What Is The Recovery After ICL Surgery?
Ok. You just had ICLs placed in both of your eyes. Congrats! 🎉🥳 Now, what can you expect for the recovery from the procedure?
1. Immediately after surgery
As you open your eyes for the first time, the incredible thing will be that you can actually see already!! ICL leads instantaneous improvement in vision. However, things will still be a little blurry. It will look like you are looking through a thick ointment. Lots of eyedrops are used both before and after the procedure. This includes dilating drops, Betadine antiseptic, and typically antibiotic and steroid eye drops. While these drops are completely safe for the eye, the preservatives in the eye drops do cause extra irritation to the surface of the cornea. This irritation causes a general haziness to your vision.
This irritation will also can cause the eyes can feel scratchy and occasionally it can be difficult to keep your eyes open. Progressively over the course of the day, as the cornea heals up, this continues to get better. Taking artificial tears throughout the first day can help the cornea heal up quicker. The remaining resolves overnight when the eyes are closed while sleeping.
Also immediately after the procedure, your eyes will be dilated. Dilation is important as it allows the surgeon to tuck the ICL lens underneath your iris. Dilation, however, lasts for quite a long time. For some people, the dilation wears off after about six hours. Others, however, can notice their eyes being dilated for the next day and rarely two. Typically when your eyes are dilated, your vision can be more blurry (especially up close) and you will have some extra halos.
2. The Next Day and First Few Weeks
By the next morning, a lot has already healed up. You should expect much less scratchiness to the eyes. Not frequently zero though; sometimes you may be able to feel the sensation that something is in the eye. This can be caused by the slight irregular surface of the ICL incision. As that surface smooths over, that sensation resolves. You will also have a small amount of dryness and irritation over the few few weeks from the eye drops used after ICL. But these symptoms aren't typically bothersome and frequently only noticed when you focus in on what's happening on the eyes.
The next day after ICL, the vision is almost fully recovered! You can still have a haze to your vision and your eyes may still be dilated from the surgery blurring vision. Both of those two things improve over the course of the next day or two for full recovery of vision. It's really quite quick!
3. The First Few Months
Not much left to recover. What you most likely may notice from time to time are some halos around lights at nighttime. The center circle of the ICL is the part which correct vision. The remaining part of the ICL is to secure it in place (contact lenses are constructed in a similar fashion). If the eye dilates past this center circle, extra light can pass around the sides and cause a halo in vision (also similar to contact lenses). The brain is smart though: because this halo is unnecessary for vision, gradually over time the brain starts to process this halo out of your vision. Over time, this halo diminishes until you just simply don't notice it. This process doesn't happen overnight; it can take a few months. But as time goes on, you get better and better adjusted to the ICL lenses.
The recovery is very quick after ICL. So much happens just within the first 24 hours; allowing you to get out and enjoy your new vision quicker!
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