Headaches After LASIK

By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on December 01, 2019

A woman with a headache at workAfter you’ve undergone LASIK surgery, your vision should improve and the difference ought to be noticeable. Even though your vision quality is enhanced, you may notice that your eyes feel tired. This is a natural side effect of surgery. Over the next 24 hours, your eyes should be given time to rest. You may have occasional weakness of the eyes, but this will steadily improve as you continue to heal from surgery.

Sometimes eye fatigue can lead to headaches. Dr. Andrew E. Holzman and the team at his Washington, DC laser eye center would like to explore this issue in more detail below. We’ll then offer some tips on how to reduce eyestrain and avoid headaches after your LASIK procedure.

Eyestrain and Headaches

When your eyes are weak, you’re likely to experience eyestrain when trying to read, use your laptop or smartphone, or watch television. This is because your eyes are still healing and need time for rest. When your eyes become strained, it’s not uncommon to develop a headache as your eyes struggle to process the visual information that is taken in.

When LASIK patients experience post-op headaches, it’s usually due to this issue.

Are Headaches After LASIK Normal?

Headaches are relatively uncommon after LASIK surgery, and when they do occur they are generally the result of eyestrain. Occasionally a few patients at our Washington, DC laser eye surgery center have experienced varying levels of eyestrain and subsequent headaches, particularly in the first days after LASIK.

Thankfully, eyestrain becomes less and less of an issue as patients heal. That means long-term headaches following LASIK are a very rare occurrence.

How to Avoid Eyestrain After LASIK

Here are some simple ways to reduce eyestrain and headaches after LASIK:

  • Rest Your Eyes - The best way to avoid eyestrain after LASIK is to give your eyes a chance to rest. In the first 24 hours after LASIK,  try to avoid excessive reading and looking at screens. This allows your eyes to heal during the crucial early phase after the surgery.
  • Find Good Lighting Sources - In the days that follow, make sure that you read in well-lit places. As soon as you notice your eyes get tired, look away from your reading material. Get back to reading when your eyes are rested.
  • The 20-20-20 Rule - When looking at screens for long periods of time, consider the 20-20-20 rule. That means after 20 minutes of screen time, look at a spot about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This can work wonders for reducing eyestrain.
  • Use Lubricating Eye Drops - To help comfort your eyes as you heal, be sure to use liquid tears whenever you feel your eyes getting tired and even if they feel normal. A few drops will lubricate the eyes and help to prevent and reduce discomfort and fatigue.

What If I Still Get Headaches After I’ve Healed from LASIK?

If you continue to suffer from headaches weeks after LASIK surgery, be sure to discuss that with our team. We can look into the matter in greater detail and recommend the ideal course of action to take.

Remember that we are here to help you see clearly and experience all the benefits of laser vision correction.

Speak with a Skilled Ophthalmologist

For more information about LASIK and how it can benefit you, be sure to contact a skilled laser eye surgeon. You can reach our practice in Washington, DC by calling (202) 785-2435.

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