How Long Does It Take for the Cornea to Heal After Surgery?

The cornea plays a significant role in immunological defense, vision, and the eye’s mechanical integrity. Its high structure helps prevent infecti­­­­on and refract light. However, its position also makes it susceptible to insults and injuries. Its healing mechanisms aid in preserving its structure and enabling proper repair.


Types of Eye Surgeries


Below are the common types of eye surgeries:


  • Corneal transplant - Removal of the damaged cornea part and replacement with healthy donor tissue.

  • Cataract surgery – Your eye doctor removes the cloudy lens using tiny tools and replaces it with an artificial clear lens.

  • LASIK – The eye doctor uses a laser beam to change your cornea shape to help you have clearer vision.

  • Glaucoma surgeries - A tiny tube is inserted into the sclera to drain fluid and reduce eye pressure.

How to Take Care of Your Eyes After Surgery


Patients should follow the aftercare instructions given by their eye surgeons. Doing so will help reduce the chances of complications after the surgery. It will contribute to a speedy recovery.


Your eye specialist can give you a few instructions to speed up your recovery. They will ask you not to use your computer, watch TV, or read for the first 24 hours after your surgical procedure. Within this time, your eyes will have started healing. Try all you can to avoid causing them any strain within the first day of the surgery.


Wear UV protective sunglasses if you must be outdoors. Doing so is essential, especially when recovering from surgery. You may also receive protective eyewear from your eye doctor for sleeping or when showering. Using it as instructed will reduce your risk of eye infection or injury.


Shield your eyes while you heal from running water, conditioner, and shampoo. Doing so will help avoid irritating the surgery incisions and causing inflammation and pain. Avoid hot tubs, saunas, and public pools as they are unhygienic and can increase your risk of infection.


Do not rub your eyes to avoid risking reopening your incisions and increasing your risk of infection.


Avoid dirty and dusty environments while you recover. Eye makeup is not ideal during your recovery. Eyeliner pencils, eye shadow pallets, and mascara wands harbor bacteria that can transfer to your eyes as you heal. Reduce infection risk and allow your eyes to recover before applying eye makeup.


Wait till you fully recover to take part in contact sports and exercise. Working out increases intraocular pressure. As a result, your recovery can slow down.


How Long It Takes for the Cornea to Heal After Surgery


Corneal recovery after surgery depends on individuals. Generally, recovery can take up to a whole year for some people. But often, individuals resume their daily routines within one to two weeks after surgery.


When to Call Your Doctor


You should notice vision improvement after surgery. But if you experience vision changes like blurriness, call your eye doctor immediately as you may be experiencing complications.


You should have a smooth recovery if you follow the aftercare instructions given by your specialist. If you experience infection signs like abnormal discharge or eye pain, call your eye doctor immediately. Early interventions are ideal as even mild infections can jeopardize and worsen your eye health.


Attend Follow-up Appointments


You may need follow-up visits to help your doctor check for possible complications you may not know. They can also confirm if your eyes are healing as they should. Do not skip these to safeguard your eye health.


For more about cornea healing after surgery, visit North Shore Eye Health and Wellness at our office in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Call (262) 421-4412 to book an appointment today.

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