Do I Need To Wear Sunglasses After LASIK Eye Surgery?
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LASIK eye surgery can give you freedom from glasses and contacts. During recovery, the eyes require special care as they adjust to seeing again. Wearing protective sunglasses plays a role in healing, and understanding when and why to wear sunglasses can help safeguard your LASIK investment. Here is more information on why you should wear protective sunglasses after LASIK surgery:

Shield Eyes From UV Rays

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light poses risks for the eyes, as unprotected eyes may suffer from conditions like cataracts or macular degeneration over time. The cornea and lens filter out most UV rays before they reach the retina, but LASIK reshapes the cornea, potentially reducing its UV protection. Sunglasses help filter the harmful rays. Quality protective sunglasses can aid recovery and help prevent future eye problems. 

Reduce Glare

A glare occurs when intense light scatters across your field of vision, often causing squinting and discomfort. Your eyes remain sensitive to glare and bright lights immediately after LASIK surgery. Sunglasses can reduce glare, creating a more comfortable healing environment. Driving also produces glare from sunlight or headlights, making post-LASIK sunglasses ideal for travel.

Protect Dilated Pupils

Pupil size impacts light exposure. LASIK creates temporary pupil dilation to optimize results during surgery. This enlarged pupil opening allows increased light to reach the retina. Sunglasses provide a protective barrier against light overload. They regulate light levels while your pupils stabilize after LASIK. Once the pupils return to normal size, sunglasses continue controlling light input.

Support Dry Eye Relief 

Many patients experience dry eyes following LASIK surgery. Sunglasses help prevent the evaporation of natural tears by blocking drying winds. Wraparound sunglass styles offer additional protection against air currents. The decreased evaporation provides dry eye relief while tear production recovers. Even after dry eye symptoms resolve, sunglasses remain helpful in minimizing irritation.

Promote Proper Night Driving

Driving at night poses unique challenges after LASIK, as the glare from headlights or streetlamps can seem more intense. Sunglasses may help night driving by regulating light levels during eye recovery. Yellow-tinted lenses further improve night vision by increasing contrast. Ask your ophthalmologist for recommended sunglass styles and tints to optimize night driving safety after surgery.

Ease Light Sensitivity Discomfort

Photosensitivity may occur after LASIK eye surgery. Sunlight or indoor lighting may seem overly bright as the nerves in the cornea heal. Wearing protective sunglasses can help ease temporary discomfort from light sensitivity. They create a tolerable environment while the eyes stabilize and adjust. Your ophthalmologist can suggest sunglass lenses suited for your specific light sensitivity issues.

Avoid Delayed Healing

Exposing the eyes to excessive light may strain the healing process after LASIK surgery. Without protection, intense light can dry out and irritate the eyes. It can also have the opposite effect and cause excessive eye tearing. Consistent sunglass use shields the eyes from counterproductive light levels. Follow your surgeon's advice on wearing sunglasses during the recovery period to help optimize healing.

Reduce Risk of Infection

Protective sunglasses may contribute to a minimized risk of infection post-surgery, as exposure to airborne debris may increase the chances of developing an eye infection. Sunglasses form a clean barrier against contaminants entering the eyes while outdoors. To prevent infection, avoid touching the sunglasses and opt for single-use wipes to clean them.

Wear Sunglasses After LASIK Eye Surgery

Sunglasses are a beneficial recovery tool and long-term preventive measure after LASIK eye surgery. They shield the eyes from harsh light, enable comfortable vision, and promote general eye health. Ask your doctor about the benefits of wearing protective sunglasses after your LASIK surgery.

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