Is LASIK Eye Surgery Painful? Everything You Need to Know

Since 1999, about 10 million Americans have had Lasik surgery to correct their vision.

If you’re thinking about fixing your vision and getting Lasik, you might be wondering, “Is LASIK eye surgery painful?”

Eye Surgery Painful

You’re not the only one who has wondered if LASIK hurts! Thankfully, we break down everything on what to expect during your LASIK procedure.

Is LASIK Eye Surgery Painful?

While most people think that any type of eye surgery would be painful, this procedure is actually painless. You might feel a little bit of pressure on your eyes, but even that isn’t very common.

To help avoid any pain, the LASIK eye surgeon will give you anesthetic drops that numb your eyes. After they’ve made sure that your eyes are numb, they will use lasers to cut a flap into the outer layer of your eye, but you won’t even feel anything.

Once the anesthesia wears off, you may feel slightly uncomfortable, but it likely won’t be as bad as you imagined.

Why People Think Lasik is Painful

It’s not hard to see why so many people think LASIK would be painful, but all the stories about how painful it just stems from urban legends.

Thankfully, with advancements in technology, surgeons can ensure that their patient is as comfortable as possible. Earlier on, when LASIK was becoming popular, it might’ve been a painful procedure. However, the FDA didn’t approve LASIK until 1999, when they deemed it was safe for people to use.

How to Prepare for Surgery

After you’ve had your LASIK evaluation with your LASIK eye surgeon, there are a few things you should do the day before your surgery.

You should make sure that you get a good night’s sleep so that your eyes aren’t overly tired or dry. This might be difficult for some people, but try to remind yourself that the procedure doesn’t hurt and isn’t anything to scare.

When you go to your appointment, make sure you’re not wearing any perfume, makeup, or lotion. This could contaminate your eye and leave you with a nasty infection that would hurt afterward.

What to Expect During LASIK

When the doctor takes you back to the surgery room, they will put in those anesthetic eye drops mentioned earlier.

After they do that, they will attach clips to your eyes to ensure that you can’t blink and mess up the procedure. While these aren’t painful, they could take a few minutes to get used to, especially if you’ve never used them before.

Once the surgeon ensures that your eyes are numb, they will create a thin flap in your cornea with a small surgical knife. You might feel a little bit of pressure on this step, but it won’t last longer than a minute.

Once the doctor has the flap, they’ll use a laser to correct the refractive errors in your cornea that are messing up your vision. While they do this, they’ll tell you to focus on a blinking light. This will serve as a tracker so that they can see in real-time how to adjust your eyesight to make sure that it’s perfect when you’re done.

You’ll hear some clicking sounds during this process, but you shouldn’t feel any pain either.

How Long Does LASIK Take?

A LASIK operation normally only lasts for about twenty minutes, and you’ll be awake and alert the whole time. However, because it’ll be difficult to see, you should make sure that you have someone who can drive you home afterward.

When you get home, take the day off of work and make sure that you focus on resting your eyes. Once the anesthesia wears off, you should only have minor pain, and you can treat these with over-the-counter medication.

Side Effects To Watch Out For

The most common side effect that people experience issues with dry eyes. While your vision will be blurry right after the surgery, it will get sharper as time goes on. However, you may also feel some temporary itching, burning, or watery eyes. Some people also experience a sensitivity to light.

It can take a few weeks for your vision to stabilize after LASIK. That’s why it’s important to check up with your optometrist following the surgery because they will ensure that everything is working as it should be.

Some people do experience severe pain after eye surgery, but this is a sporadic case. And if you do find that you’re dealing with it, call the doctor right away because there might be something else that is wrong with your eyes.

You should also keep track of if your vision is getting better or worse. If you notice any discharge, redness, or discoloration, you should also make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Even rarer side effects of your LASIK surgery could also include things like vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment, or posterior vitreous detachment.

Learn More About Lasik Eye Surgery

If you’re still worried and thinking, “Is LASIK eye surgery painful?” you can rest easy by knowing that it won’t be, especially if you choose a good surgeon.

We know that getting any medical procedure done can be scary at first, but we’re here to help you out!

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