Q. Why should I not wash my eyes with water after a laser procedure? Also, it sometimes stings my eyes.

Ans. It is not only after a laser procedure, but a general principle not to wash your eyes. Yes, some may think that this is contradictory to what they have grown up hearing about. Even if the water is pure and not tap water, it does not have the same salt concentration as the tears that bathe your eyes. As a result, water is irritating to the eye. This is why we recommend lubricating eye drops rather than water be used to lubricate your eyes. These artificial tears have a good salt balance and are soothing rather than irritating and potentially damaging like water.

In the healing phases after LASIK (around 3-6 months), the corneal nerves are regenerating in the flap. The new nerves that grow in are hypersensitive to irritation so it would be common to notice irritants like pure water, wind, or smoke in the eye more than usual. Once the nerves fully heal, the increased sensitivity goes away and the irritation sensitivity returns to normal for most patients.

If this is happening while swimming, you could consider using goggles.

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