Technology, and computers in particular, play a crucial role in our lives today. The vast majority of adults use a computer on a regular basis. Whether you need one for work, to complete creative projects, to surf the Internet, to stream movies or for any other reason, you are most likely dependent on a computer to carry out some aspect of your daily routine.
With such a heavy reliance on computers throughout our society, it’s common for people considering LASIK to be concerned about the need to refrain from using them while recovering from surgery. In fact, “When can I use a computer after LASIK?” is one of the most common questions Dr. Foulkes receives during consultations with new LASIK patients.
Fortunately, you won’t experience much downtime after LASIK, and you should be able to get back on your computer fairly quickly. That being said, you will need to take certain precautions while your eyes are healing.
Your Eyes will Need a Break Immediately after LASIK
During the initial recovery period, you’ll need to rest your eyes as much as possible so that they can heal properly. Dr. Foulkes recommends that you don’t view any screens – computer, TV, tablet or cell phone – for about 24 hours after undergoing LASIK. Once you get through this initial 24-hour resting period, you can start to gradually increase your screen use over the next few days.
In most instances, you should be able to safely use a computer without any restrictions 4-5 days after LASIK. That being said, everyone’s eyes heal at a different pace. Dr. Foulkes will closely monitor your recovery and let you know when he feels it’s safe for you to resume computer use without restrictions.
Computer Viewing Best Practices after LASIK
While you can use your computer freely within a few days, your eyes will still be healing for several weeks after LASIK. During this time, you may be more susceptible to dry eye symptoms. It’s common to blink less frequently when looking at a computer screen, and this may make these dry eye symptoms even more pronounced.
By taking the following precautions, you can help reduce the chances of developing dry eye symptoms when using a computer after LASIK:
- Blink frequently while you’re using a computer. You may even want to put a sticky note on the corner of your screen to remind you to blink.
- When you’re using a computer, make sure you use the artificial tears and other lubricating eye drops Dr. Foulkes prescribes. This will help keep your eyes moist.
- Take regular breaks from looking at the computer screen. Dr. Foulkes recommends the 20/20/20 rule – take a 20 second break from viewing your screen every 20 minutes and focus your eyes on an object at least 20 feet away.
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is an important part of the healing process after LASIK. It gives your eyes a chance to rest for a prolonged period of time. During the first few weeks of your LASIK recovery, make a concerted effort to go to bed at a reasonable time. It’s also best to refrain from using your computer, phone or tablet in bed right before you go to sleep.
You should also listen to your body. This will be the most effective way to determine whether you are pushing yourself too hard while your eyes are healing. If you experience any discomfort or eye irritation while you’re using a computer, take a break and give your eyes a rest. If you spend a large portion of your work day on the computer, let your boss know that you may need to work shorter hours until your eyes are fully healed.
Contact our Chicago LASIK Surgeon
If you’re interested in learning more about laser vision correction, please contact Foulkes Vision using the form on this page or call 630-724-1400 today to schedule a free LASIK consultation. We serve patients in Chicago, Lombard and throughout the surrounding areas of Illinois.