What can I expect after LASIK?

Knowing what to expect can help make your road to recovery after LASIK as smooth as possible.

How will I feel after LASIK?

You may feel discomfort or mild pain in your eyes; have watery, itchy eyes; or have blurry or distorted vision. These symptoms often subside within two to three days after LASIK. If necessary, your doctor can recommend appropriate over-the-counter pain medication or prescribe a medication to relieve your pain. You will also have eye drops to prevent infection, reduce inflammation, and improve dryness.

When can I go home?

You will go home the same day of your surgery. You will need to arrange a ride home from the doctor’s office or clinic, regardless of whether you are given sedation, because your vision may still be blurry and you need to rest your eyes. You should not drive until your vision has cleared.

When should I call my doctor?

It is important to keep your follow-up appointments after LASIK. Call your doctor if you have questions or concerns between appointments. Call your doctor right away or seek immediate medical care if you have:

  • Fever (you should not have a fever following LASIK). Follow your doctor's specific instructions about when to call for a fever.
  • Severe eye pain or pain that is not controlled by your pain medication
  • Unexpected drainage, pus, redness or swelling of your eye
  • Worsening vision

How might LASIK affect my everyday life?

LASIK generally corrects vision to the extent that most people can participate in everyday activities without glasses or contacts. Most LASIK patients attain 20/20 to 20/40 vision without the aid of glasses or contact lenses.

You may still need to wear glasses or contact lenses at certain times to have vision that is sharp enough to drive at night or read, especially if you are over the age of 40. LASIK does not correct or stop the progression of age-related loss of near vision (presbyopia). In some cases, you may need LASIK again to attain your desired visual acuity (sharpness).

LASIK can also cause significant and permanent changes to your vision that may affect your everyday life including:

  • Double vision
  • Glare
  • Halos
  • Significantly clearer vision
  • Under-corrected or over-corrected vision