Why You Should Avoid Cigarette Smoke after LASIK
LASIK and Cigarette Smoke - London, UK
Vision impairment is a problem that affects millions of patients. Whether you are long-sighted, short-sighted, or astigmatic, LASIK surgery can provide long-term vision enhancement results. LASIK surgery improves the shape of the cornea to eliminate the abnormalities that lead to imperfect vision. LASIK is one of the most effective treatments for common types of refractive errors, and provides the majority of patients with 20/20 vision or better. To ensure the successful results of treatment, patients must properly care for the eyes during LASIK recovery.
Cigarette smoke is one factor that can negatively affect the eyes following LASIK. Laser eye surgeon Steven Bailey discusses how LASIK and cigarette smoke can compromise recovery for our London, UK patients.
Cigarette Smoke and LASIK Side Effects
Any LASIK procedure is going to result in side effects. This is a normal part of the recovery process and should not be a cause for concern. While these side effects should begin to clear up on their own within a few days after treatment, it is important to give the eyes the rest and care they need during this time. Some of the most common side effects of LASIK include the following:
- Eye pain
- Irritated, itchy eyes
- Dry eyes
- Excessive tearing (a common response to dry eyes)
These symptoms can all be further excerbated if the eyes are scratched or rubbed, or if any foreign object gets in the eyes. Dirt and smoke can be especially harmful to eyes that are already feeling dry and itchy. Because of the negative effects that can develop if smoke gets into the eyes during the LASIK recovery period, we strongly suggest that patients avoid smoking or being around cigarette smoke in the first few weeks following LASIK treatment.
Cigarette Smoke and LASIK Recovery
Cigarette smoke is not just harmful to LASIK patients when it gets into the eyes. Cigarette smoke that is inhaled is also harmful. Studies show that smoking impedes the body’s ability to heal and fight off infection. Both of these are great risks to patients recovering from LASIK surgery. Patients who smoke in the weeks leading up to and following LASIK surgery are likely to experience a longer recovery period. The risk of inflammation and infection (including flap complications) is also higher among patients who smoke.
Because of the increased risks associated with smoking and LASIK, patients are advised to refrain from smoking for at least four to six weeks before surgery and then another four to six weeks after surgery.
Mr. Bailey understands that it is not easy to quit smoking, and many patients may need assistance. However, it is imperative to avoid cigarette smoke in the period of time surrounding LASIK surgery. By avoiding cigarette smoke, patients can ensure a speedy recovery and effective LASIK surgery results.
Laser eye surgery is the best vision treatment option for those looking to reduce or eliminate their need for prescription lenses. If you would like to learn more about the LASIK procedure and find out if you are an ideal candidate for treatment, contact us at your earliest convenience.