Though the blade-free, all-laser LASIK recovery period is incredibly short, you’ll still need to take the whole day off to recover. While it’s tempting to use that time to catch up on emails or text people about your experience, you need to give your eyes a break.
It’s fine to watch TV after taking a nap following your LASIK procedure. However, smaller digital screens can irritate your eyes immediately after surgery. Keep reading to discover how long you will need to wait before you can look at your favorite devices again.
How Digital Devices Affect Your Eyes
You’ve already heard that too much screen time can cause eye strain. Prolonged use of many common devices — including computers, tablets, and smartphones — can cause temporary vision problems. Several uncomfortable symptoms are associated with digital eye strain, including dryness and irritation.
There are a few reasons why digital screens negatively impact your eyes. When you’re looking at a screen, you tend to blink far less frequently. Screens also involve variable elements like contrast, flicker, and glare that make your eyes tired. Additionally, there is a correlation between eye fatigue and the blue light that some devices emit.
Temporarily Limiting Phone and Computer Use After LASIK
Prolonged screen time can be hard on your eyes during a typical day. If you’re recovering from LASIK surgery, looking at a screen will likely cause unnecessary discomfort and irritation. It’s important to give your eyes time to heal.
You should avoid looking at digital devices for 24 hours after your LASIK surgery. Our laser eye surgeons advise patients to rest their eyes by keeping them closed or taking a nap. You should also avoid other visually demanding activities like reading.
If you’re worried that you will be bored or antsy during this time, there are plenty of things that you can do. For example, you can download your favorite playlists, podcasts, or audiobooks ahead of time.
Within 24 hours of your LASIK procedure, you will return to our facility for your first post-operative exam. Our laser eye surgeons will examine your eyes and tell you if you are ready to look at screens again. Most people can drive, return to work, and resume their normal activities — including computer work — the day after their LASIK surgery.
Best Practices for Post-LASIK Screen Time
Don’t worry, you don’t need to commit to a digital detox to keep your eyes healthy after LASIK. However, some simple screen-related practices can help prevent irritation and dryness, including:
- Remembering to blink frequently: This is easier said than done, since looking at a screen can be very distracting and immersive. Try to put a sticky note on the corner of your computer to remind you to blink.
- Using eye drops: Artificial tears and lubricating eye drops can help relieve dryness.
- Taking regular breaks: Try to follow the 20/20/20 rule when you are looking at a screen. This means taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to focus your eyes on something that is at least 20 feet away.
Arrange Your Complimentary LASIK Evaluation
At Griffin & Reed Eye Care, we offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations to patients who are considering LASIK eye surgery. We are also proud to offer 20/20 Vision From Your LASIK Surgery Or Your Money Back to qualified patients.
Call 916-485-2020 today to schedule your LASIK evaluation with one of our laser vision correction surgeons. We happily welcome patients from across Northern California at our modern Roseville and Sacramento facilities.