More and more people are electing to undergo laser eye surgery to correct their vision these days, whether with LASIK or LASEK procedures. While your doctor can best answer any procedural questions you have it’s rare they’ll tell you that having a sleep mask, laying out your clothes for the following day, and putting your favorite take-out’s phone number on speed dial will greatly help your comfort level after your laser eye surgery. I’ve always found it’s best to take a page from the Boy Scout manual and “be prepared” as much as possible for any medical procedure, especially if you don’t have someone to wait on you hand and foot for at least 24 hours after. Your eyes will be very light sensitive and “gritty” for a few days after surgery and while the eye drops prescribed by your doctor are the best thing to help soothe you there are some creature comforts that will make the healing process a bit smoother.
Opening your eyes for the first few days after your surgery will be painful due to the light-sensitivity and the trauma to them so keep this in mind when making any plans. Your vision will be improved, but will not be perfect so keep in mind that you shouldn’t drive and straining your eyes to focus on even simple things like a television, book, or numbers on a microwave will slow your healing process and give you one whopper of a headache. You’ll probably sleep quite a bit as your body is healing, but you will need to entertain yourself without the use of sight and find ways to make your home as easy to navigate and dark as possible. Before the day of your treatment make sure your home is neat and that there’s nothing to trip on or fall over if at all possible. Get some dark curtains for your bedroom, or hang an extra towel or sheet over the windows to reduce the amount of light that enters. I found that a sleep mask or large, dark sunglasses were also very helpful in that even opening the refrigerator door with my eyes closed was painful. You might look unusual, but it will help you heal faster. Make sure that favorite foods, beverages, non-breakable or disposable cutlery and plates/bowls/cups are easily found so you can keep your eyes closed as much as possible. Having your favorite take-out restaurant on speed-dial is also very useful, but make sure you also have money set out so you don’t have to dig around inside a wallet once the food arrives. As far as keeping yourself occupied you might consider books on tape, listening to music or catching up with friends over the phone. The important thing to remember is that you want to keep your eyes closed as much as possible. Think of this as the perfect time to just lay back and relax.
Your doctor will most likely give you goggles to wear at night. These are to prevent you from accidentally rubbing your eyes and causing further trauma to them. It’s very important to wear them as I found myself unconsciously trying to rub my eyes to alleviate the “gritty” feeling I had for a few days after my LASEK procedure. That said they aren’t the most comfortable things to sleep in, so I recommend asking the doctor if you can take your pair home before your procedure to try them out. This way you can get used to them while your eyes are open. If they rub in any places you can glue a make-up applicator pad (found in any drugstore in the make-up aisle) or even apply some gauze secured with medical tape to help prevent discomfort in particular areas. You will most likely have a post-operative check-up the day following your laser eye surgery so before you have the procedure lay out some comfortable clothes for the next day so getting ready is quick and easy. When bathing the next morning be extra careful not to get water, soap or shampoo in your eyes. I have a removable shower head which helped quite a bit, but if yours is stationary consider washing your hair before your procedure or taking a bath instead. Finally, do not wear eye make-up until your doctor says it’s ok. I found my large pair of sunglasses were very helpful in blocking light when in and out of the house and disguised the fact that I was mascara-free.
If you have any questions your doctor is the first person to ask, but their staff will also be able to answer most questions. Some will even let you speak to previous patients. Best of luck and enjoy your new, clearer view of the world!
To follow the doctor’s orders is the norm that has been followed since the very beginning but never let your phobia prevent you from asking your doctor for queries otherwise it will have bad consequences on your health so to avoid getting into a beyond vita addiction, clear all doubts early on.