Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis; Laser vision correction
Immediately following the surgery, you may have burning, itching, or a feeling that something is in the eye. This usually doesn't last for more than 6 hours.
The doctor may prescribe a mild pain reliever medication. It is very important NOT to rub the eye after LASIK, so that the flap does not dislodge or move.
The day of surgery, vision generally is blurry or hazy, but by the next day the blurriness improves. Call the doctor immediately if you have severe pain or any of the symptoms worsen before your scheduled follow-up appointment (24 - 48 hours after surgery).
At the first doctor visit after the surgery, the eye shield will be removed and the doctor will examine your eye and test your vision. You may receive eye drops to help prevent infection and inflammation. Do not drive until your vision has improved enough to safely do so.
Other things to avoid include swimming, hot tubs, whirlpools, contact sports, lotions, creams, and eye makeup for 2 - 4 weeks after surgery. The doctor will give you specific instructions.
Most people's vision will stabilize in a few days after surgery, but for some people it may take up to 3 - 6 months.
Some people need an additional surgery to get the best possible results. Although a second surgery may improve distance vision, it may not relieve other symptoms such as glare, haloes, or problems with night driving. These are commonly reported complaints after LASIK surgery, especially when it is done using older methods. Often, these problems will go away by 6 months after the surgery, but a small number of people may continue to have problems with glare.
If your distance vision has been corrected with LASIK, it is likely that you will still need reading glasses at around age 45.
LASIK has commonly been performed in the United States since 1996. Most people seem to have stable and lasting vision improvement.
Wilkinson PS, Davis EA, Hardten DR. LASIK. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 3.5.
American Academy of Ophthalmology Refractive Management/Intervention Panel.
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