Is it OK to work at my computer following LASIK? And if so, how soon? By Andrew Holzman on March 16, 2017

Laser vision correction is a life changing procedure and makes your daily routines more easily handled without the hassles of contact lenses or glasses.   LASIK is viewed as low impact surgical procedure, meaning that the healing is rather rapid and return to work can be as fast as the following day after the procedure.  In fact, most patients do actually go back to work on day 1!  

Having said that, there are some precautions and treatment protocols that we put into place to make to make sure that the healing proceeds normally.  LASIK almost always causes a temporary dryness in the eyes that can last anywhere from a month to 4-6 months.  It is highly unusual for the LASIK-related dry eye to last any longer than this.    During this period, we recommend several things:

1)    Frequent use of artificial tears that are available over the counter.  They feel really good in the first few days if they are chilled,  but they don’t have to be.
2)    Use of Omega Three Fatty Acids – usually we recommend Fish Oil Omega Threes made by Nordic Naturals.  A therapeutic dose is 2000mg daily by mouth
3)    Some patients benefit from use of medication for dry eye.  These are patients that are already dry prior to LASIK or those that we feel will be dry due to some additional risk factors that we see at preop.  Risk factors include “large openings” between the lids (ie wide open eyes), use of computers daily, advanced age, female gender and far-sighted treatments.   We prescribe Restasis or Xiidra for our patients and recommend that they start this before surgery and continue for several months.
4)    Turn fans and vents away from the face for several months after surgery.  Forced air blowing at the eyes dries the surface and makes things worse for the patients.  Avoid ceiling fans at nite, they are not helpful!
5)    COMPUTER use is fine to continue following LASIK and can start the next day without trouble.  The caveat is that dry eye is caused by staring at screens and there have been multiple studies showing that our blinking rate drops 15 fold while we are on screens.   In order to combat this, we strongly recommend using a reminder sticker on your monitor screen that says “BLINK!” on it so you don’t forget!  This does not come easy, we must fight the urge to stare as it is a natural phenomenon.   Frequent use of artificial tears while working on screens is also recommended.  

If all of the above are done and the patient is compliant, computer use after LASIK will be comfortable and clear.   If the patient is not doing any of the above and simply stares at screens all day expecting it to be fine without any treatment, they will be disappointed.  The eyes will get dry and irritated, usually causing blurring and irritation while on the computer.

Dr. Andrew Holzman

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS, is one of the most well-respected ophthalmologists in the greater Washington D.C. area. He is regularly sought out by professional athletes, media personalities, and other doctors for laser eye surgery. Dr. Holzman is a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The American College of Surgeons
  • The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • The American Medical Association
  • The International Society of Refractive Surgery

To schedule a consultation at one of our five locations, please fill out our online form or give us a call at (703) 556-9155.

Contact Us Today

Dr. Holzman is the best - very honest, very professional yet very friendly and personable. Ben E.

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite

Gainesville Office

7538 Limestone Dr
Gainesville, VA 20155

Closed Today

McLean Office

7930 Jones Branch Dr
Ste 250
McLean, VA 22102

Closed Today

Rockville Office

11200 Rockville Pike
Ste 150
Rockville, MD 20852

Closed Today

Charlottesville Office

630 Peter Jefferson Pkwy
Ste 180
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Closed Today

Washington Office

1801 K St NW
Ste 500L
Washington, DC 20006

Closed Today

What is the best time for you?

Add additional time

Which location would you prefer?

Tell us a bit about yourself...

(800) 555-5555 Send a message