Don’t Worry, LASIK Eye Surgery Isn’t Painful
Hundreds of thousands of Americans receive LASIK corrective eye surgery each year, and almost none of them experience any pain during their procedures.
It sounds like a torture out of a James Bond movie: your eye is cut open and a laser is used to zap your corneas! But in reality, LASIK corrective eye surgery is safe, quick, and almost always entirely painless. If you’re considering LASIK, here is what you can expect before, during, and after your procedure.
Before LASIK Surgery
When you arrive for your LASIK procedure, your doctor will start by administering numbing eye drops. These might cause a tingling sensation, but they will ensure that you don’t feel any pain during the surgery.
To prevent you from blinking during the procedure, your eye surgeon will prop your eyelids open using a device called a speculum. The anesthetic eye drops also help prevent blinking. These steps may feel odd or uncomfortable, but they will not be painful.
During LASIK Surgery
To begin the LASIK procedure, your doctor will use a laser or a tool called a microkeratome to cut a small flap in the outer layer of your cornea. This is the only part of the procedure during which you may feel some pressure on your eye, though any pain should be prevented by the eye drops. All told, this step should last less than a minute.
Your doctor will then use a laser to carefully reshape your cornea. You likely won’t feel anything at all during this step of the procedure. The lasers surgeons use to perform LASIK surgery are highly calibrated instruments that are programmed to each individual patient, down to a microscopic level. During the surgery, you will be told to look at a blinking light to keep your eye still, though LASIK lasers are controlled by sensors that will adjust to any involuntary eye movements.
The whole pain-free procedure usually takes less than 10 minutes per eye, and will result in a lifetime of improved vision for the overwhelming majority of patients.
After LASIK Surgery
LASIK surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means you can get a ride home from a friend or family member shortly after your procedure is completed.
As the numbing eye drops wear off, some patients report discomfort, minor pain, and sensitivity to light. Some find that taking a nap immediately after the procedure helps alleviate these symptoms. If minor discomfort persists, over-the-counter pain relievers or (in unusual cases) prescription pain medication can help. If you experience prolonged or severe pain, contact your eye doctor immediately.
The most common complications from LASIK are dry eyes, glare, halos around bright lights, and double vision. All of these will usually diminish within a few months of the procedure and are rarely painful.
If you’re considering LASIK surgery, the eye care experts at Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers of Texas are ready to leverage our three decades of experience to help. As one of the top LASIK centers in the state, we’re eager to answer any questions and assuage any fears you might have about LASIK eye surgery. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and see if you’re a good candidate for LASIK.