Prepping For Eye Surgery

Eye surgery isn't fun, but the results can be wonderful, whether you're undergoing the procedure voluntarily (e.g., LASIK) or not (e.g., detached retina). Luckily these procedures are usually done as outpatient, allowing you to go home within a short time. This means pretty much all of your recovery will be at home, so you need to make the space more hospitable for your downtime.

Dust and Clean Up

Dust and dirt do not help your eyes in general, and especially not after a surgery. Clean up your place -- dust, mop floors, vacuum all rooms and upholstery, and do laundry that includes sheets and pillowcases. You can't eliminate all dust, of course, but you can get rid of a lot of what's hanging out. That old dust could get kicked up and aggravate allergies (which could aggravate your eyes), or even get into your eyes themselves. So, you want to clean up as much as possible before the surgery.

Get Some Sunglasses

Protecting your eyes from bright light after the surgery is necessary, and that's not just because you don't want bright sunlight shining in your eyes on the way home. You'll want sun protection for a while. If you already have prescription sunglasses, your prescription might change after the surgery, so talk to your ophthalmologist or optometrist about plain sunglasses that have an anti-UV coating. Wear these on the way home, in your home if you can't block out bright light, and whenever you go outside until your doctor says you can stop using them. Bright light can be painful to see right after the surgery. Once your eyesight has improved as much as it will from the surgery, see about getting new prescription sunglasses -- if you still need a prescription.

Make Arrangements for Pets and Kids

You wouldn't think a quick procedure -- and many eye surgeries, including LASIK and cataract removal, are fairly quick -- would require making special arrangements for pets and children. However, you may want to keep pets away from you for a day or so to avoid adding dander and fur to your immediate environment. And, if you can't see much for a day as you recover, it will be hard to care for children. If you have a spouse who can keep them away from you (assuming you have younger children who are still in the "always hang around parents" stage), then that should be fine. But younger children who can't care for themselves need to be with someone else for a day or so because you are not going to be able to care for them right after your surgery.

Your doctor can give you more advice, such as how long to rest, when you'll be able to wash your face again (and risk getting water in your eyes), and what you should eat to best recover. For most people, recovery from eye surgery goes very well, and ensuring your home is ready for your recovery days helps a tremendous amount.