How Long Do I Have to Wear Sunglasses after LASIK?
Dr. Andrew E. Holzman offers a number of vision correction treatments to individuals in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and surrounding areas, one of the most popular of which is LASIK. LASIK surgery reshapes the surface of the cornea to address imperfections that cause nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
LASIK surgery has very high success rates, but post-surgical care plays a big role in LASIK recovery and its results. To protect the eyes after LASIK, we advise patients to wear sunglasses. Here, patients can learn how long they have to wear sunglasses after LASIK, as well as how to choose a pair that provides the right protection.
Why Do I Need Sunglasses After LASIK?
During LASIK surgery, Dr. Holzman creates a flap on the top of the cornea. This top layer of tissues is lifted back so that alterations can be made to the surface of the cornea. When surgery is complete, the flap is lowered back into position where tissues will heal. Although LASIK surgery should not result in significant pain, it does leave the eyes feeling dry and itchy. The eyes are also especially sensitive to the sun and light following LASIK.
Sunglasses are essential to the LASIK healing process. They protect the eyes in a few important ways. First, sunglasses dim the sun (or lights) to reduce sensitivity and irritation. Second, sunglasses block out harmful UV rays that can interfere with healing. Finally, sunglasses shield the eyes and prevent patients from rubbing or scratching, which could disturb the corneal flap and prevent proper healing.
Sunglasses and the LASIK Recovery Timeline
Sunglasses are essential throughout the LASIK recovery timeline, although patients will need to rely on them less as their eyes heal. Initially, sunglasses (or the protective goggles that are provided after LASIK) should be worn at all times. Sunglasses should be worn continuously at least the first 24 hours after LASIK treatment. If sensitivity continues, sunglasses should continue to be worn regularly.
Within a few days after LASIK treatment, sensitivity should be minimal and the eyes should feel less dry and itchy. After sensitivity has improved, sunglasses should still be worn any time patients go outdoors, even if they will not be in the sun for an extended period of time, and even if the sky appears cloudy. We recommend that sunglasses are worn outdoors for at least the first month following LASIK treatment.
Even after the eyes recover from LASIK, sunglasses can be extremely beneficial. Sunglasses protect the eyes from the long-term damage of UV rays. Sunglasses help prevent cataracts, growths (including cancer), and other eye diseases.
Choosing the Right Pair of Sunglasses
Choosing the right pair of sunglasses will not only ensure that individuals get the protection they need after LASIK, but also that they feel comfortable wearing them.
First and foremost, it is important to choose a pair of sunglasses that provides 100 percent protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Second, consider the color of the lenses. While lighter lenses can still provide adequate UV protection, darker lenses are best after LASIK because they help with light sensitivity. The size of the lens is also important. Larger lenses cover the eyes and provide greater protection.
Finally, people should choose a style of sunglasses that complements their face and looks good. When sunglasses accent a person’s appearance and personal style, they are more likely to wear them on a regular basis.
LASIK surgery improves vision and drastically reduces reliance on prescription lenses. If you are interested in finding out if this refractive surgery is right for you, send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call (703) 556-9155 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew E. Holzman.