How Long Do I Need To Wear Sunglasses For After LASIK?
Nov 07, 2023 • All articles

How Long Do I Need To Wear Sunglasses For After LASIK?

LASIK eye surgery is not only one of the safest elective medical procedures available, but it’s also one of the most life‑changing. It can offer freedom from glasses and contact lenses, and treat a range of common eye conditions, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It works to correct refractive error by reshaping the cornea itself, offering a long‑term solution to vision problems.

One of the many benefits of LASIK is that it offers a quick recovery. At Greenberg LASIK in Louisville and Indianapolis, most of our patients are back to their normal routine within 24‑hours of the procedure. To ensure successful healing, our clinical staff will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your eyes post‑LASIK. This includes an eye drop schedule, instructions on when to resume specific activities, and guidance for how and when to wear sunglasses, which is a crucial part of your LASIK recovery.

Why Wearing Sunglasses Is Important After LASIK

Sunglasses play a vital role following LASIK for several reasons. Firstly, they effectively shield the eyes from bright light, ensuring that the healing tissues are not subjected to excessive illumination. During LASIK, a small incision is carefully made on the top layer of the cornea, which is then lifted to provide access to the underlying tissues that require correction. This tissue is then reshaped to correct the refractive error. Once the necessary adjustments have been completed, the flap is gently repositioned by the surgeon, and the tissues are left to heal. During this recovery period, it is imperative to shield the eyes from intense light exposure by wearing protective, dark sunglasses.

Additionally, sunglasses serve as a formidable defense against allergens, dust, smoke, and other potential irritants that could infiltrate the eyes and disrupt the recovery process. Moreover, they create a physical barrier that acts as a reminder, discouraging any inadvertent rubbing or scratching of the eyes. It’s normal to experience sensations of dryness and itchiness after LASIK as the eyes heal, but touching the eyes can interfere with the recovery and potentially lead to complications with the corneal flap. Sunglasses serve as a physical reminder not to touch your eyes after laser vision correction.

Best Practices For Wearing Sunglasses After LASIK

After your LASIK surgery, you’ll be provided with a pair of specialty sunglasses as well as instructions for how and when to wear them. It’s advisable to wear the sunglasses for the remainder of the day immediately following your procedure, even when sleeping. Subsequently, patients should continue to wear sunglasses when outdoors or in the presence of bright light sources for at least the first week of their LASIK recovery.

Patients may transition to their own sunglasses, provided they offer comprehensive eye coverage and full UV protection, after the first week. As light sensitivity diminishes, there is no longer a necessity to wear sunglasses indoors. However, it's recommended to wear them outdoors, at least until the eyes have fully healed.

Once the eyes have reached complete healing post‑LASIK surgery, there’s no strict requirement to wear sunglasses. However, it’s strongly encouraged to wear sunglasses any time you’re outdoors, regardless of if the weather is cloudy or not. Prolonged exposure to harsh UV rays can pose a risk to eye tissues. Research has found that continuous exposure to UV rays can increase the likelihood of various eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Wearing sunglasses not only enhances outdoor visibility but also safeguards the eyes from sensitivity and effectively blocks out harmful UV radiation.

At Greenberg LASIK in Louisville and Philadelphia, our staff will be with you every step of the way during your LASIK journey. We’ll ensure you understand the recommendations for wearing sunglasses post‑surgery and will be happy to address any other question you have about the recovery process or LASIK in general. We offer free, no‑obligation consultations to confirm your eligibility and discuss your treatment options, including the cost and financing plans. Book your free consultation with Greenberg LASIK today.