One of the questions we get a lot regarding laser eye surgery involves pain during recovery. We’d like to take a few moments right now to consider these matters and discuss how pain can be reduced and managed after LASIK surgery is performed.
Some basics about LASIK first. LASIK is a refractive surgery, which means that it reshapes the cornea, which is the clear, frontal portion of the eye. By doing this, light passes through the eye better and vision is improved as a result. Much of the misperception about iLASIK comes from the earliest days of surgery when the technology and procedure were both new. Time has shown those initial concerns to be without cause.
What Patients Can Expect After LASIK Surgery
In general, patients will experience some mild discomfort after LASIK surgery, particularly in the first few hours. Discomfort and soreness will usually be minimal to mild and last for a day or two, with noticeable reductions in pain as recovery continues.
How much pain is experienced after LASIK?
As noted above, pain tends to be relatively minor from LASIK surgery. The vast majority of patients experience the feeling of an eyelash in their eye following LASIK and often have very positive results while they heal.
With this in mind, everyone’s pain threshold is different, and complications may arise that result in major discomfort. Below are a few ways that you can minimize discomfort after LASIK should it occur.
Artificial Tears Can Reduce Discomfort
After undergoing LASIK, your surgeon will recommend eye drops to you that will keep your eyes lubricated and will help reduce discomfort. Be sure to use these eye drops as directed. In the weeks ahead, eye drops are ideal for addressing dry eye, which is a common side effect of the surgery.
Over-the Counter Pain Relievers
Since the pain experienced after LASIK is generally manageable, your surgeon will likely recommend over-the-counter pain medication that you can take if needed. Be sure to take this medication as instructed. Prescription pain relievers may be provided as well in some cases. It’s ideal to pick this pain medication up a few days before the surgery whether it’s over-the-counter or prescription so that you can concentrate on healing.
Avoid Activities That Cause Eye Strain
In the first day after LASIK, it’s best to concentrate on resting your eyes. Don’t watch TV, use the computer, read, or do any activities that could potentially cause strain on your eyes. By avoiding these activities, you improve your overall healing experience.
Speak with Your Surgeon If You Experience Severe Pain
If you experience any undue discomfort or sensations as you heal, be sure to contact your surgeon right away. By addressing these pressing matters as soon as possible, major complications can be dealt with swiftly or avoided entirely.