Once a LASIK eye surgery patient’s procedure is complete, their LASIK eye surgeon office sends them home with an accompanying driver to take a long nap. When they awake, they will already be able to experience clearer vision. However, it is imperative to remember that corneal tissue requires several weeks to completely heal. While this occurs, patients often have questions about when and how they complete certain everyday tasks after their LASIK eye surgery. This article is one of an upcoming three part series that discusses when post-op LASIK individuals can bathe and shower, how to approach required medications and how to complete daily activities until your eyes have completely healed.
In regards to bathing, numerous LASIK eye surgeons deem it acceptable to take a shower or birdbath the day after your LASIK surgery as long as you are extremely cautious and do not get hair care products and facial washing liquids too close to the eye. However, many LASIK eye surgeons recommend waiting for 5 days before water (or soap, shampoo, body wash, etc.) is allowed in the eye or your head is submerged in water. These precautions allow your corneal tissue to heal properly. If water, soap, shampoo and/or similar washing materials are not kept out of the eye for the 5-day post-op period, patients could:
- Run the risk of infection with soap, water, shampoo, etc in eyes
- Experience burning and irritation
- Rub their eyes and wrinkle the corneal flap made during the LASIK procedure, risking corneal flap dislodgement
- Accidentally exacerbate any dry eye symptoms/begin experiencing dry eye symptoms
In regards to swimming, LASIK eye surgeons’ offices heavily advise post-op LASIK eye surgery patients to wait for 14 days before jumping in the pool, hot tub, ocean or lake. Due to the chemicals in chlorinated water and the particles found in salt and fresh water bodies, irritation, redness and corneal tissue infection is a high possibility immediately after LASIK. Interactions with these bodies of water can slow the healing process or cause post-op damage.
Besides swimming, bathing and showering, post LASIK eye surgery patients are also prompted to closely monitor other aspects of everyday life for certain, short periods of time. Keeping a close watch on your progress while remaining safe and cautious is paramount for allowing your eyes to take time to fully adjust to the procedural changes. Medications, both required and optional, makeup practices and the proximity of pets and young children should also be monitored accordingly.