Does LASIK hurt? What to expect with laser eye surgery.

Beautiful pair of eyes of a young woman

If you’ve been wearing glasses or contacts for a while, chances are you’ve heard of LASIK. Millions of people around the world have benefitted from LASIK and similar corrective laser eye procedures.

While there are several forms of laser eye surgery, LASIK is one of the most popular and well-known. The surgery helps correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

One of the most common questions we get is, “Does LASIK hurt?” We’ll answer that and more for you. Here’s what you can expect with laser eye surgery. 

What Does LASIK Feel Like?

The short answer is no, LASIK surgery itself does not hurt. 

Your eyes are numbed for the procedure, so all you’ll feel is pressure. The procedure is fairly quick, taking approximately 3 to 15 minutes per eye. You don’t need sedation or general anesthesia for the procedure, so you don’t have to worry about feeling groggy after the treatment.

Keep in mind that while the procedure itself isn’t painful, you will have some slight discomfort afterward. The discomfort is mild and resolves quickly for most patients.

What Can I Expect When I Go in for Surgery?

Before Surgery

Prior to surgery, you’ll be asked to avoid wearing makeup or any scented products such as lotion or perfume. This helps limit the risk of infection, irritation, and inflammation. 

If you are feeling particularly anxious, you may be prescribed medication to take before the procedure begins—otherwise, the procedure is sedation-free and you’ll be completely conscious for the duration. 

Finally, eye drops will be used to numb your eyes and ensure you don’t feel any pain.

During Surgery

Right before the procedure begins, your eyelids will be held open with a special tool. The doctor will then use a laser to create a small flap on the surface of your eye—you may feel slight pressure, but nothing more. Then, the doctor will use a second laser to reshape the cornea and correct your vision.

The procedure should take no more than 15 minutes per eye. Afterward, the small flap on your eye will be replaced and act as a natural bandage to protect the surgical area as it heals. 

What is Recovery Like?

Following surgery, you may notice some slight discomfort such as:

  • Minor pain
  • Itching
  • Blurry vision

These symptoms are completely normal and shouldn’t last long. In most cases, the discomfort lasts a few hours to a day. 

You will be prescribed eye drops to alleviate discomfort and dryness and to help with healing. You may also find it more comfortable to keep your eyes closed or wear tinted sunglasses for a few hours after your procedure. 

If you experience pain that doesn’t go away or that gets worse, contact your eye doctor right away. Worsening pain could indicate an underlying problem.

LASIK is a common surgical procedure used to correct vision problems. The procedure itself is pain-free, and you’ll only feel minor discomfort for a short period afterward. For more information about the LASIK or to schedule your appointment, contact Brimhall Eye today.

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