People rely on their eyes on a day-to-day basis to complete their most basic daily tasks.
For the majority of people, the computer is just as much a part of those daily rituals. Many people spend up to 40 hours a week in front of a computer screen at work, and that doesn’t take into account the time that is spent on tablets and smartphones.
LASIK corrects the most common forms of vision impairment to allow patients to see clearly without relying on glasses or contact lenses. But most people have heard that computer use should be limited after LASIK surgery.
Here we discuss LASIK and computer use and offer some reasonable guidelines to ensure that the patient's eyes stay protected following LASIK treatment.
How Computers Affect the Eyes
It is true that patients should restrict or limit their computer use during recovery from LASIK surgery, for around 3 to 4 days. But to understand why these guidelines are offered, it’s important to consider how computers affect the eyes.
Computer screens can strain the eyes and lead to dry eyes or headaches. Studies show that people blink roughly half as often when using a computer screen than they do normally throughout the day. This prevents the eyes from getting proper lubrication, something that is especially important following LASIK surgery.
Computer Use during LASIK Recovery
The recovery period following LASIK surgery is when it is most important to protect the eyes from strain and overuse. To prevent the eyes from becoming exceedingly dry, we recommend that patients avoid using the computer for at least 24 hours after LASIK.
This restriction applies not only to a traditional computer, but also tablets, smartphones, and televisions. After this initial period, patients are urged to slowly reintroduce these screens. Computer use should be limited for at least 3 to 4 days after LASIK.
Computer Use Tips after LASIK
Computers are a part of most people’s daily lives, so it is not realistic to ask people to avoid computer use forever. As long as some proper precautions are taken, patients should be able to continue to use the computer without compromising the effects of LASIK or causing damage to the eyes.
Below are some general tips regarding computer use after LASIK:
Make a conscious effort to blink frequently while using the computer. A sticky note on the screen can serve as a reminder.
Keep lubricating eye drops nearby and use them frequently to keep the eyes moist.
Apply the 20-20-20 rule to prevent the eyes from becoming overstrained. Every 20 minutes look away from the computer screen and focus on an object that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Get enough rest at night. The eyes recharge while a person sleeps and important nutrients are replenished, so getting a good night’s sleep is important to preserving eye health.
Remember that these tips apply to all electronic screens, not just a computer. By following these tips, patients can keep the eyes healthy and well lubricated.
This post originally appeared on N Vision Centers.