Your Self-Care Regimen
Follow these recommended guidelines to promote safe and rapid healing.
- Rest or sleep for the first four hours after surgery with your eyes closed. This helps the flap remain smooth while it develops a tight adherence to the underlying tissue.
- Keep your eyes well lubricated for rapid recovery and enhanced comfort. Particularly in dry climates or air-conditioned environments, you may need to apply nonpreserved lubricant eye drops frequently. Some patients may need these drops every couple of hours for a few weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will recommend a good brand.
- Wear high-quality sunglasses with ultraviolet protection. It is normal to experience increased sensitivity to light at first. This condition will improve.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes for a few days. The corneal flap needs time to adhere evenly without being disturbed.
- Avoid rough contact sports for the first week, for the same reason.
- Avoid swimming, surfing, and hot tubs for one week to prevent contact with unwanted germs and bacteria that could cause infection before the corneal flap has totally healed.
- Showers and baths are fine, but for the first few days, be careful to avoid getting water and shampoo directly in your eyes.
- Avoid dusty or smoky environment for several days.
- Avoid wearing old mascara and eyeliner for one week.
- Don’t drive on the day of surgery. Resume driving only when your vision is clear enough that you are safe on the road. Most people easily see well enough to drive safely the morning after surgery, but it may be a few days before you feel comfortable enough to drive.
Postoperative Appointment Schedule
Keeping your follow-up appointments is important, even if your vision is perfect. Your doctor needs to follow the progress of your healing and may recommend changing your eye drop regimen. Also, he or she may need to monitor your eye pressure if you are on postoperative anti-inflammatory drops for any length of time; these drops may increase pressure inside the eye, creating a risk of glaucoma.