Don't Rub Your Eyes After Getting LASIK. Here's Why

Glasses and contact lenses have been the go-to lifesavers for millions who have less-than-perfect vision. Now, there is a third option that offers a more permanent fix. According to WebMD, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis — more commonly known as LASIK — is an eye surgery that has been FDA approved since 1998. Today, there are more than 10 million people in the United States who have successfully undergone the procedure in an effort to improve their vision and to lose their glasses or contact lenses forever.

For many, a procedure performed on their eyes is a squeamish thought. And while permanent damage to vision is a side effect, it is exceedingly rare, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some common side effects for LASIK patients are dry eyes, temporary blurred vision, double vision, and corneal flap problems. The best way to avoid these side effects, or at least manage them without excess worry or stress, is to research what to expect pre-, mid-, and post-surgery. Plan to talk with your ophthalmic surgeon at length about any concerns you may have.

Rubbing your eyes can damage your sight

While most of the side effects of LASIK are temporary, there are a few habitual movements you should refrain from that could delay your recovery. Stahl Eye Care Experts explains that the simple habit of rubbing your eyes post-surgery can cause some serious damage. When the corneal flap is removed or folded away from the eye during surgery, it is at an increased risk for tears and infections, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Rubbing your eyes after surgery, even gently, can lead to a "dislodged flap, which can cause serious damage to the cornea and damage to vision," Stahl Eye Care Experts revealed. In addition, your eyes are extremely sensitive and need time to heal. Avoiding contact sports, swimming, hot tubs, and any activity or movement that could result in interference with the healing process is also discouraged.

If you're thinking about getting LASIK, talk with your doctor. While you wait, go ahead and practice avoiding rubbing your eyes when they are itchy or tired. Getting out of the habit will only make it easier to refrain from doing this potentially harmful move after surgery.