After LASIK Eye Surgery Series Part I of III – Bathing and Showering

Wang Yan

Global Courant

Once a LASIK eye surgery patient’s procedure is complete, their LASIK eye surgery office will send them home with an accompanying driver to take a long nap. When they wake up, they will already be able to experience clearer vision. However, it is imperative to remember that corneal tissue takes several weeks to fully heal. While this happens, patients often have questions about when and how to perform certain daily tasks after their LASIK eye surgery. This article is one of an upcoming three-part series discussing when post-surgical LASIK patients can bathe and shower, how to take needed medications, and how to complete daily activities until your eyes are completely healed.

In regards to bathing, many LASIK eye surgeons find it acceptable to take a shower or birdbath the day after your LASIK surgery, as long as you are extremely careful not to get hair care products and facial washes too close to the eye. However, many LASIK eye surgeons recommend waiting 5 days before allowing water (or soap, shampoo, body wash, etc.) into the eye or submerging your head in water. These precautions allow your corneal tissue to heal properly. If water, soap, shampoo and/or similar detergents are not avoided during the 5 day postoperative period, patients may:

  • Risk of infection with soap, water, shampoo, etc. in the eyes

  • Experience a burning sensation and irritation

  • Rub their eyes and wrinkle the corneal flap created during the LASIK procedure, risking the corneal flap becoming detached

  • Accidentally worsen/start experiencing dry eye symptoms

With regard to swimming, LASIK eye surgeons’ offices strongly advise postoperative LASIK eye surgery patients to wait 14 days before jumping into the pool, hot tub, ocean, or lake. Because of the chemicals in chlorinated water and the particles found in salt and fresh water bodies, irritation, redness, and infection of the corneal tissue right after LASIK is a high possibility. Interactions with these bodies of water can slow the healing process or cause postoperative damage.

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In addition to swimming, bathing, and showering, patients after LASIK eye surgery are also asked to closely observe other aspects of daily life for a specified, short period of time. Keeping a close eye on your progress while staying safe and careful is paramount to give your eyes time to fully adjust to the procedural changes. Medications, both mandatory and optional, makeup practices, and proximity to pets and young children should also be monitored accordingly.

After LASIK Eye Surgery Series Part I of III – Bathing and Showering

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