Make sure you follow these appointments and communicate with your doctor if any issues arise.
  • Keep an eye on symptoms. After LASIK surgery, you may experience any of the symptoms, some of which can be concerning. These symptoms can be glare, halos, reduced vision at the night, and sensitivity to light can be increased. Some of these symptoms go away on their own within a couple of months, but if your vision is worsening or experiencing any other issues, be sure to contact your doctor.
  • Hold off on physical activity. Wait till one or three days before starting up non-contact sports like jogging or working out. But make sure your doctor has okayed you doing these activities. While your eyes are healing you will need to wait four or more weeks before resuming contact sports like boxing, other martial arts, or football.
  • No swimming. To prevent infection or irritation of the healing eye, your doctor will advise you against swimming and using hot tubs for one to two months after the surgery.
  • Avoid make-up. To prevent any irritation and infection, your doctor will advise you against facial lotions, creams, or makeup around the operated eye for up to two weeks or until they are cleared to do so.

Full recovery from LASIK surgery happens from three to six months. It’s a journey, and, during this time, your job is to be careful and stay in touch with your healthcare professional. If you experience any problem, don’t hesitate to call them.

Approximately 99 per cent of people who have LASIK regain full or close to full visual sight, with over 90% of people walking away with 20/20 vision.

Possible Future Surgeries

This surgery has a high successful track record, and a majority of patients see near or complete recovery of their vision, and over 95 per cent are completely content with the procedure. This is not due to advances in the lasers used for surgery, which can work from a careful and comprehensive scan of the eye.

While most side-effects like blurry vision and dry eye resolve on their own, others such as glare and halos around light you see may not get resolved. So, additional surgeries may be needed to treat these problems or any other complications. These procedures include the following:

1. LASIK Enhancement

LASIK usually reshapes the cornea back to normal, which could be a permanent fix. That being said, if you experience loss of vision due to ageing or if the results do not satisfy you then additional treatment may be required.

However, you need to wait three months or more after the initial surgery before an additional surgery can be done. LASIK enhancement can be an option for treatment that can further correct vision problems using the same procedure as the original.

Particularly, for every year after the original surgery, there’s a 1% chance that retreatment will be necessary. But it depends on the health and thickness of the cornea and other underlying factors, and a second surgery may not always be the best option.

2. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

PRK is the treatment for LASIK that was used for visual correction more widely before the development of the LASIK technology.

While this approach also uses laser technology to change the shape of the cornea, it doesn’t cut a flap into the cornea. It can be used on thinner corneas and eyes that are excessively dry. So, PRK can be used as a means to correct any lingering problems with vision.

3. Cataract Surgery After LASIK

In some cases, those who have had LASIK surgery may develop cataracts which are clouding of the lens (underneath the cornea). To treat this cataract surgery can be done, in this, an ophthalmologist replaces the cloudy lens with a prosthetic intraocular device (IOD).

However, it is important to note that your LASIK treatment from before can impact the approach of the doctor and limit some of their options. Also, patients are required to wait at least six months after treatment before they can undergo other surgeries. If you have cataracts post LASIK surgery, make sure you let your healthcare professional know your medical history.

Lifestyle Adjustments

After recovery from LASIK surgery, the majority of patients can resume their regular routines, work, and behaviors. And, in most cases, any lingering side effects like dry eyes and blurry vision will go away within six months.

In the long term, though, this surgery can have a wide impact. What to expect and what adjustments should be made? Let’s look at that:

  • Visit your healthcare provider regularly. While most follow-up appointments after LASIK surgery are done in the first six months after treatment, you should still regularly see your eye doctor for any additional examination or monitoring of other vision issues you are experiencing. Make sure you tell the surgeon of any alarming issues and contact them if your vision is getting worse.
  • You may need glasses. Some procedures are not able to correct all vision problems though a majority of them can do. Some patients may need to wear glasses for some time following surgery. And those who experience loss of vision because of ageing may need to do a second treatment or vision corrections down the line.
  • Realize savings. You will see that long-term vision correction can be costly. Costs of buying new glasses and contacts—on average are expensive and it is recurring. It will overtake the amount paid for LASIK within 5 to 10 years.

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