How soon can I return to work after laser eye surgery?

Following laser eye surgery, with modern laser surgical techniques, visual recovery is very rapid. For the first two, three, four hours the vision may be misty. Patients are aware they’re not short sighted or long sighted anymore. But by the following morning, the vision is much clearer.

What I generally suggest to patients is that we see them the next day and examine them the next day to make sure that all is well, and following that, if they wish to return to work, they are able to.

But I generally advocate that they work from home the following day and return to work the day afterward, in other words, 48 hours later. But if people can’t do that, then I’m comfortable, once we’ve examined them, that they can return to work.

Which jobs you should show caution going back to quickly

I would, however, caution, that if they’re heavy computer users, the eyes are much more sensitive to drying and computer vision syndrome within the first few weeks after laser eye surgery, so that they do need to be aware and cautious that they should take regular breaks with blinking and use artificial eye drops.

Using artificial eye drops after laser eye surgery is a good idea because it lubricates the eye when we blink over the surface of the eye. It smooths everything out, it greases them.

So, I do advocate that even in people who don’t have symptoms, just during the healing period. And we provide those drops to patients and encourage them to use.

To summarise, the recovery from laser eye surgery is very rapid, and most people, particularly office-based people are back at work within 48 hours.

More about Robert Morris

Rob Morris is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at The Grange Eye Consultants. His special expertise is in cataract and refractive surgery, including Refractive Lens Exchange, and adult squint. He has over 30 years of experience in treating people with eye problems. Rob Morris founded Grange Eye Consultants to manage the increasing demand for more complex refractive surgery. He leads clinical trials investigating novel eye treatments. He is currently Medical Director at Optegra Eye Hospitals.

About the Author

Mr Robert Morris

BSc(Hons), MB BS (Hons), MRCP, FRCS, FRCOphth
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Robert Morris trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital part of the University of London. He graduated with Honours in his final examinations. Robert completed his post-graduate ophthalmic training at the renowned units in Oxford Eye Hospital and London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. Within the NHS, he has had a high volume cataract surgery practice and performed over 12,000 cataract procedures. He has an interest in squint surgery and is a national expert in this field. In addition to his NHS work, Robert manages a successful independent private practice. He continualy updates his training to keep abreast with the latest technology and techniques in refractive surgery.