What to Expect After Laser Eye Surgery: Your Guide to Recovery


While the laser eye surgery procedure itself often takes only 5-10 minutes, understanding what to expect before, during and after will help you achieve the best possible vision.

In this guide, we’ll delve into recovery after laser eye surgery, addressing some common questions and essential steps for smooth recovery.


How soon after Laser Eye Surgery can you see clearly?

After LASIK surgery, most people experience clear vision by the next morning. And over the coming months, your vision will continue to improve with increased contrast and sharpness.

It’s important to note however, that your journey to clear sight will vary depending on the type of laser eye surgery you have and your individual factors.


Immediately after Laser Eye Surgery

After your surgery, you’ll spend some time in our waiting room for recovery. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Almost immediately, you’ll start to notice your newfound vision taking shape, with small writing on posters and people’s faces already coming into focus.
  2. It’s common to experience mild discomfort, such as a gritty sensation, tearing or misty vision at this stage. This is normal and usually subsides within a few hours.
  3. After a final check on your eyes to make sure everything looks healthy, we will give you eye drops, advice on dos and don’ts, and schedule you in for your next visit (usually the following day).
  4. You will need someone with you for the next 24-48 hours to drive you back home and administer your eye drops for you.

Remember, this information is for general guidance only. If you have any concerns or questions about your symptoms, consult with your doctor or contact our clinic team on 0330 123 2020.


Home recovery and short-term effects

The first days after surgery are crucial for a smooth recovery.

Mild vision fluctuations are normal as your eyes adjust. It’s common to experience some dryness or light sensitivity, but these aftereffects tend to be very short-lived.

Following your post-operative care instructions and using prescribed eye drops will help alleviate these temporary symptoms.


What happens after the initial Laser Eye Surgery recovery period?

After you recover, you’ll have regular check-ups to track your progress.

We’ll assess your vision during these visits, and you’ll likely notice improvements that often surpass what glasses or contacts could provide.

It’s important to attend all appointments to make sure your eyes are healing well.


When can you go back to work after Laser Eye Surgery?

Most people can return to work within 48 hours after LASIK. But advanced surface treatments like Trans-Epi require a longer period of recovery.

  • If your work involves minimal physical strain and no exposure to irritants, you may feel comfortable returning to work within 24-48 hours.
  • If your work environment is dusty or exposes your eyes to potential hazards, your surgeon might recommend taking a few extra days off.


Crucial dos and don’ts for smooth recovery

  • No make up for 2 weeks
  • No strenuous exercise for 1 week
  • No swimming, saunas and hot tubs for 4 weeks.
  • Avoid sun exposure without sunglasses for 1-2 weeks, and even afterwards.
  • Alcohol consumption during recovery period.
  • No contact sports for 2 weeks.
  • Strictly avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Mitigate temporary dry eye with plenty of rest and by following guidance provided at your consultation.
  • Protect your eyes from smoke, dust and harsh winds during the initial recovery period.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule (take a 20-second break every 20 minutes, looking at something 20 feet away) to reduce screen time and eye strain.
  • Establish a long-term eye care routine to ensure you get the best vision possible out of your treatment.
  • Attend your scheduled eye exams even after achieving stable vision.


Your laser eye surgery recovery is a unique and personal experience.

While the recovery process varies, following your surgeon’s instructions, attending follow-up appointments, and taking care of your eyes are key to ensuring the best possible vision.

Save this infographic as a reminder of the important points for smooth recovery:

crucial points for laser eye surgery recovery


If you have specific questions about laser eye surgery recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for guidance and reassurance.

Here’s to a clearer, brighter future!

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