Laser In Situ Keratomileusis


Laser In Situ Keratomileusis (Discharge Care) Care Guide

Laser in situ keratomileusis (ker-ah-toh-mi-LOO-sis) or LASIK is eye surgery that uses a special kind of laser. Surgery with this laser may help you see without contact lens or glasses. It is usually done in an outpatient center or clinic. One or both eyes may be done. You may have clear, focused vision right after the surgery. You may need to wait for a longer time before your vision is clear and focused. Your eyes may feel "itchy" or "gritty", but that should go away in a couple of days. You may have changes in your sight as your eyes heal. Normal sight without contacts or glasses should happen in about one to three months. If you are over 40 years old, you may still need to use reading glasses, even after LASIK surgery.



  • Keep a written list of what medicines you take and when and why you take them. Bring the list of your medicines or the pill bottles when you see your caregivers. Ask your caregiver for information about your medicines.

  • Always take your medicine as directed by caregivers. Call your caregiver if you think your medicines are not helping or if you feel you are having side effects. Do not quit taking it until you discuss it with your caregiver. If you are taking medicine that makes you drowsy, do not drive or use heavy equipment.

  • Eye-wetting drops: These eye drops can help keep your eyes moist (wet) after surgery. Use them as ordered by your eye doctor. Always wash your hands carefully before touching your eyes. Do not touch the tip of your medicine dropper or vial to your eye or anything else. Your eye doctor may suggest certain eye drops that are sold at grocery or drug stores. Keep extra eye drops with you all of the time. Use them if your eyes feel dry.

  • Antibiotic eye drops: Antibiotic (an-ti-bi-OT-ik) eye drops can help prevent infection (in-FEK-shun) caused by bacteria (bak-TEE-ree-ah) (germs). Use them exactly as your eye doctor tells you to.

  • Steroid eye drops: Steroid (STER-oid) eye drops help to decrease inflammation (in-flah-MAY-shun) (redness, pain, and swelling). This medicine can help a lot but may also have side effects. Be sure you understand why you need steroids. Do not stop taking this medicine without your eye doctor's OK.

  • Over-the-counter pain medicine: You may use over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, for pain or swelling. These medicines may be bought without a caregiver's order. These medicines are safe for most people to use. However, they can cause serious problems when they are not used correctly. People with certain medical conditions, or using certain other medicines are at a higher risk for problems. Using too much, or using these medicines for longer than the label says can also cause problems. Follow directions on the label carefully. If you have questions, talk to your caregiver.

Follow-up visit information:

Keep all appointments. You will need to see your eye doctor the next day after surgery, and again one week later. Your eye doctor will want to see you at other regular times during the year after surgery. Follow your eye doctor's instructions closely. Write down questions you have about your LASIK surgery and follow-up care. This way you will remember to ask these questions during your next visit.

How will my eyes feel after LASIK surgery?

Your eyes may feel "gritty and itchy" (like there is dirt or sand in them) for the first few days. They may feel sensitive to light, watery (extra tears), or painful. You may have red spots or marks on the whites of your eyes. Your vision may seem "greasy" or "smeared and hazy". You may see halos or glare around lights. It may be hard to see at night. These problems will usually get better as time passes.

How can I take care of myself at home?

Always follow your eye doctor's instructions. Talk to your eye doctor about the followng:

  • Do not rub your eyes. Rubbing your eyes can dislodge (move to the wrong place) or hurt your corneal flaps. Avoid rubbing your eyes for at least three months. Protect your eyes from any things or activities that may cause them to be hit or bumped.

  • Wear your eye shields. Wear eye shields at bedtime during the first week after surgery. Ask your eye doctor if you should wear them for a longer time. Wear sunglasses (with lenses that have UV protection) while you are outside during the day.

  • Do not wear eye make-up for one or two weeks.

  • Wait until at least one day after surgery before you take your first bath or shower. Avoid getting water, soap, or shampoo in your eyes for at least two weeks. Gently shut your eyes if water gets in them. Remember to avoid rubbing your eyes.

  • Do not wear contact lenses. Your vision may continue to change for one to four weeks or longer before becoming normal. Wear your glasses if you need to read or see better while your eyes heal.

  • When to start doing activities again: Talk to your eye doctor about your activities. Then you can decide together when you can start doing them again.

    • Wait for at least three days to one week before starting regular exercise such as walking or jogging.

    • Avoid heavy exercise, such as doing hard workouts at the gym or skiing, for four weeks. Avoid contact sports such as football or basketball for at least four weeks.

    • Stay out of swimming pools, hot tubs, or saunas for two weeks. Ask your eye doctor if you should wait for a longer time.

    • Do not scuba dive or skydive for one month.

    • You may start driving again when your vision is clear and focused. You may need to wait for one day, one week, or even longer.

  • Wear safety glasses. Wear safety glasses when doing activities that may cause things to fly into your eyes. These activities include doing woodwork or using weed trimmers. Wear polycarbonate (pol-ee-KAHR-bon-ayt) eyewear when doing ball sports or activities that may cause hits or bumps to the eyes.

Wellness Hints:

  • Eat healthy foods: Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables. Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose protein sources, such as lean beef and chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Ask how many servings of fats, oils, and sweets you should have each day, and if you need to be on a special diet.

  • Drinking liquids: Adults should drink about 9 to 13 cups of liquid each day. One cup is 8 ounces. Good choices of liquids for most people include water, juice, and milk. Coffee, soup, and fruit may be counted in your daily liquid amount. Ask your caregiver how much liquid you should drink each day.

  • Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information about how to stop smoking if you need help.

Where can I get more information about LASIK surgery?

Contact the following organizations for more information about LASIK:

  • International Society of Refractive Surgery of the American Academy of Ophthalmology
    P.O. Box 7424
    San Franciso , CA 94120
    Phone: 1- 415 - 561-8500
    Web Address:
  • National Eye Institute
    31 Center Drive MSC 2510
    Bethesda , MD 20892-2510
    31 Center Drive MSC 2510
    Bethesda , MD 20892-2510
    Phone: 1- 301 - 496-5248
    Web Address:


  • You have a fever.

  • You have eye pain that keeps getting worse over time.

  • Your vision becomes worse all of the sudden.


  • You cannot see at all.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.