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Hi Doctors, I am looking forward to do my Lasik pretty soon.
The only problem that worries me is about my work. I work night shift as a valet driver, which requires me to drive for at least 10 hours daily at night.
How long is the down time after Lasik? After doing Lasik, how long will it take until I am able to continue with my work, and is it advisable to still work at night? Will my eyesight deteriorate because I drive at night?
Can surgery be done on the day itself after consultation too? Please advise thank you!
Great question on the impact of LASIK on night time vision and the practice of performing LASIK on the same day as the assessment.
Generally speaking, most patients recover well after LASIK surgery with good night time vision. Occasionally, patients may experience seeing haloes and glare which tends to be more obvious in the immediate post-operative period. The effects improves gradually over several weeks after the procedure.
Haloes and glare may become a permanent effect following LASIK for some patients. This can occur to varying degrees in different individuals. In fact, some people naturally experience the effects of haloes and glare.
Part of the purpose of the LASIK Suitability Assessment is to identify individuals who are at higher risk of developing haloes and glare and to advise them accordingly.
Most are able to function well despite the presence of haloes and glare. Where the effects can be more challenging are in occupations that involve long periods and long distances of driving at night such as long distance vehicle drivers or taxi drivers.
The average time away from regular activities, including work, after LASIK is about 3 to 4 days. Most are able to return to near normal activities with some precautions to avoid post-operative infection.
Working at night will have neither negative or positive impact on your eyes. Driving at night in itself would not cause harm to your eyes. The only limitation may be dryness of the eyes that may limit the duration in which you are able to drive continuously for long hours during the initial recovery period after LASIK.
I would not recommend for LASIK to be performed on the same day as the assessment. The accuracy of the treatment may be compromised. The reason for this is due to the fact that the pupils are dilated for the purpose of the assessment. During LASIK, this dilated pupil may not allow the laser to be properly centred on the eye, confusing the laser eye tracking function. A poorly centred treatment could result in an unsatisfactory outcome.
At my practice, we advise all our patients, including overseas patients, to have LASIK on a separate day from the assessment day in order to maximise their chances of a good surgical outcome. In all things, we favour long term quality results over short term convenience.
Dr David Chan
Senior Consultant Eye Surgeon
Atlas Eye Specialist Centre