Do you feel like there is foreign material in your eye? Do you have a gritty sensation in one or both eyes? Are you experiencing such symptoms, as itchiness, irritation, blurred vision, dryness, or redness? If so, you may have a pterygium and benefit from pterygium removal at Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita, KS. Take a closer look at this procedure, including how long the recovery takes.
How Long Does It Take To Recover After Pterygium Removal?
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to recover after pterygium removal. Several factors affect how long your recovery will take, including the technique used to perform the removal and how well you care for yourself after your procedure. One of the most important things you must do following your procedure is to keep your eyes hydrated. If your eyes feel dry, moisten them with artificial tears.
It is also very important to protect your eyes from dry, dusty conditions. If you find yourself in such conditions, you should wear sufficient eye protection. Also, it is of the utmost importance that you protect your eyes from the sun while you are healing from your procedure. Therefore, when you are exposed to sunlight, you should wear wraparound sunglasses that protect your eyes fully from both UVA and UVB rays.
An Additional Note
You may only need to take a week or two off from work while you are recovering from your procedure. However, your physical activities will be restricted for a lot longer than two weeks. For instance, you may not perform vigorous physical activity for roughly six weeks following your pterygium removal.
If you feel like yourself a few weeks into your recovery period, let Dr. Patel know. She can evaluate your recovery progress and determine whether you can resume vigorous activities.
What Can I Do To Speed Up My Recovery Process?
Rest Your Eyes
One of the best things you can do to speed up your recovery process is to rest your eyes as much as possible. Specifically, it is ideal to keep yourself entertained with activities that do not strain your eyes. For example, it is better to put together a puzzle or LEGO set than play a video game or mobile game because the screen-based games expose your eyes to blue light.
Also, it is better to listen to an audiobook or read a book printed on paper than read a book on an e-reader. Note, it is important to rest your eyes whenever they start to feel too tired. For instance, if you are watching a movie and your eyelids start to feel heavy, close your eyes. There will be plenty of time to finish the movie later.
Rest Your Body
It is also very important that the rest of your body is well-rested. It is important to get as much moderate physical activity as you can during your recovery period. This is because moderate physical activity supports a strong circulatory system, and your circulatory system supports your recovery because it is responsible for delivering essential, healing nutrients.
However, it is also incredibly important that you do not push yourself too hard in the early stages of your recovery period. If you feel particularly tired at any point during your recovery, whether you are walking or not, you should take a nap.
How Much You Should Walk During Your Recovery Period
You should walk at a moderate pace for as long as you feel comfortable walking. If you feel too tired to walk, don’t push yourself too hard. You can support your circulatory system by getting up and doing some brief calisthenics or going on a very short walk around your building. The most important thing is that you are not sedentary for over an hour at a time unless you are sleeping.
Note, just as it is important to get regular moderate physical activity, it is very important to not participate in vigorous physical activity. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, any physical activity is considered vigorous if it increases your heart rate to 77 to 93% of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220.
Get Plenty of Sleep
You also need to get plenty of sleep if you want your recovery period to go by as quickly as possible. Most of the healing that your body does occurs while you are in the deepest stage of the sleep cycle, the REM (rapid eye movement) stage. Therefore, you should make a point to sleep for at least 7.5 to nine hours nightly. This will ensure you get at least five or six complete sleep cycles nightly.
Be advised, every time you wake up, you will start over from the first stage of the sleep cycle. Put another way, if you wake up in the middle of the REM stage, you will have to get through all of the other stages of sleep to return to the REM stage and benefit as much as possible from your sleep. Also, you should keep in mind that you must sleep on your back with your head elevated as your eyes are healing.
Drink Plenty of Water
Also, it is crucial that you drink plenty of water if you want your recovery period to end as soon as it can. If you’re dehydrated, your eyes can’t heal themselves as efficiently as they should be able to. To stay hydrated, it is recommended that you drink at least half a gallon of hydrating fluids daily during your recovery period. If you find this to be too challenging, there are a couple of things you can try to remain hydrated.
One way you can ensure you drink enough hydrating fluids is to download an app on your phone to remind you to drink periodically. If you don’t want to download an app, you can set eight alarms on your phone every day with notes telling you to drink at least eight ounces of hydrating fluids. If, despite reminding yourself to drink regularly, you are struggling, eat more foods with a high water content.
An Additional Note
Try increasing your sodium intake a little if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. It is very important that you sleep as soundly as possible each night.
It is essential that you nourish your body in the weeks following your procedure. Specifically, you want to make sure you’re getting your RDA (recommended daily allowance) of micronutrients and consuming enough protein. If you find your appetite lacking following your procedure, make consuming protein your top priority. You don’t have to cook yourself a multi-course meal, but you should at least drink a protein shake or eat a protein bar.
If you’re not interested in consuming highly processed products, like a meal replacement shake or protein bar, make yourself a protein-packed smoothie. You can include any fruits and veggies you want in your smoothie, but you will benefit the most if you use a Greek yogurt or Icelandic yogurt base rather than a traditional yogurt or ice cream base.
Other Things You Should Consider Eating During Your Recovery Period
While you can add whatever you want to add to your smoothie, we recommend adding peanut butter or a little protein powder if you’re struggling to get enough protein in your diet. Also, it is highly advisable to add plenty of produce that is high in water. For example, you will benefit greatly from adding spinach, kale, mangoes, or oranges to your smoothies if you are struggling to drink enough water, tea, and coffee.
Note, whether you drink green smoothies during your recovery period or not, it is a good idea to incorporate kale and spinach into your post-op recovery diet. Both kale and spinach are high in protein, fiber, and vitamin C. Fiber is particularly important for a smooth, comfortable recovery if you take certain analgesics. Vitamin C and protein are essential for rapid healing. Also, you should know that broccoli and Brussels sprouts are also great to eat.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
Depending on the technique used to perform your procedure and how well you care for yourself post-op, your pterygium removal recovery can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. To find out whether this procedure is right for you, contact us today at Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita, KS to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Patel.