Refractive surgery can be liberating ridding you of prescription glasses and contact lenses! But what about sunglasses after LASIK? Are they truly necessary? Wearing sunglasses is one of the things you can do to take good care of your eyes post-operatively. You’ll have several guidelines given to you after surgery, and they’ll be well worth abiding by to ensure the best possible outcome for your vision.
Should I Wear Sunglasses After LASIK Surgery?
During LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses, the surgeon will create a flap on the cornea using a laser. Then, a different laser is applied to reshape the deeper layers of the cornea. Once the treatment is complete, the flap is replaced over the treated tissue.
Wearing sunglasses after LASIK serves a few important purposes. First, sunglasses help to protect the eyes from impact or debris. For example, they might prevent a branch from poking you in the eye or a bug from flying into the eye. Second, they can deter you from rubbing or scratching the eyes. Third, sunglasses reduce the amount of light getting to the eyes, decreasing light sensitivity. Finally, they block out ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can damage ocular tissues.
How Long Should You Wear Dark Glasses After LASIK?
For the first 24 hours after surgery, it’s best to wear sunglasses anytime you’re outside. Inside, they can help with light sensitivity. Outside, they’ll protect you from UV light and potential hazards. You’ll want to continue using sunglasses outdoors for the first month, this is important to follow whether it’s cloudy or sunny outside.
While wearing sunglasses may become less crucial later in the LASIK recovery timeline, it is a good idea to make wearing them a lifelong habit. Sunlight can cause damage to the front tissues of the eyes, contributing to the development of a pinguecula or pterygium. UV light can also accelerate cataract formation, and can contribute to the development of macular degeneration. Not to mention, sun damage can also lead to skin cancers on the skin surrounding the eyes. As you can see, there is no shortage of reasons to wear them!
Which Sunglasses Should You Choose?
Without a prescription to worry about, finding the right pair of sunglasses is made easier and more fun! Although it’s important to find something you like so you will be more likely to wear them, there are several other important considerations to keep in mind.
You’ll want to make sure that the lenses provide 100% UVA and UVB protection, this should be clearly stated. The frame should fit comfortably on your face, an optician can help you to determine whether it’s the right fit. The lenses should be roughly the width of your face, the bridge should fit comfortably over your nose without being too tight, and the temples (arms) should fit securely behind your ears without exerting pressure.
You’ll also want to make sure that the lenses provide sufficient coverage to avoid UV light sneaking in from the top, sides, or bottom. It may be worth purchasing sunglasses at a designated optical shop or doctor’s office, as they carry high-quality products and have opticians available to assist with fitting. That being said, you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to find a good quality pair. If you can find something that fits the requirements and is within your budget, that’s what matters the most.
After investing in LASIK, it’s crucial to protect your newfound eyes. Part of this involves wearing good-quality sunglasses for at least four weeks. Ideally, you’ll make this a new habit so your eyes will be protected for life.