Getting any surgery can be a bit of a pain, but for the most part, LASIK surgery is quick and painless. Once you have it, you’ll be able to see an immediate improvement in your vision that only gets better as your eyes heal.
Still, while your eyes are healing, it’s important to care for them. During LASIK recovery, your surgeon will give you instructions to follow. Some of them may seem like they overdoing it or impossible to follow, but they are necessary!
If you don't follow all instructions, you increase risk for infections or complications. Keep reading to learn common mistakes that people make during their LASIK recovery!
Wearing Makeup Too Soon
To be on the safe side, most surgeons recommend avoiding makeup for at least a week after LASIK. If you wear eye makeup while your eyes are still in a fragile state, you could get an infection.
Makeup is a breeding ground for bacteria, so getting any near your eyes puts you at risk. You also risk poking your eye, which could harm your corneal flap after LASIK.
Showering With Running Water Pointed at Your Face
While you’re recovering, it’s important to keep everything out of your eyes. This doesn’t only include makeup, dust, and dirt though. It also means water, especially running water.
Running water can actually carry bacteria! Pointing your shower at your face or eyes is asking for some kind of post-LASIK complication.
In the shower, it’s a good idea to keep the faucet pointed below your head if possible. If that isn’t possible, you may want to stick to baths only for a week or two.
Getting in a Pool or Hot Tub
Chlorine is a powerful chemical that can irritate your eyes. It’s harmful even when your eyes are healthy.
When you’re healing from LASIK, chlorine becomes dangerous. This means you shouldn’t get in a pool or hot tub for at least two weeks after surgery, even if you keep your head above water.
The risk of getting even a little chlorinated water near your eyes is too great.
Exercising Right Away
You should be able to get back to your regular workout schedule a couple days after surgery. If your doctor recommends waiting, you may need to wait a week before exercising.
Exercising while your eyes are irritated puts you at a higher risk for complications. Ask your doctor how long you should wait before exercising again.
Even if you can play sports again, be sure to wear protective goggles for a few weeks.
Rubbing Your Eyes Because They Itch
You should never, ever rub your eyes. This may be difficult as one of the most common symptoms after LASIK is itchiness. Your eyes may also feel like they have grit in them.
This is normal! Rubbing your eyes at any time is a bad idea but after LASIK, it's much worse. Rubbing your eyes while they are recovering could increase your risk of infection.
Even worse: you could dislocate your fragile corneal flap! If your eyes are itchy, ask your surgeon about preservative-free artificial tears.