Does LASIK Hurt?
LASIK is arguably the most advanced vision correction surgery there is. For almost 25 years, patients have been having LASIK surgery and walking away with improved vision.
To many who have had to wear glasses or contacts most of their lives, LASIK is a miracle.
Besides all the people who choose to have LASIK, many more consider it but never follow through. One of the main reasons for their hesitance? Fear.
Being nervous for any surgical procedure is normal, and LASIK is no different. But you shouldn’t let fear keep you from experiencing visual freedom, especially if that fear is that LASIK will hurt. LASIK is a painless procedure!
Keep reading to learn why there’s nothing to fear when getting LASIK!
LASIK surgery doesn’t require general anesthesia, so you are awake during surgery. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any anesthetic used.
Before the operation, your LASIK surgeon administers special numbing eye drops to each eye. These drops numb the eye, preventing the patient from feeling any pain during the procedure. Some surgeons also offer a mild sedative or anti-anxiety pills. This helps patients relax before surgery.
Making the Corneal Flap
During LASIK, a “flap” is made in the cornea. Following the flap creation, the area under the flap is re-shaped using an excimer laser.
When the flap is made, patients often report feeling pressure on their eye. This sensation can feel strange, but it isn’t painful. It also only takes a few seconds, so any discomfort won’t last long at all.
The “Cold” Excimer Laser
After the flap is made, the patient usually will not feel anything for the rest of the surgery. LASIK uses an excimer laser, which involves a cold beam to shape the cornea.
Since the beam is “cold”, it doesn’t burn the area around where it’s aimed. It only cuts through tissue precisely where it needs to.
Because of the numbing eye drops, you shouldn’t feel anything at all during this part of the procedure!
Since LASIK is an outpatient surgery, meaning you’ll go right home after it’s over and you’ve been cleared by your surgeon. In the hours following the surgery, the numbing eye drops will slowly wear off.
When they wear off, you may feel some minor irritation and itchiness. This is normal, and usually only lasts a few hours.
Over the counter medications can also help ease this mild irritation. Eye surgeons usually recommend very mild painkillers like acetaminophen.
Try to avoid stronger painkillers like ibuprofen. Your surgeon may also recommend artificial tears without preservatives. Artificial tears with preservatives may be too harsh on your eyes while they’re healing.
So you see, LASIK surgery doesn’t sound so scary after all! Contact the Nielsen Eye Center in greater Boston, MA to schedule a LASIK consultation! What do you have to lose, except for your dependence on glasses and contacts?