Patients often ask what to expect after LASIK eye surgery with Dr. Eric Mandel. One of the best answers to this question actually comes from our patients. The most frequent thing we hear from our New York LASIK eye surgery patients the day after their surgery is “I woke up and could actually see my alarm clock clearly without fumbling around for my glasses!” We realize this can seem trivial to some, but when you’ve been completely dependent on glasses or contact lenses since childhood, this is a really big deal!
The remainder of this blog post addresses what to expect in the days and weeks following LASIK with Dr. Mandel. If you’re looking for information on what to expect on the day of your LASIK surgery, read our earlier blog post: What Can I Expect on the Day of My LASIK Surgery at Mandel Vision?
The Day After LASIK Eye Surgery:
Dr. Mandel will check your eyes 1 day after LASIK. At this visit, he will examine your corneas using our slit lamp microscope which cross sections the eye. He will then tell you how to use your eye drops for the next week. This is the routine regimen:
- Antibiotic drops: 4 times a day for the first week to guard against infection during this critical healing period.
- Steroid drops: 4 times a day for the first week. This is to decrease inflammation and to control the healing process.
- Natural tears: 4 times a day to alleviate dryness which is common, although temporary, after LASIK.
It’s normal to have red spots on the white part of your eye immediately after LASIK. These absorb naturally over the course of a few weeks.
You’re restricted from swimming for one week after LASIK surgery to guard against infection, so you’ll want to schedule your LASIK surgery around your vacations, if they involve a beach or a pool.
Although all patients experience normal fluctuations in vision for the first few months following LASIK, nearsighted and farsighted patients have a slightly different healing experience, so the details for each are below:
Nearsighted patients: The majority of our nearsighted patients wake up the very next day seeing 20/20 or better in the distance without contact lenses or glasses. Near vision may seem a bit blurry initially. Adjusting the distance of your reading material alleviates this problem for most patients. This usually means pushing your reading material further away from you.
Farsighted patients: Most of our farsighted patients notice their close vision is very clear and their distance vision is slightly blurry the day after LASIK. This is the normal healing process for a hyperopic or farsighted laser treatment. Over the next several weeks, distance vision slowly comes into sharper focus.
The First Week After LASIK Eye Surgery:
Your next post-operative check up with Dr. Mandel is approximately 1 week after LASIK. The examination is the same as at your 1 day check up. At this point, you can stop your antibiotic drops. Dr. Mandel will slowly decrease the frequency of your steroid drop to wean you off of it. Natural tear drops are continued at least 4 times a day until otherwise instructed.
The First Few Months After LASIK Eye Surgery:
With few exceptions, your next post-operative check up with Dr. Mandel is usually at about the 3 month mark. It’s normal for your eyes to be dry for the first several months following LASIK. For this reason, Dr. Mandel recommends using over the counter natural tear drops 4 times a day for the first several weeks and then as needed in the months following LASIK. If dryness is not alleviated with eye drops, Dr. Mandel may recommend fish oil pills, Xiidra, Restasis or punctal plugs. Click here to learn more about punctal plugs.
After your 3 month check, you’re free to just enjoy your new vision. In fact, you don’t need to be seen again until your next scheduled routine eye exam, which is recommended every 1 to 2 years. That said, if you have any questions or concerns after your 3 month check, you’re welcome to call us or come visit us anytime during the first year after LASIK, free of charge. Just be sure to call our office to make an appointment.
Change Your Vision, Change Your Life. Mandel Vision®
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