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Recovering from ICL Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide

July 03, 2023

ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) surgery has become a popular vision correction procedure, offering a safe and effective alternative to traditional methods like glasses or contact lenses. If you're considering ICL surgery or have already undergone the procedure, it's important to understand the recovery process thoroughly. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through what to expect during the recovery period, providing tips and insights to ensure a smooth and successful healing journey.

Immediate Post-Surgery Care

After ICL surgery, it's normal to experience some discomfort, blurry vision, and sensitivity to light. Your eye surgeon will provide specific instructions, but here are some general guidelines to follow during the initial stages of recovery:

Rest and Take it Easy

Take it easy for the first few days after your procedure. It's important to get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activities that could cause strain on your eyes. You should also avoid contact sports, swimming, and any activity that could cause your eyes to become contaminated. Spend time reading or listening to music, and avoid watching television or using a computer. Additionally, make sure to wear dark sunglasses when you go out in bright sunlight. This will help to reduce glare and protect your eyes from the sun's damaging UV rays.

Take Your Medication

Your eye surgeon will provide you with a prescription for medications to help speed up the healing process and reduce inflammation. Make sure to take the medication exactly as prescribed. If you experience any side effects from the medication, such as redness, swelling, or itching in the eyes, contact your doctor immediately. Additionally, avoid touching or rubbing your eyes and limit exposure to anything that can cause an allergic reaction, such as pollen or pet dander.

Wear Protective Eyewear

Shield your eyes from bright lights and dust particles by wearing protective sunglasses or eyeglasses during the day and an eye shield at night.

Vision Changes

During the recovery period, your vision will gradually improve. However, it's essential to understand the different phases of visual changes you may experience:

Blurry Vision

Immediately following ICL surgery, your vision may be blurry. This is normal and should subside over the next few days as the eyes heal. You may also experience a slight halo around bright lights, which is also part of the healing process.

Light Sensitivity

It's common to feel some light sensitivity after ICL surgery. Your eye doctor will provide sunglasses or eyeglasses to protect your eyes from bright lights. Additionally, you might need to adjust the brightness setting on your devices if they become too bright for your eyes.

Night Vision

You may also experience difficulty with night vision until the eye fully recovers. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully with extra caution during this time. Until your night vision improves, reduce exposure to bright lights and refrain from driving at night if possible.

Fluctuating Vision

Your vision may fluctuate during the healing process, particularly in the first few weeks. This is normal and should improve over time. If your vision does not improve, contact your eye doctor immediately.

Post-Surgery Follow-Up Visits

Regular follow-up visits with your eye surgeon are crucial for monitoring your progress and ensuring optimal healing. Typically, the initial follow-up visit occurs the day after surgery, followed by appointments at specific intervals. During these visits, your surgeon will assess your vision, evaluate the healing process, and make any necessary adjustments.

Lifestyle Adjustments

While recovering from ICL surgery, a few lifestyle adjustments can enhance your healing process:

Avoid Eye Strain

Minimize activities that strain your eyes, such as reading for long periods or staring at screens for extended durations. If screen time is unavoidable, take regular breaks and ensure proper lighting and screen distance.

Protect Your Eyes

Wear protective eyewear when necessary, such as sunglasses on bright days or safety glasses during sports and other activities. Avoid rubbing your eyes, as this may cause irritation or damage to the ICL. Refrain from touching or pushing on your eyes, and resist picking at any scabs that may form. Also, avoid swimming or any activity that involves submerging your eyes in water to prevent infection.

Hygiene Practices

Follow strict hygiene practices to avoid any eye infections. Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes or applying eye drops.

Emotional Support

Undergoing any surgical procedure can be emotionally challenging. Surround yourself with a supportive network of family and friends who can encourage you during your recovery period. Discuss any concerns or anxieties with your eye surgeon to alleviate stress and ensure peace of mind.

Returning to Daily Activities

The duration of the recovery period varies for each individual. In most cases, patients can resume their routine activities within a few days to a week. However, it's crucial to consult your eye surgeon regarding specific timelines for activities such as driving, exercising, or wearing makeup.

Long-Term Care

After your eyes have fully healed, it's important to maintain regular eye examinations and adopt healthy habits to ensure the longevity of your ICLs. These practices include:

Routine Eye Exams

Schedule regular eye check-ups to monitor your vision and the overall health of your eyes. Your eye care professional can detect any potential issues early on and recommend appropriate interventions.

Eye Hygiene

Practice good eye hygiene by avoiding touching your eyes with dirty hands and using sterile techniques when applying eye drops.

Healthy Lifestyle

Maintain a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals that promote eye health. Protect your eyes from excessive UV exposure by wearing sunglasses and using protective eyewear during high-risk activities.


Recovering from ACL surgery requires patience and adherence to the post-operative care guidelines provided by your eye surgeon. By understanding the recovery process, following the recommended practices, and seeking timely professional guidance, you can ensure a successful healing journey. Remember, every individual's recovery is unique, so it's important to communicate openly with your eye care professional throughout the process. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the benefits of improved vision and a life free from glasses or contact lenses.