Eye Drops & Medications: Shake all medicated drops before using.
#1 Twist-top vials of preservative-free artificial tears Conveniently purchase through pharmacy with other post-operative drops, over the counter, or online. On day of procedure, use 1 drop in procedure eye as frequently as possible, or no less than every 15-30 minutes while awake. For the first 3 months, use 1 drop in procedure eye a minimum of every 2 hours while awake, whether or not you feel the drop is needed. This drop is listed first because it is the most important step you can take in the first 3 months to support your eye as it heals. These vials can be recapped for multiple uses (9-11 drops per vial), however throw away and use a new vial on the next day.
#2 Prednisolone (steroid, pink/white top, 5.0mL/80 drops). Take one drop in procedure eye 4x daily for one week, 3x daily for one week, 2x daily for 2 weeks, 1x daily for 2 weeks, then stop. You can expect to have some crusting on your eyelashes after using this drop. Notify a Brinton Vision doctor if you have used steroid medicines before or if you start a new steroid medication (pill, cream, mist, inhaler, injection, prednisone, etc.) while taking the drops above. This combination can lead to a painless increase in eye pressure and vision loss. As long as you are taking a steroid eye drop you need to have your eye pressure checked in our office no less than every 4 weeks.
#3 Ofloxacin (antibiotic, tan top, 5.0mL/80 drops). Take one drop in procedure eye 4x daily for 1 week then stop. Space out the antibiotic, steroid, and artificial tear drops by approximately 5 minutes to avoid “washing out” the previous medication.
#4 Vitamin C 1000mg (purchase online or in a store). Take daily for 1 year.
#5 Percocet (oxycodone-acetaminophen 5-325). Take 1 tab every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. Twelve to twenty-four tabs are dispensed with no refills for use in the first one to four days after surgery, however most patients find they no longer require Percocet use after 3 days. Percocet contains Tylenol (acetaminophen) like many other prescription pain medications. If you take Percocet, do not take additional Tylenol as this can be dangerous. NSAIDS such as Aleve/naproxen or Advil/Motrin/ibuprofen are a good alternative and may be taken along with Percocet. It is a good idea to take these pills with food since they can cause an upset stomach.
Your eye will feel sore following your procedure for the first 3 days. The amount of light sensitivity, pain, irritation, excess tearing, “heavy eyelids,” etc. can fluctuate over this time and varies greatly between patients. In order to relieve this pain, you may take NSAIDs (see above) or ice the area with a cold source such as a clean chilled spoon or a bag of frozen peas covered with a paper towel. A bandage contact lens will be placed on your eye to relieve this discomfort as much as possible.
Tape eye shield securely over the procedure eye while sleeping for the first two nights to prevent accidentally bumping or rubbing your eye.
This is a delayed gratification During the first few weeks patients report that while they can see for daily tasks it is not sharp and clear. Your vision will fluctuate and can be blurry during this time period. At your postop day 4 visit, our clinical team will remove the bandage contact lens placed during your procedure, at which point most (but not all) patients can drive, use a computer, and perform everyday tasks. Vision continues to improve as the eye heals over the next 3-6 months.
Do not drive/operate machinery until after being cleared by one of our doctors, which typically happens at your postop day 4 visit. Even if your vision is good enough to drive, you will need to wait until you feel safe behind the wheel.
If your bandage contact lens falls out, do not replace it. Keep your eyes closed and use preservative-free artificial tears for comfort. Call the office and we can discuss whether to replace the contact lens.
It is particularly important after PRK to wear UV-protecting sunglasses while outside.