There are some common fears regarding LASIK surgery. One of the biggest questions asked is “Does LASIK hurt after surgery?” The quick answer is, yes. Right after the procedure, your eyes will feel uncomfortable. You may experience some mild pain in which case your ophthalmologist will suggest you take some sort of over-the-counter pain reliever. The mild pain and/or discomfort doesn’t last long and the healing process with this particular laser eye surgery is a lot quicker than other types of surgeries.
Along with the possibility of LASIK hurting your eyes (or making them feel uncomfortable) after the surgery, you should be aware of the other possible side effects that may or may not occur in your case. Most LASIK patients report that their eyes are “itchy.” This is normal. Just like how you would feel the need to scratch a scab as it becomes itchy, you will instinctively want to rub your eye. Much like how scratching or rubbing an area that’s healing (like a scab), makes it worse and stalls the healing process, rubbing your eye could dislodge the flap, requiring further treatment.
Furthermore, you will most likely have hazy or blurry vision after the surgery. You may also be sensitive to light, experiencing glare or haloes around bright lights. These types of side effects, or symptoms, tend to get better just a few days after laser corrective eye surgery. As a result, most people are encouraged to take a few days off from their normal routine and allow their eyes to rest as much as possible.
Extended LASIK After-Care and Pain Management
Your LASIK surgeon will schedule a post-operative checkup to make sure that everything is going according to plan and that your eyes are healing at an acceptable rate. The first checkup will be within just a couple of days of the initial surgery. During this visit, the doctor will test your vision and examine your eye for any defects. If you have dry eyes, like most laser eye surgery patients, the doctor will prescribe eye drops to help lubricate the eye and improve your vision.
In addition to the question regarding LASIK hurting your eyes after surgery, you might also be wondering when you are able to resume your normal routine. The typical advice given is within one or two days, you can go back to your daily tasks (except for those mentioned in the next paragraph), but always go with the specific advice given to you by your ophthalmologist.
Before wearing eye make-up, lotions, or creams around the eye, it’s best to wait for a couple of weeks to prevent any possible infection. You should also wait for a couple of months before engaging in any watersports (including swimming) or using hot tubs. Furthermore, you need to wait at least a month before engaging in any contact sports.
If you experience continued discomfort, pain, or irritating symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist immediately. Granted, some of these side effects of LASIK surgery will go away with time, you should always consult a professional medical team just to be sure.
In conclusion, yes, LASIK can cause mild pain and/or discomfort immediately after surgery in some cases. Pain management is just another part of the after-care procedure, just like with any surgery. Except with laser correction surgery, the mild pain and/or discomfort only lasts for a few days.
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