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Top Ten Things to Avoid After LASIK Surgery

If you’re thinking about having LASIK, congratulations! The vast majority of our LASIK patients describe it as “life-changing.” You’re choosing to see in a different way, and it will likely mean a reduction in (or elimination of) the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

For most LASIK patients, the thought of being able to just wake up and SEE is almost surreal. What will you do first with your new-found vision? Maybe head to the Garden of the Gods to take in the natural beauty? Perhaps go to a show at the Buell, enjoying details that once would have been impossible to see? You could head to a Broncos game (or Nuggets, or Rockies, or Avs, or Rapids, or…) without having to worry about missing any of the action. Maybe even consider getting your pilot’s license? After LASIK, you can do almost anything you set your (clearer) sights on.

However, while the possibilities for enjoying the enhanced vision offered by LASIK may seem endless, some post-procedure restrictions should be kept in mind for the first few weeks after your procedure. Following your full recovery from LASIK, you will only be bound only by your imagination (or the laws of physics), so you might want to start making plans today.

Contact 20/20 Institute for a FREE LASIK Consultation Today!

If you live in Colorado Springs, Denver, or a surrounding Colorado community and are interested in learning more about what LASIK can do for you, call 20/20 Institute at 303-202-0669 today. Known for our exceptional patient care and unparalleled LASIK results, we start by offering a FREE LASIK consultation over the phone, allowing us to quickly and conveniently help you determine if laser vision correction is the right fit for your needs.

Ten (Simple) Things to Avoid After LASIK Surgery

Most people experience a significant improvement in their vision the morning after LASIK. However, even with vision improvements, certain things should be avoided during the initial stages of recovery.

The doctors at 20/20 Institute are here to support you during this journey. You’ll have two follow-up visits in the first week after your procedure. During these visits, we’ll check your progress, discuss any concerns or questions you have, and help ensure you have the best possible experience.

Things to avoid after LASIK will include:

  1. Rubbing Your Eyes. The first thing to avoid after LASIK is rubbing your eyes, even if they’re itchy. Rubbing your eyes can disrupt the healing process for the corneal flap, which could lead to discomfort and complications. But don’t worry, we will provide lubricating eye drops that can be used to address any pesky itching or discomfort.
  2. Getting Water in Your Eyes. Lubricating eye drops are good. Non-sterile water and steam? Not so much. You will want to avoid getting water in your eyes (including from pools, lakes, rivers, oceans, hot tubs, saunas, and showers) during the first week of LASIK recovery. Water can introduce bacteria and may increase your risk of infection. You can still shower, of course. Just avoid washing your eyelids directly.
  3. Strenuous Activity. Strenuous activities and things with a high risk of ocular trauma—like pick-up basketball, heavy lifting, contact sports, or vigorous exercise—can cause eye strain and hinder the healing process. They can also result in sweat running into your eyes which, like water, is not something you want to introduce during the healing process. Light exercise is fine (probably even good), but avoid anything that might make you sweat heavily or expose you to getting hit in the eye.
  4. Exposure to Dirt, Dust, and Smoke. To help protect your eyes from irritation and the risk of infection, you’ll want to avoid exposure to dirt, dust, and smoke as much as possible after LASIK surgery. If your job requires being exposed to these types of irritants, you can still have LASIK. You’ll likely benefit from protective eyewear and periodically flushing your eyes with the lubricating eye drops that we will provide to you.
  5. Using Makeup. Makeup products (think eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow) can enter your eyes, causing irritation and increasing the risk of infection. Avoid eye makeup for at least a few days after LASIK surgery. When you resume use, we recommend all products are new and clean (old makeup can contain bacteria), and be careful in how you remove them for continuing comfort.
  6. Bright Lights and Wind. Okay, you’re not likely to stare directly into lights (right?) but do your best to wear protective sunglasses for a few weeks after LASIK. This will decrease any sensitivity to light and protect you from the wind drying your eyes out. In Colorado, when you go outside, wear a pair of high-quality sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays and wind.
  7. Reading and Screen Time. You don’t have to avoid screen time, however, it’s not a bad idea to want to limit long-term screen time activities that can strain your eyes—like reading, computer work, watching TV, and doom-scrolling—for at least 24-48 hours after LASIK. As your eyes start to heal after a couple of days, you can return to your normal screen time (and maybe even enjoy these activities without having to reach for your glasses).
  8. Using Non-Prescribed Eye Drops. You can find lots of OTC eye drops in any grocery or drugstore, but these may contain irritating ingredients and harmful preservatives that can interfere with the healing process. Use the eyedrops provided or recommended by our 20/20 Institute LASIK doctors to ensure the things you’re putting in your eyes are safe.
  9. Skipping Follow-Up Appointments. Remember those two follow-up visits mentioned earlier? We strongly recommend that you keep these appointments. They are an essential part of monitoring your healing progress and protecting your comfort. They also allow us to help you determine when it’s safe to resume things (getting water in your eyes, for example) that you need to avoid after LASIK. At 20/20 Institute, your follow-up care is included in the cost of your procedure—and not just for the first week, but for a full year.
  10. Neglecting Proper Hydration and Nutrition. Lastly, staying well-hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet help to support the healing process. There are so many choices for healthy eating in Colorado Springs and Denver (and our water quality is, frankly, superb) giving you plenty of opportunities to find new and exciting ways to enjoy food you may not otherwise be exposed to.

Also try to remember that, several days after LASIK, it’s normal to be ‘overly appreciative’ of your new vision. Try not to be too annoying by continually asking friends or family if they can see things as far away as you can! (Okay, okay, that’s a feeble attempt at humor. But seriously: try not to brag.)

A Quick Note on Traveling After LASIK

Many of our LASIK patients have travel plans following vision correction and wonder about LASIK-related travel restrictions. The first week after LASIK is the most critical time for healing, so the doctors at 20/20 Institute will ask that you not travel outside of the country during that time. However, patients are safe to travel domestically during the first week after LASIK—but we will recommend having an ample supply of artificial tears for the trip. Airplanes are dry, forced-air environments. Artificial tears will help you stay more comfortable.

Maintaining Healthy Results After LASIK

If you’re not hearing well, chances are you’re going to visit an ENT or audiologist to figure out what’s up. It’s the same with vision. When your vision is blurry, you head to the eye doctor for help. The truth is, these eye exams are recommended even for people who see well. You read that right: even if you’re seeing clearly, regular eye exams are still important.

LASIK can give you fantastic results (99.67% of our LASIK patients have obtained 20/20 vision or better!), but it shouldn’t end your relationship with your eye doctor. Think of it less as a permanent never-need-eye-care-again solution and more of an investment in your future vision. LASIK is like buying a high-performance sports car: you still need regular tune-ups to keep it running smoothly. Routine eye exams are your visual tune-ups, helping to ensure your eyes (not just your vision) remain in top shape.

Unrelated to LASIK, routine eye exams are used to detect a range of health issues, sometimes before other symptoms become apparent. This includes eye diseases, disorders, and conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration, along with systemic issues—including diabetes and high blood pressure—which can also show early signs in your eyes. Regularly scheduled eye care helps to ensure early detection of several serious conditions, making them an essential part of your overall healthcare routine.

So, even after LASIK, don’t go ghosting your eye doctor. Keeping your appointments and staying on top of your eye health can help you enjoy the long-term benefits provided by vision correction. A little care and attention for your eyes can go a long way in keeping them (and your body) healthy for years to come.

Better Vision Is Within Reach Today!

Vision is a treasured sense, and the LASIK Specialists at 20/20 Institute believe it’s a privilege to help patients reduce their reliance on glasses and contact lenses. We are deeply committed to the long-term ocular health of every one of our patients, a fact made obvious in the thousands of unedited 5-star patient reviews we have received. We look forward to hearing from you and learning how we can help you achieve the vision of your dreams.

To schedule your FREE LASIK consultation at 20/20 Institute, call us today or use our online contact form to let us know how to get in touch with you. We maintain offices in Colorado Springs, the Denver Tech Center, Downtown Denver, and Westminster, and welcome patients from all surrounding areas of the state.

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