Restrictions after LASIK laser vision -- answers from Washington DC Metro area
By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on October 31, 2010
One of the more frequent questions i get is what are the restrictions and post op care following vision correction. Well, good news. There are very few restrictions after the procedure. Here's what happens. After the surgery, we recommend that the patients go straight home and take a 3 hour nap. This is because after numbing drops wear off, the eyes start to sting and burn a bit. No worries though, we do provide a numbing drop to go home with and also give a Xanax just prior to surgery, which will help you fall asleep once you are home.Traffic in Washington DC, northern Va, and Maryland is pretty bad, so maybe you will sleep in the car ride home. Once you have slept for 3 hrs, you will feel much, much better and you will see! You can watch tv, work on computer, resume normal tasks even that evening, but we recommend that you lubricate your eyes frequently when working them a bit.
The next day you will be seeing much better and having no discomfort. There will be some glare and haloes around lights in the first few days (sometimes weeks), but these are not at all problematic. Most everyone can drive and work the very next day!
The main restrictions are do not swim for 2 weeks with your head under water and do not rub the eyes. It is also a very good idea to maintain a clean environment and avoid things like gardening, so that dirt won't make it's way to the eyes. You can exercise all you like, but do not rub the sweat away from the eyes. Also, try not to overdo heavy lifting in the first few days, although moderate lifting is not a problem. Treadmills, etc are not a problem. The main thing will be following your eyedrop instructions for the first week and keeping the eyes moist by using artificial tears for a few months. Try to avoid using ceiling fans, allowing heating or a/c vents blow into your face, and try to increase humidity in the bedroom and workplace if possible. Computer use usually means our eyes are open wide with limited blinking, so this needs to be addressed by taking some breaks, using a lot of lubricants while on the computer and remember to increase your blinks!
You are allowed to travel after the surgery, no problems there (air travel also dries the eyes, so bring lots of drops on board and don't order the movie!), but remember that you have a first day post op visit and we also recommend a second one in 4-7 days later. After that, it is a 4 wk visit, a 3 month visit, 6 months and 1 year. No eye rubbing please and enjoy your new vision!!