Laser eye surgery, such as LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis), is a popular procedure to correct vision problems caused by refractive errors. This procedure has helped many people achieve better vision, sometimes without needing eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Blurry vision is a common side effect of LASIK. The exact amount of time it lasts can vary, but blurry vision after LASIK usually improves over the weeks to months following the procedure.
What Is LASIK?
LASIK is a popular surgical procedure used to correct several refractive errors, including:
- Nearsightedness (myopia): This condition develops when your cornea (the clear front part of your eye) is too steep and light focuses in front of your retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye) instead of on it, causing blurry distance vision.
- Farsightedness (hyperopia): This condition can develop when your cornea is too flat and light focuses behind your retina instead of on it, causing blurry near vision.
- Astigmatism: This condition can develop when your cornea is unevenly curved or flat, causing blurry vision at near and far distances.
During a LASIK procedure, a laser reshapes your cornea to improve how light enters your eye. Reshaping your cornea can help light refract correctly on your retina, which can help you see more clearly without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
What to Expect after LASIK
After a LASIK procedure, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Blurry or hazy vision
- Dry eyes
- Eye irritation
- Gritty feelings
- Light sensitivity
- Double vision, glares, & halos
These symptoms aren’t permanent and usually improve. You may feel like rubbing your eyes, but rubbing or poking your eyes after LASIK can affect healing, so it’s best to avoid doing so.
Your eye doctor may give you eye drops or medication to help improve your comfort during the healing process, or an eye patch to protect your eye.
The results of LASIK can depend on your individual eye health and you may still need support to achieve clear vision. Additionally, because of the normal aging process, some people might still need glasses after LASIK to correct presbyopia, a refractive error that can affect older adults.
Blurry Vision after LASIK
It’s normal to experience blurry vision after LASIK, as it’s a common side effect of the procedure. Causes of blurry vision after LASIK can include:
- A temporary disruption of nerves connected to your cornea. It can take 3–6 months after surgery for these nerves to regenerate.
- Blurry or fluctuating vision caused by dry eyes
You may have blurry vision most often during the first few days after surgery, but it often decreases over the first month. Many patients experience clear vision within 24 hours.
The degree of blurriness and the duration of the blurriness can vary from person to person and depend on several factors, such as the health of your vision before the procedure and the type of procedure you had.
After the surgery, you will generally see your eye doctor in the first 24 to 48 hours and have regularly scheduled follow-up appointments for at least the first 6 months to examine your eyes and test your vision. During this time, you may get eye drops to reduce inflammation and the risk of infection.
In general, the recovery time after LASIK is relatively quick. Many people can resume normal activities within a few days after the procedure. However, each person is different and it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions for recovery, which may include resting for a few days after surgery.
When Should You See Your Eye Doctor After LASIK?
Outside of your scheduled appointments, if you experience any of the following signs and symptoms, request a follow-up with your eye doctor:
- New vision conditions, such as floaters
- Your vision gets progressively worse
- You have continuous blurry vision
- You see double
- You develop severe pain, inflammation, or redness
- You get poked or hit in the eye
- You experience severe dry eyes
Laser Vision Correction Consultations
Blurry vision after LASIK is normal and is a common side effect of the procedure. The duration and severity of the blurriness can vary, so keep in touch with your eye doctor to monitor your symptoms and healing.
We’re committed to helping you achieve your vision goals and maintain your eye health. Book a consultation with Seal Beach Eyes to learn whether you’re a candidate for LASIK. Once we examine your eyes and ocular health, we can help you get started and support you throughout your recovery.