Your Guide to Recovery after Laser Eye Surgery

Recovery from Laser Eye Surgery is generally incredibly quick and trouble free and to make sure that everything is going to plan, we arrange a series of postoperative appointments (all included in the cost of your surgical package) for the first 12 months

“I woke up this morning and I could see!”

“I wish I had done it sooner!”

“It’s truely life changing!”

These are the most common feedback comments we hear from patients.

Recovery from Laser Eye Surgery is generally incredibly quick and trouble free and to make sure that everything is going to plan, we arrange a series of postoperative appointments (all included in the cost of your surgical package) for the first 12 months to monitor your progress.

Your first postoperative check up is the day after your surgery, then at 3-4 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. At each appointment Dr Hall will check your vision and ask you some questions about how your recovery is going.

Because we provide a high quality after care service, Dr Hall will provide you with his personal mobile number should you have any questions after your surgery.

Some patients notice improvements in their vision straight after the 15 minute rest period following treatment in our recovery room. The majority of people wake the next morning with clear vision and are able to return to their regular daily activities.

Our precious eyes have an incredible ability to heal, and due to technology advancements, Laser Eye Surgery is designed to be minimally invasive and done quickly and comfortably. All surgery stimulates the body’s natural healing response and recovery is different for everyone as our bodies heal at their own rate. Recovery time may vary from a few hours for one person to several weeks for another, and you can expect continual improvements up to 6 months before you achieve your final visual outcome. Recovery from LASIK procedure is quicker than recovery from Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK) procedure.

To help you optimise your recovery period we’ve put together these notes to guide you.

Take time to rest and recover in the first 24 hours

As you recover from Laser Eye Surgery your eyes go through the completely natural and expected healing process. This means that although you can’t see it, your eye has minor swelling. Swelling is the body sending in fluid and sometimes white blood cells to speed up the healing process. Your vision may be blurry during this period and you might experience dry eyes, light sensitivity, vision fluctuations and glare such as halos or starbursts. This will ease.

Recovery during this period means resting your eyes for 24 hours - no screens - no TVs, smartphones, tablets, desktops, netflix, e-readers, movie theatres or even paper books! All of these activities require eye strain and reduce your blink rate which can dry out your eyes.

Just rest, away from bright lights and get familiar with your eye drop routine.

It’s only for 24 hours and it will make a huge impact on your recovery.

Managing any discomfort after Laser Eye Surgery

After the anaesthetic eye drops have worn off you may experience mild discomfort in the first few hours. Some people’s eyes feel watery, others stingy. Dr Hall will have provided you with anti-inflammatory eye drops to reduce the swelling and inflammation - take these as directed.

If you have had the PRK procedure it is normal to experience moderate discomfort for two to four days.

Dry eyes

Dry eye symptoms are very common and can be managed with the lubricating eye drops.

Some people may experience dry eyes for up to 6 months and about 5% of patients require lubricating eye drops for up to 12 months. Keep up with your eye drop routine and Dr Hall will monitor this at each visit.

Even if your eyes don’t feel dry - follow the eye drop routine to prevent your eyes from drying.

After PRK some people feel a foreign body sensation in their eye as it heals.

Having a shower and washing your face

Avoid all water getting in your eyes for the first week. This means when having a shower, keep your eyes closed and don’t splash water on your face, avoid having soap or sweat dripping into your eyes (no sauna or spa). This reduces contamination and infection getting in your eyes.

Wearing makeup again

Wait at least two weeks before you wear makeup or perfume and delay any hair colouring for 10 days after surgery.  Once again, it is to reduce the risk of any little particles getting into your eyes and causing an irritation and inflammation.

Do not rub your eyes

Following your eye drop routine will reduce the desire to rub your eyes. We ask that you don’t rub your eyes as you risk dislodging the flap (although this is very rare) that was made in the LASIK surgery. Do not rub your eyes if you had the PRK procedure. Give your eyes time to heal by not touching them. Wear sunglasses outside to prevent dust going in your eyes and reduce light sensitivity. Dr Hall will give you eye shields to tape on your eyes before you go to sleep each night for the first week. This is to reduce the risk of rubbing your eyes in your sleep.

Returning to work

Some people return to work within 24 hours, but we like to advise you to take at least two days off - the day of the surgery and the day after. If you have PRK, plan to take a week off work.

Once back at work, keep your eyes lubricated with the artificial tears that we gave you. This is especially important to remember if you use a computer or are in an office with air conditioning, as both dry out your eyes.

If you work outside then remember to wear safety glasses to reduce the risk of dust or debris getting into your eyes and always wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection.

Driving again

At your appointment the day following your surgery Dr Hall will be able to advise if your vision meets the driving standard. 98% of people who have LASIK can drive the first day after surgery. You will need someone to drive you home from your surgery. If you had PRK you will not be able to drive until you have had your bandage contact lens removed at around 6 days after surgery. When you begin to drive again, keep to short distances and preferably daytime. It is common to experience starbursts and halos around lights while driving at night for the first few weeks as your eyes are recovering. This is due to the mild swelling in the cornea which is gradually reducing as you fully recover.

Flying again

Flying is okay the following day and remember to keep your eye drops handy as the air inside the plane is low humidity and can be drying.

Returning to sport

After 3 days you can do some light activities such as walking, stationary cycling and lift small weights. Once again, be careful to not get sweat or dust in your eyes. If outside, pop on a pair of sunglasses for protection from UV light and any dust and wind. Avoid swimming and contact sports for at least a month.

If you have any questions during your recovery our knowledgeable staff are available to talk to you. With a little bit of rest, and by following Dr Hall’s advice and your regular eye drop routine, you’ll soon be enjoying the endless benefits of your new vision.


Phone 0800 69 2020 or email for a no obligation free suitability for laser eye surgery assessment .