So, you’re considering laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK. Well, you’re in the right place! Kraff Eye Institute of Chicago is a leading LASIK surgery clinic using state-of-the-art treatment techniques.
Many questions can arise as you contemplate getting LASIK. One that’s commonly asked is, can you watch TV after LASIK? While watching TV after LASIK is certainly not forbidden, there are some things to keep in mind, and we’ll go over all of them here.
How Digital Devices Affect Your Eyes
How does looking at a screen affect your eyes? You may already know the answer from personal experience. The prolonged use of digital devices – computers, tablets, and smartphones – can cause eye strain. This might include eye fatigue, dryness, and irritation.
The dryness and irritation are a result of the reduced blink rate associated with screen use. When we’re staring at a screen, we don’t blink as often, and our eyes dry out. And so watching TV after LASIK could contribute to some eye strain and discomfort.
Can You Watch TV After LASIK Eye Surgery?
So, how soon after LASIK can I watch TV? In the first 24 hours after LASIK, your eyes will be tired and sore. It’s best to rest them, and even keep them closed as much as possible, for about a day. This will allow the cornea to heal without the constant blinking motion over it.
Your vision may be a little blurry as well, so watching TV after LASIK eye surgery might not be what you’re interested in doing anyway. So, how long after LASIK can I watch TV? About 24 hours.
Screens also emit various wavelengths of light, including blue light, which the eyes can be sensitive to while they’re healing. The further from the eyes the screen is, the less emitted light reaches the eyes. Therefore, television is less concerning in this respect as compared to smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Other Screens Use After LASIK
Device screens can pose a problem for the eyes too. The viewing distance for smartphones, tablets, and computers is closer than that of a television. This can cause even greater strain on the eyes, and therefore these devices may best be avoided for a day or two. The eyes can be quite dry as they’re healing, and the reduced blink rate with device use could further aggravate this.
Even without having had recent surgery, device use can lead to what’s called computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain. This refers to a group of eye and vision issues resulting from prolonged device use. Viewing a digital screen makes the eyes work harder, especially if you have uncorrected vision problems.
Reading on a screen often involves the poorer resolution of letters, decreased contrast, glare, and reflections. There are also unique demands placed on the eye focusing and eye movement systems. There can even be a muscular strain in the neck, shoulder, and back due to postural issues.
So, you may still be wondering, can I look at my phone after LASIK? The short answer is yes, but know that prolonged use could cause strain. We’ll go over some strategies to minimize this.
Best Practices for Post-LASIK Screen Time
Even if you’re using a phone after LASIK, there are certain strategies that can be used to keep the eyes more co surgical healing process.
Wait Before Watching TV
In the first 24 hours after surgery, your eyes need rest. Try to keep them closed as much as possible to allow them this initial period of healing. You’ll have plenty of time in the future for TV after LASIK eye surgery.
Give your eyes some time to heal after surgery. Audiobooks can be a great alternative to screen time. When you do start watching TV and using devices again, monitor how your eyes feel. If they need a break, take it.
When we blink, we spread tears across the cornea. This is important in the healing process after LASIK. When we stare at a device, our blink rate naturally slows and our eyes can dry out as a result. So, don’t forget to blink during screen time after LASIK!
Keep Your Eyes Lubricated and Moisturized
In addition to frequent blinking, artificial tears may be used to assist in keeping the eyes lubricated during the healing process. Ask your doctor if there is a specific brand or type of artificial tear you should use.
Take Regular Breaks
Prolonged near work can be straining to the eyes. To minimize this, use the 20/20/20 rule. For every 20 minutes of near work, look at a distant object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will relax your eyes and reset your focusing system before you resume your near work.
Screen time can cause eye strain and dryness, even if you haven’t recently had eye surgery. After LASIK, it’s best to minimize these effects by eliminating TV and device use for a day or two.
Once you resume screen time, there are steps you can take to minimize strain and keep the eyes lubricated. If you follow the guidelines above, your eyes will heal as they should and you’ll be able to enjoy your newfound vision for years to come!