Laser eye surgery aftercare & recovery

Comprehensive aftercare for all patients

We believe that aftercare is just as important as the surgery itself. That's why we've designed a comprehensive and effective aftercare programme which monitors vision and eye health, making sure that every patient's surgery is as successful as possible. We're on hand to make sure that you have all the support you need.

What to expect

After both LASIK and LASEK laser eye surgery, you'll initially experience some discomfort as your eyes start to heal. The level of discomfort varies between patients and it's also dependent upon the type of laser eye surgery you've undertaken.

It's normal for your eyes to be uncomfortable and watery for the first 24 hours after LASIK surgery (and for around a week after LASEK) and with LASIK, they may be light sensitive for the first few days (again, this may be around a week after LASEK). The whites of your eyes may look red for the first week or two after both types of laser eye surgery.

We recommend that you follow the advice set out in your patient information folder, as well as the advice that is given to you by your surgeon and optometrist.

This will include using eye drops as prescribed by your surgeon, wearing the eye shields provided when sleeping and wearing sunglasses when you're outside. If you can, for the first week following your surgery, you should try to avoid getting water in your eyes and wearing eye makeup is also off limits for the first 7 days.

Your aftercare timeline

Following your laser eye surgery, you can rest assured that Optical Express will continue to look after you. It's very important to us that you're satisfied with your vision and that your eyes are healthy after laser eye surgery.

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    Same day

    What should I do after having laser eye surgery?

    After surgery, you may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity to light. Your eyes may look a little bloodshot too. You should wear non-prescription sunglasses or protective goggles for your journey home and take a nap if possible.

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    Next day

    Next day aftercare appointment

    As part of your surgical aftercare programme, you'll attend a next day appointment, where your surgeon or optometrist will check to make sure that your recovery is progressing as it should.

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    1 and 3 months

    Ongoing appointments

    All Optical Express laser eye surgery patients are invited to one-month and three-month appointments from the date of their treatment and have access to our out-of-hours medical helpline giving access to 24-hour clinical advice.

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    One year on

    Annual eye examination

    Just like a visit to the dentist, your eye examination should be part of your regular health checks. We recommend you attend an annual or bi-annual eye examination, so that you can be confident that your eyes are healthy.

There's no greater feeling when you have nothing to hold you back.

Anthony Hay, Sports Journalist, London
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Still have questions?

Below you'll find answers to the questions we're asked most frequently.

  • Does laser eye surgery hurt?

    The short answer is: For the overwhelming majority of patients, no.

    Because of the anaesthetic drops which are applied prior to the treatment, laser eye surgery itself is generally pain-free during the procedure, but following the treatment patients may feel some discomfort, which is normal in the early stages of healing. The level of discomfort does depend on the type of surgery, but it is short lived and you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of improved vision within a matter of days.

  • How quickly can I expect laser eye surgery to show results?

    The short answer is: Within 24 hours following LASIK and within a week following LASEK.

    Laser eye surgery results vary from patient to patient. Most LASIK patients notice a significant improvement within 24 hours of having surgery, but for many people there's an immediate improvement in their vision.

  • When can I return to work after having laser eye surgery?

    The short answer is: Within a couple of days following LASIK and after a week following LASEK.

    Your recovery time will depend on a number of factors, including the type of treatment you've had. Most LASIK patients return to work within 48 hours of surgery, while for LASEK patients it may take up to seven days. Your surgeon and optometrist will take into account your personal situation, occupation and working environment and offer the best advice for you.

  • When can I play sports after laser eye surgery?

    The short answer is: It depends on the sport.

    After having laser eye surgery, most patients are able to enjoy their usual sporting activities again in as little as one week. However, it's recommended that you don't swim within two weeks of your procedure and when you do, it's important that you take the right precautions by using protective eyewear, such as goggles. You should wait at least one month before taking part in high impact or contact sports.