Are Headaches Common after LASIK? By Gordon Wong, OD on April 06, 2020

Female touches both her temples with her fingertipsLASIK is an advanced formed of refractive surgery that corrects a wide range of vision problems. If you suffer from astigmatism, myopia, or hyperopia, Drs. Gordon or Wildon Wong can correct your vision using advanced lasers.

Side effects are common following this refractive procedure at our eye care center serving La Jolla, CACarmel Valley, CA, and other areas of San Diego. Steps will be taken to reduce the severity of side effects following LASIK, but some patients may experience headaches or other temporary side effects while their eyes adjust to perfect or near- perfect vision.

What to Expect following LASIK Treatment

Any drastic change in visual perception can leave you feeling “off.” Some patients report feeling tired. Patients should generally rest for the first 24 hours following their LASIK procedure. By relaxing and not overly straining your eyes, you can allow your eyes to naturally adjust.

Eye Strain and Headaches

Following surgery, your eyes will be weaker than normal. If you try to read, scroll through your smartphone, or watch television, you may be straining your eyes before they are ready to focus again. Over exerting your eyes while they are weak can lead to eyestrain, which can lead to headaches for some people.

Remember, immediately after surgery and for the first day or two, your eyes will be working to process new visual information. Patients should take steps to avoid straining their eyes to avoid post-op headaches.

Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Post-op Headaches

Many of the tips for reducing your risk of headaches are generally good for the health of your eyes following surgery. These tips include:

  • Resting Your Eyes: Giving your eyes a chance to rest after surgery is the best way to avoid eyestrain and headaches. Long periods of focus on screens or books can strain your eyes. Try to avoid visually focusing on anything for a prolonged period of time.
  • Look for Good Lighting: Low light situations force your eyes to strain, which can cause headaches. If you are reading, find a place that is well lit. If your eyes begin to feel tired, take a break and come back to read later.
  • Use the 20-20-20 Rule: One way to relieve eye strain is to occasionally look away from your screen and at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This simple step can help your eyes relax.
  • Use Eye Drops: Sometimes, dry eyes or other issues that affect eye moisture cause discomfort. Lubricating eye drops can provide relief for your eyes. A member of our eye care team will be glad to recommend a suitable product.

When If I Still Have Headaches after My Eyes Heal?

Let a member of our team know if you still experience headaches weeks after your LASIK surgery. If the headaches are related to your vision, one of our doctors can remedy your symptoms. We are here to help you enjoy all of the benefits of laser vision correction.

Speak with a Skilled Ophthalmologist

Life without the need for corrective eyewear can be life changing. Previous LASIK patients refer many of our patients. To schedule your LASIK consultation, please contact our office online or call (858) 454-4699.

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