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LASIK (Laser in Situ Keratomileusis)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Laser in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK, is laser surgery to correct refractive errors of the eye. Refractive errors are common eye disorders that cause blurred vision. These errors happen when there is a problem in the refraction (bending) of light in the eye. They are often caused by an abnormal shape and texture of the cornea. The cornea is the clear outer layer of your eye. LASIK may improve the vision in one or both of your eyes.
Seek care immediately if:
- You cannot see at all.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your eyes are red, swollen, and draining pus.
- You have eye pain that does not go away, even with treatment.
- Your vision becomes worse all of a sudden.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
It is very important that you use the following eyedrops as directed. You may need to continue using them daily for weeks or months.
- Antibiotic eyedrops help prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Steroid eyedrops help decrease eye inflammation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return to have your eyes checked. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
What to expect after LASIK:
Your eyes may feel gritty or itchy the first few days. They may be sensitive to light, watery, or painful. You may have redness on the whites of your eye. Your vision may seem hazy. You may see halos or glare around lights. It may be hard to see at night. These problems usually improve as time passes.
- Do not rub your eyes for at least 3 months. Rubbing your eyes can move or damage the flaps.
- Rest your eyes. Use your eye shield, eye patch, or corrective lenses as directed. Get plenty of sleep. Limit activities that strain your eyes, such as reading.
- Use lubricating eyedrops as directed. You will need to use drops that do not contain preservatives at first. Your eye specialist will tell you how long to use preservative-free drops. Talk to your provider if dry eye continues for longer than the first week after surgery.
- Ask about activity. You may need to avoid exercise and contact sports. Do not swim, sit in a hot tub, fly, or scuba dive until your healthcare provider says it is okay. These activities increase the pressure in your eyes. Ask when you can start to wear makeup.
- Use proper lighting. This will help you see more clearly. Use lights that decrease glare in your home or workplace.
- Wear sunglasses outside. This will help protect your eyes and decrease sensitivity to light.
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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.
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