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Does LASIK Eye Surgery Hurt?

Do you ever feel inconvenienced about wearing your glasses or contact lenses everyday? You’re not alone. Learning more about LASIK eye surgery and other types of refractive surgery can help you make an informed decision about your options for clear vision without glasses and/or contacts.

Many people feel uneasy thinking about undergoing eye surgery. While it’s natural to feel some apprehension, there’s no need to worry. LASIK eye surgery is a quick in-office procedure (15-20 minutes) that causes little to no discomfort, with the benefits of rapid visual recovery in 1 day.

During LASIK surgery, numbing drops are administered to the eyes ensuring patient comfort. The majority of patients report little to no pain. Although it’s possible to experience minor temporary discomfort after the surgery, you will receive medication to aid in healing and alleviate any post surgery irritation or inflammation. These mild discomforts are usually short-lived and well-managed with the guidance and instructions provided by your surgeon.

However, if you experience significant pain or discomfort, it’s crucial to contact your surgeon immediately, as it could be an indication of infection or other complications. Your eye doctor can assess your condition and provide appropriate guidance and treatment.

What Is LASIK Eye Surgery & What Does It Involve?

An estimated 93 million adults in the United States experience blurry vision due to refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism and require glasses and/or contacts to see clearly. Such vision issues can greatly impact one’s quality of life, such as playing sports or water activities.

LASIK eye surgery is a popular procedure that helps individuals see clearly by reducing the need for glasses or contact lenses. It uses a laser to reshape the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, to correct refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism).

While LASIK eye surgery is a well-known solution for vision correction, it’s not suitable for everyone. Patients must be carefully screened by an eye care professional and meet specific criteria. Age, cornea thickness and shape, stable prescription, and the severity of the refractive error are all considered.

The surgery is performed under local anesthesia and usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete. LASIK patients can generally return to work and resume their normal activities within 2-3 days.

While all procedures have risks, LASIK has a very high patient satisfaction and success rate, and is considered safe for most. Greater than 97% of LASIK patients say they would have the procedure again. If you’re considering LASIK eye surgery, it is essential to speak with an experienced eye surgeon to determine whether this procedure is the best option for you.

What to Expect During the Procedure

During the procedure, the medical staff will make every effort to ensure your comfort and safety. It’s important to follow post-procedure instructions carefully, including compliance with prescribed medications, lots of rest, and avoiding strenuous physical activity.

Remember to ask questions beforehand to ensure you’re fully informed and prepared. While every individual procedure is different, having an idea of what to expect can help make the experience less overwhelming and more comfortable on the day of surgery.

On the day of surgery, you may be given a sedative to help you remain calm and relaxed during surgery. At the beginning of the procedure, numbing eye drops are administered for comfort. . Your surgeon will instruct you to keep your gaze on a target. During the first part of the procedure, when the cornea flap is made, you may experience a slight pressure sensation around the eye and the fixation target may become blurry, but no pain should be felt. Then during the second part of the procedure, you may experience a burning smell while the laser is removing a specific amount of corneal tissue to correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism, but again, no pain should be felt. Most people who undergo LASIK eye surgery feel some dryness and experience tearing after the procedure. In addition, there may be some mild irritation (gritty sensation) for a few hours, but this can easily be managed with over-the-counter artificial tears and eye drops prescribed by your doctor.

The Recovery Period

The recovery period is usually short, with most patients returning to normal activities within 1 to 2 days. During this time, you may experience some dryness and fluctuating vision as your eyes heal after the surgery.

Your doctor will provide detailed instructions on caring for your eyes during recovery, so follow these directions closely. You can expect to enjoy the full benefits of your laser eye surgery for many years with proper aftercare.

Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have regular follow-up visits with your eye doctor to check on your recovery progress.
  • Wear sunglasses and/or a wide-brimmed hat to protect your eyes from UV rays and other environmental elements.
  • Make sure to keep the post-procedural eye shields on after surgery until you are instructed to remove them by your eye care professional.
  • Refrain from touching, rubbing, or scratching your eyes, even if the urge is strong.
  • Avoid physically strenuous outdoor activities for at least two weeks after the procedure to give your eyes time to heal.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Get plenty of rest to restore your body’s energy and allow your eyes to heal properly.
  • Be sure to take the medications prescribed to you to manage irritation and inflammation.
  • Use cold compresses on your eyes when needed for added relief.
  • Avoid exposing your eyes to bright screens, such as television and computer monitors, for the first week after the procedure.
  • Most importantly, follow up with your doctor regularly to ensure that your healing is progressing as it should.

Discover the Benefits of LASIK with One EyeCare

LASIK eye surgery is a life-changing procedure that can correct refractive error and improve your vision. Every patient is unique, so you should talk to an eye care professional to find out if you are a good candidate.

If you desire freedom from glasses and/or contacts, visit us at One EyeCare and our eye doctors can help you decide if LASIK eye surgery is right for you!