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Laser eye surgery recovery tips


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Laser eye surgery – the next few weeks

As with any surgical procedure, your body needs time to recover after you have a laser eye surgery procedure such as LASIK, PRK or SMILE®.

Here are some tips that can help promote a speedy recovery.

  1. Immediately after laser eye surgery

    You will be given goggles or eye shields before you are discharged. You’ll need to wear them when sleeping for the first few nights – these will prevent you from touching your eyes during the night.

  2. Don’t rub your eyes

    This is extremely important, particularly during the first 7 days following laser eye surgery.

  3. Administer your drops as prescribed

    As part of your post-op recovery, you will have been given a series of eye drops. It is essential that you administer the drops as advised by your doctor.

    Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and keep them away from your face. This is particularly important before applying eye drops. Minimising infection risk is critical after laser eye surgery.

  4. Get plenty of rest

    When you first return home after having laser eye surgery, resting your eyes is important. Sleep is the only time that our body has a real opportunity to repair, and this is true for laser eye surgery as well.

  5. Stay in clean environments

    It may go without saying, however, it’s worth reiterating – after laser eye surgery, avoid smoky rooms, dusty environments or areas with chemical vapours such as science labs, printing shops, darkrooms etc.

  6. Wear sunglasses

    Your eyes will be sensitive to light after laser eye surgery. Avoid extreme levels of sunlight. When you do go outside, wear sunglasses. Some people find that wearing sunglasses indoors also helps.

  7. Avoid straining or contact sports

    You will be advised not to participate in contact sports for one week after SMILE® and 2–4 weeks after ASLA/PRK. You will need to wait 4 weeks after LASIK before resuming contact sports or physical activities.

    You’ll also be asked not to swim for at least two weeks.

  8. Go make-up free

    For one week following laser eye surgery, you will need to avoid wearing eye make-up.

  9. Be patient

    Your vision will fluctuate during the first few days and weeks after laser eye surgery, and you may see halos around lights. Your eyes may also feel gritty temporarily.

  10. Finally

    Remember to treat the recovery period after laser eye surgery seriously and follow your surgeon’s instructions. If you have any concerns, always contact the clinic for advice.


Find out more about laser eye surgery

Find out more about the cost of laser eye surgery 

Compare the different laser correction procedures available

SMILE® is a registered trademark of Carl Zeiss Meditec


  1. Choice. A guide to laser eye surgery. NSW, 11 August 2020. Available at https://www.choice.com.au/health-and-body/optical-and-hearing/optical/articles/guide-to-laser-eye-surgery [Accessed 6 January 2021].
  2. Healthdirect. Laser eye surgery. NSW, 2019. Available at https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/laser-eye-surgery [Accessed 6 January 2021].
  3. Lawless M. Refractive Laser Surgery: Who’s Interested Now? mivision 2019;141:33–37.
  4. Wilkinson JM, Cozine EW, Kahn AR. Refractive Eye Surgery: Helping Patients Make Informed Decisions About LASIK. Am Fam Physician 2017;95(10):637–44.

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The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your ophthalmologist for specific medical advice.

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