Reducing the Risk of LASIK Infection

Reducing the Risk of LASIK Infection - El Paso

Jul 23, 2015 @ 10:00 AM — by Paul S. Gulbas, M.D
Tagged with: Lasik | Eye Care |

A patient using eye dropsPatients who suffer from vision impairment such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism often look to LASIK surgery for long-term vision improvement. LASIK improves a patient’s vision by making alterations to the shape of the cornea, which allows light to properly focus on the retina. This results in crisper, clearer vision without the assistance of prescription lenses. LASIK surgery has a long history of success for our patients, but, as with any surgical procedure, there is some risk involved. LASIK infection is one of the potential risks for our El Paso patients. To ensure that LASIK recovery goes smoothly and that the eyes remain healthy during the healing period, our doctors provide patients with post-surgical care instructions so they know how to protect the eyes following LASIK treatment.

How Infection Begins

It is unusual for a patient to develop an infection after LASIK. However, during the LASIK procedure, a flap is made in the outer layer of the cornea. While this flap usually heals without any problems, it does leave the eye vulnerable to infection. Without proper post-surgical care, bacteria or debris may enter the eye through this flap incision, resulting in an eye infection. This occurs in less than 1 percent of patients, and the risk of an advanced infection is even less.

Post-surgical Care

Post-surgical care is the key to avoiding an infection after LASIK surgery. While complications after LASIK surgery are rare, by properly caring for the eyes as they recover, patients can further reduce these risks. We will provide our patients with explicit post-surgical care instructions that should be closely followed in order to prevent infection and other potential LASIK complications. Below are some important tips for caring for the eyes after LASIK treatment:

  • Rest for several hours after returning home from LASIK treatment. This is when the eyes will be the most sensitive and uncomfortable, so rest will help you feel more comfortable.
  • Avoid exposure to bright lights for the first several days after treatment. Computers, tablets, and TVs can also irritate the eyes and should be avoided.
  • Wear the protective eye shields that have been provided as instructed. It is especially important to wear eye shields while sleeping, as this will prevent inadvertent rubbing of the eyes.
  • Stay away from areas that are smoky or dusty.
  • Do not scratch or rub the eyes, no matter how dry and itchy they may feel.
  • Refrain from using makeup and other facial products for at least a week after treatment.
  • Avoid entering the water (such as baths, swimming pools, etc.) for several weeks after LASIK treatment.
  • Use prescribed eye drops as directed and keep the eyes lubricated with the frequent use of artificial eye drops.

Contact Us

If you wish to improve your vision and reduce your reliance on glasses or contact lenses, you owe it to yourself to learn more about LASIK surgery. The eye doctors at El Paso Eye Surgeons have helped countless patients address vision impairment through laser eye surgery. Contact us at your earliest convenience to find out if LASIK can provide you with the vision improvements you desire. We look forward to hearing from you.