LASIK Recovery: What the First 24 Hours Will Be Like

Submitted by Atlanta Vision Cataract and Laser Center on December 8, 2021
LASIK in Hapeville, Atlanta

LASIK is a famously easy surgery to undergo, with a similarly quick recovery. While all patients heal at their own pace, if you are like most patients, you should be able to resume most normal activities within a day or two. Since it is those first 24 hours after LASIK that pose the most problems, the expert refractive surgery team at Atlanta Vision Cataract and Laser Center want to share what you can expect.

Extreme Tiredness

You will almost certainly feel drowsy after your surgery, so go ahead and nap as much as your body desires. Sleep is essential to recovering from any surgery, and is especially useful at a time when you are advised to keep your eyes closed as much as possible anyway.

Expect Some Discomfort

Although the surgery is considered painless thanks to the numbing drops placed in your eyes, patients usually start to experience some moderate discomfort as that anesthetic wears off. This discomfort is akin to a burning or itching sensation. Though the temptation may be there, remember to avoid rubbing your eyes while they are recovering, since it may move the corneal flap. Wear an eye mask if you are concerned that you may unconsciously try to rub your eyes.

Pain medication — prescription or over the counter — should be able to get you through the short-term discomfort. In the event that your pain is significant, please contact your doctor as this is an abnormal response.

Deal with Hazy Vision, But Not for Long

Your vision will be blurry immediately following your surgery, which means you will be unable to drive yourself home or cook anything too elaborate. Having a friend or loved one on hand to help you in the first 24 hours can help you with visual challenges, but proper planning (i.e. scheduling a taxi and preparing meals in advance) can get you through the experience on your own if necessary.

Plan Activities That Are Gentle on the Eyes

Most of the time when you either have to or choose to spend a day on the couch, you will fill your time with reading, watching television or scrolling social media. Alas, these are all activities that can put a strain on your ailing eyes. To give your eyes a sufficient break, plan ahead by picking out entertainment that you can enjoy with your eyes closed, such as new music, podcasts or audiobooks. 

Ready for LASIK?

One day of downtime is a bargain for a lifetime of better vision. To determine whether you are a good candidate for LASIK, schedule a consultation with Dr. Leonard Achiron or Dr. David O’Day. Collectively, they have performed more than 80,000 LASIK procedures.