Guidelines for Computer Use after LASIK Surgery

November 5th, 2018
man staring at computer

When it comes to using computers after LASIK surgery, a few minor precautions can go a long way toward ensuring you get the best results upon LASIK recovery.

One of the best things about LASIK laser eye surgery is the rapid recovery time. Unlike procedures that occur in hospital operating rooms and require substantial anesthesia, LASIK operations are performed in the comfort of your doctor’s office, and patients can typically go home right after the surgery is finished. Many patients even find that they’re able to get right back to work the day after the operation.

But LASIK’s speedy recovery time can be a double-edged sword. For many people, work involves logging many hours in front of a computer screen. Unfortunately, during those critical first few days after LASIK, excessive computer use can cause eyestrain and might ultimately be detrimental to the healing process. But with the right precautions, you can ensure that computer work won’t compromise your LASIK results.

An Ounce of Prevention Goes A Long Way

Because LASIK requires your surgeon to make a tiny incision in the cornea, your eye will need some time to heal. During that time, the eye is particularly delicate, vulnerable to disruption, and requires plenty of moisture. That’s why surgeons advise patients to apply artificial tears liberally in the days following surgery.

Unfortunately, staring at a computer screen can sometimes cause eyes to dry out, largely because we don’t tend to blink as often when we look at screens. This can cause our eyes to become dry, red, and irritated, which is far from optimal for the healing process.

To protect your eyes from the potential consequences of screen use, it’s smart to take a break from all screens for 24 hours after the procedure – computer screens, smartphones, tablets, and TVs. Instead of spending your recovery time watching Netflix, take a nap and give your eyes a chance to readjust and recharge.

Once you’ve resumed screen use, best practices include frequent breaks. This means frequently blinking and following the 20-20-20 rule, which states that every 20 minutes, you should focus your eyes on an object that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Consider putting a sticky note on your screen to remind yourself to take these little breaks.

A screen hiatus may be inconvenient, but think of it as a long-term investment in your optical health. Give your eyes this time to heal and you’ll be well on your way to a lifetime of great vision. If you have questions about computer use after LASIK or other vision correction procedures, get in touch with the expert staff at Swagel Wootton Eye Institute today and check out our Mesa and Chandler locations.