LASIK Surgery is designed to improve the vision of those with eye conditions and eradicate the use of wearable corrective devices. As such, a successful procedure is expected to yield positive result to the overall quality of life of the patient.
However, there could be unwanted effects that patients might experience immediately after the surgery. To address this, surgeons advise patients of postoperative care that helps address these unwanted effects and ensures that it the condition ameliorates during the recovery period.
It is highly recommended that people who consider getting LASIK treatment be aware of these effects and aftercare procedures to help them prepare better for this life-changing surgery.
Common Risks and Complications
Mild Pain and Discomfort
Mild pain and general discomfort of the eye is experienced by nearly everyone who undergo refractive eye surgery almost instantly. This condition would only be temporary and would disappear after a few hours or after a good rest. In some cases, additional care is required to avoid complications. As a general rule, it is important to make sure that the patient does not rub the eye despite the irritation and uneasy feeling he or she gets as it could cause the corneal flap to be misplaced or dislodged. In turn, this could cause adverse effects to the operation. Worse, it may result to additional medical attention.
Redness and Irritation
Being one of the most sensitive parts of the body, the eye tends to feel irritation and may even appear red or bloodshot when getting touched or hit. More so when it has been operated on. Of course, this is usually temporary as well. Eye drops and solutions are sometimes required depending on whether or not the patient requires such medication as determined by the ophthalmologist during examination. Prolonged redness and irritation could indicate infection, though, so it is best to consult a specialist in the event of prolonged symptoms.
Lower Level Aberrations
Changes made on the eye dramatically affects the vision. Since the cornea has undergone changes and a flap is made in the process, LASIK surgery therefore causes lower level aberrations such as halos, starbursts or glare following the operation. This is a common experience and may affect the vision especially during extremely bright or massive low-light conditions. These things oftentimes disappear after the eye tissues completely heal and the eye recovers in a few weeks or months.
How to Achieve Optimal Results
It is the responsibility of the eye surgeon to educate his patients on postoperative care in order to promote faster recovery, decrease discomfort and minimize pain, redness and irritation. Likewise, the patient is obliged to follow the doctor's advice to achieve optimal results.
Use of Prescription Eye Solutions
Depending on the eye's ability to produce tear to assist in recovery process, artificial eye solutions may be prescribed by the surgeon. The application of these solutions needs to be piously adhered to by the patient. A crucial reminder: only prescribed and approved eye drops must be used to avoid damaging sensitive eye tissues, which may be caused by using unsafe and inappropriate solutions.
Several sessions with the ophthalmologist is necessary to ensure that the recovery is right on track. Regular sessions after the surgery also helps the surgeon check and correct practices, supplements and habits if necessary. This ensures that you get the best results of the refractive surgery.
In the event of severe pain, redness or irritation, a visit to the ophthalmologist is required immediately to avoid further complication. This could be an indication that something might have gone wrong and additional medical attention may be necessary.
Things to Avoid
General eye discomfort is expected while the eye is recovering from the operation. Therefore, it is wise to avoid things that could worsen the condition, such as dust and smoke. As much as possible, avoid touching the eye with bare hands and avoid applying creams, make ups or drops other than those prescribed by the surgeon. It would be a good idea to schedule a leave or break from work or school when scheduling a LASIK surgery as exposure to the aforementioned elements might be inevitable while at work or school.
Wear Protective Goggles
Despite the uneasy and uncomfortable feeling, it is absolutely important to remember that the patient does not rub or touch the eye especially right after the operation. Since the operation is typically outpatient and surgeons need not apply bondage around the eye, the use of protective eye shields or goggles would certainly help especially when sleeping.
Avoid Contact Sports
It is best to avoid any strenuous activities, especially contact sports, while still recovering. The patient could participate in non-contact sports a few days after the surgery provided appropriate gears are used for protection.
Avoid Swimming or Hot Tubs
To avoid infection, it is best to stay away from swimming and using hot tubs or whirlpools a few months after the surgery. This is done to avoid any harsh chemicals from getting into the eye, which may slow down the recovery process and worse, infect the eye.
Use Prescribed Contact Lenses if Necessary
The refractive eye surgery is designed to stay away from contact lenses and eyeglasses for good. Nonetheless, some patients might need to use contact lenses in certain cases.
Contact lenses could be required when aberrations affect the patient's vision more than what they can tolerate. This happens when the ideal shape of the cornea is not yet reached and correction of the irregularities would require the use of specialized gas-permeable contact lenses to complement the corneal contour and shape.
While there are things that are generally expected to affect the patients who undergo refractive eye surgery, there are some cases wherein a patient's condition require more attention. Sometimes, the procedure yields different results from what was expected, too. Most of these things could be identified by surgeons during consultation prior to the operation.
The more skilled and experienced the surgeon is, the higher the possibility of a successful operation. Technological advances also play a role in ensuring a positive result of the procedure. Most importantly, how fast the recovery takes and how well it goes still remains to be determined by how the patient follows the postoperative guidelines.