At our Oklahoma laser and cataract center, we take every precaution to ensure that patients undergo the safest and most satisfying procedures possible. LASIK surgery already offers relatively low rates of infection and complications when compared to other surgeries, but with the right surgical techniques and post-operative care, patients can further minimize any potential risk factors.
After LASIK, patients can improve their recovery by wearing special goggles prescribed by their eye doctor. These goggles provide protection against multiple environmental risks, and are an important factor in the healing process. In order to better understand the importance of LASIK goggles and how they should be worn, refer to the following guidelines and information.
What Are LASIK Goggles?
LASIK goggles comprise thin pieces of plastic, which are to be worn over the eyes following surgery. The goggles are fitted with foam on the inside, providing comfort to the patient, and are worn via a thin elastic band. By wearing the goggles immediately after surgery, the eyes can be protected against injury, irritation, and infection.
Why Should LASIK Goggles Be Worn?
After LASIK treatment, there are a number of risks that can negatively impact your recovery. By wearing your goggles for the instructed time, you can help your eyes heal more efficiently and safely. Benefits include:
- Reduced risk of infection: Although rare, it is possible for infection to develop in the corneal flap that is made for LASIK surgery. Goggles help prevent the eyes coming in contact with foreign objects or particles, keeping them clean.
- Prevention of corneal movement: The corneal flap needs to remain in place if it is to heal properly. By keeping objects from touching your eyes, the flap is left untouched and unmoved.
- Discouraged rubbing of the eyes: Patients’ eyes will likely be dry, watery, or itchy soon after treatment. While this may be annoying during recovery, rubbing one’s eyes will only increase the risk of infection. Goggles are therefore used in the earliest stage of recovery, when rubbing one’s eyes will be the most tempting.
- Protection during sleep: Patients are especially likely to rub or poke at their eyes during sleep, when they have little control over their actions. By shielding the eyes during these times, patients can protect themselves from unconscious injury or irritation.
For How Long Should Goggles Be Worn?
In most cases, patients are advised to wear their LASIK goggles immediately after surgery and throughout the following day. It is during these times that protection is most vital. Following this, patients are typically advised to wear the goggles while asleep for an extended period, up to one or two weeks. Your own timeline will be determined by your doctor, depending on the rate of your recovery and the side effects experienced therein. For patients who play sports or work in an environment that contains elevated levels of particles or irritants, a more durable and practical pair of goggles may be needed for long-term protection.
Aside from wearing your goggles, there are a few simple rules to follow during recovery that will help you stave off the possibility of infection. One of the most important considerations is the danger of rubbing your eyes. Although it may be tempting, especially once the goggles are off, avoid touching your eyes or the surrounding areas. Similarly, you should abstain from the use of makeup, lotion, or any cosmetic facial products during recovery. Smoke and dust should also be avoided, for similar reasons.
During surgery, Dr. Belardo will do everything he can to prevent infection. This involves the use of an IntraLase® laser rather than a blade for creation of the corneal flap, resulting in a clean and accurate procedure. In addition to our bladeless LASIK technology, you will be given specific instructions on how to care for your eyes after treatment. Together, we can help you have an extremely successful and safe procedure.
If you have recently had LASIK surgery or are looking into a new procedure, our staff is ready to assist you. Call or email our office to ask a question or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Belardo.