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Laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is surgery to improve your vision. The doctor used surgical tools to keep your eye open and to apply pressure to the outside layer of your eyeball (cornea). The doctor used a special blade or laser to cut a flap in your cornea. Another laser was used to remove or reshape your eye tissue. Then the doctor put the flap back, added drops to your eye, and placed a clear, protective shield over your eye.
Your eye may burn, itch, be teary, or feel like there is something in it for 3 or 4 days after surgery. But it's important not to rub your eye. Rubbing your eye could damage it.
You will probably be able to return to work or your normal routine 1 to 3 days after surgery. For a few days, you may have blurry vision or watery eyes. Your eyes may be bloodshot for up to 3 weeks. This is because LASIK surgery can cause small blood vessels in your eye to break. Some people also find that they are sensitive to light or see starbursts or halos for 1 to 3 weeks after surgery.
If you have eye pain, your doctor may prescribe drops or medicines. You can expect your eye to get better each day, but it may feel dry for 1 to 3 months after surgery. Over-the-counter or prescription eyedrops can help with dryness.
For some people, it takes 3 to 6 months to get the full benefits of surgery and to see as clearly as possible.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: December 18, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Patrice Burgess MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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