Laser Eye Surgery, PRK, LASIK
Post Op Tips
It can not be stated strongly enough that you follow your doctor's Post Op instructions to the letter. Do what he or she has told you to do to ensure your best results. The following tips are suggestions for things you can do to add to the comfort during the first few days after your procedure.
1. Drink lots of water. It is recommended that you drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day anyway, and you may want to increase your intake while your body recovers. Fruit and vegetable juices are good sources if you don't like the taste of water. Herbal teas can work well too, but don't include coffee in your count as coffee has been shown to actually act as a diuretic - contra to what you are trying to achieve.
2. In the field of sports medicine, it is common practice to apply ice to injuries. Many PRK patients have found that an ice pack applied to the area of the treated eye is very soothing. Twenty minutes is the magic time for application. If you apply the ice for less than 20 minutes the beneficial effects can not happen. If you leave the ice on longer than 20 minutes, you can actually undo the benefits of the application. Make sure the ice pack is wrapped in a clean towel before you apply it. You may find that applying an ice pack for 20 minutes three or four times a day for the first two days to be very helpful.
3. If your doctor has included eye drops in your Post Op program, try to get a family member to instill them for you. Some doctors like to see the "designated caregiver" attend the appointments and instructions for drops are then given to the caregiver. If you are fortunate enough to have someone to fulfill this role for you, by all means do. Even seasoned contact lens wearers can find that after the procedure they do not have their usual eye lid control for a few days. If it happens to you, remember this is only an understandable, and temporary apprehension of anything that gets near your eyes.
4. Get plenty of sleep! Some doctors send their patients home with a sleeping pill to be taken as soon as they get home. Even if yours doesn't, it is very important that you get ample rest and sleep. Some patients find this hard to do because they feel fine. Even if you feel fine, take a few days out of your life and make certain to rest with your eyes closed. Give your body the best chance of recovering quickly.
5. Try to stay away from smoky rooms or areas with chemical vapors such as a printing shop or darkroom. Excessively dusty environments are also discouraged.
6. Go nowhere without sunglasses. Many patients find they are extremely light sensitive for a while. Some even wear sunglasses indoors for a few days.
7. Keep your hands away from your face and wash your hands often, particularly before you instill your drops. If your "caregiver" is administering the drops, make sure they wash their hands first. This is just simple hygiene, but it helps minimize the chance of infection.
8. Avoid wearing mohair or angora sweaters the first few days after your treatment. The reason? These fabrics are notorious for fine, floating fibers, and one of these can cause discomfort if it gets into your treated eye, particularly if you are wearing a bandage contact lens.
9. If your hair needs trimming, get it done before the procedure. Avoid the risk of an errant hair clipping getting into your eyes. Any chemical treatments such as perms or colors should also be done before your procedure.
10. Dry eyes are a common complaint with some forms of PRK. Use the wetting solutions supplied by your doctor as often as you need to. Also, if you have used these wetting solutions and your eyes still feel dry, try wearing your sunglasses. Light sensitivity can be confused with dry eyes - it feels very similar.
11. If your doctor says use Tylenol, he or she probably means Tylenol. ASA based pain-killers may be incompatible with your prescribed drops. If in doubt, ask your doctor. In fact, if you have concerns about anything at all, ask your doctor. That is why they are there, and most will be pleased to help you in any way they can.
12. Enjoy the process! Relish and appreciate your new sight each day as it gets better and better. And pat yourself on the back for your courage and conviction to improve the quality of your life with good vision.