A revolutionary procedure, laser eye surgery offers state-of-the-art vision correction for patients with a wide range of eye conditions including near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism. While many individuals are excited at the possibility of seeing clearly without the aid of glasses or contacts, others are fearful of undergoing surgery on such a sensitive part of the body. However, the truth is that laser eye surgery is widely regarded as a safe and painless procedure. Understanding more about how laser eye surgery works can help ease your discomfort, enabling you to decide if this life-changing procedure is right for you.
During the Procedure
When you undergo laser eye surgery, your doctor will take steps to ensure you are totally comfortable throughout the procedure. Before treatment, the surgeon will apply anesthetic drops to numb your eyes. He or she may also provide you with a medication to help you relax during your surgery. While you should not experience any pain during treatment, you may notice some slight pressure. Additionally, some patients report minor discomfort from the instrument used to keep their eyes from blinking.
Once the surgeon finishes reshaping the cornea, he or she will replace the flap on the eye. This aids the healing process by acting as a bandage. Because of the eye’s natural ability to heal, no stitches are needed. The total procedure time for both eyes is just 20 minutes.
After Laser Eye Surgery
After your surgery, you will be able to leave the surgeon’s office almost immediately. In most cases, the doctor will instruct you to go straight home and rest. To ensure your comfort while healing, the doctor will provide you with a prescription for pain relievers or instruct you to take Tylenol or Advil. You will also be given an eye shield to wear at night while the incision heals.
While it’s uncommon to experience serious discomfort in the wake of surgery, some patients report feeling a gritty sensation as though a lash is caught in the eye. Others experience mild eye itching and burning. In most cases, the doctor will give you eye drops to facilitate healing and prevent your eyes from becoming too dry. If you do experience significant pain after LASIK, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor immediately for follow-up care.
While patients may experience some slight discomfort in the wake of laser eye surgery, it’s important to remember that these feelings are typically mild and short lived. However, the crystal clear vision that results from LASIK will last for years.