LASIK Recovery Timeline

Woman putting eye drops in eye

Eye DropsAfter coming in for a consultation at our Rapid City laser eye surgery practice, many patients decide that LASIK is the right procedure to correct their vision. Once patients have made the decision to undergo LASIK, they should become informed on what to expect from the LASIK procedure and what to expect during the recovery period. Here we will briefly outline what our Rapid City patients can expect during LASIK recovery.

After Surgery

For the majority of our patients in Rapid City, LASIK will involve a smooth recovery and improved vision. Immediately following the LASIK procedure, your eyes may feel numb as a result of the numbing eye drops used during the LASIK procedure. Before leaving our office, our patients will be given goggles to wear, along with eye drops and instructions for care during recovery. These goggles should be worn to protect your eyes from the sun. When you return home from your LASIK procedure, it is a good idea to rest your eyes. You should continue to wear your goggles while you rest to prevent yourself from accidentally rubbing or scratching your eyes. It is likely that your eyes will feel dry and gritty. The eye drops that you were given should be applied regularly as directed by the eye surgeon. These eye drops will ease discomfort and dryness and promote healing of the corneal flap.

In the Days After Surgery

Many patients find that the majority of discomfort has eased within eight to 12 hours after surgery. Within a day, most patients are ready to return to work and their normal routine. You should already notice a significant improvement in your vision. One side effect that may continue to linger is sensitivity to light. This should wear off after the first few days. Even if you feel better, it is important to follow these steps in the days following surgery:

  • Continue to use your eye drops as directed.
  • Avoid strenuous activities for at least two days.
  • Avoid contact with your eyes. It is very important that you do not scratch or rub your eyes.
  • Plan to have someone drive you around for the first two days after surgery.
  • Do not use any cosmetics or lotions on or near the eyes for a week after surgery.
  • Keep all of your post-operative appointments so our doctors can check on the progress of your recovery.

In the Weeks after Surgery

Some symptoms may continue for several weeks, and up to a month, after surgery. These symptoms include dry eyes and the appearance of a glare or halo in your vision. If these symptoms have not disappeared within the first few months after surgery, you should discuss this with one of our eye doctors. While immediate results will be dramatic, your vision will continue to improve in the weeks and months after surgery. Most of our patients reach their best vision around three to six months after surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

If you suffer from vision impairment, laser eye surgery may be right for you. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors to learn about the many procedures available at the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute.