Does Lasik Hurt During and After Operation?

Does Lasik Hurt?

No. Lasik is by no means painful. The operation comprises mild oral sedatives, and topical numbing eye drops to alleviate discomfort.

Lasik surgery is one of the common elective procedures in the United States.

Lasik surgery received FDA approval in 1999, making it over two decades since its approval, and it has proven to be an effective procedure for correcting certain vision problems.

Basically, Lasik is reshaping the eye’s surface to correct visual conditions such as astigmatism, long-sightedness, and short-sightedness.

It’s an operation that takes less than half an hour with the laser concentrated for only several minutes on each eye.

So it’s a relatively okay and pain-free experience for most people with a quick healing process and minimal side effects.

Does LASIK Hurt During the Operation?

In most instances, Lasik doesn’t hurt during the procedure. Apart from the eye drops, most surgeons will prescribe meds to help you relax prior to the operation.

Unlike other surgical procedures, Lasik doesn’t require stitches. As a result, it doesn’t usually hurt, but you might experience some pressure on your eyes.

After the laser reshapes your cornea, the flap is replaced and serves as a natural bandage allowing your eye to heal better. This procedure has exceptional satisfaction rates.

What Can Cause Pain During the Operation?

Generally, pain during an operation is due to a lack of anesthesia. Lasik doesn’t require anesthesia of the whole body but rather the eyes only.

Lasik manipulates very little tissue, so the anesthetic can be applied on top to provide extra pain relief. Also, an oral sedative is administered for relaxation throughout the operation.

This means you’ll be conscious for the entire operation, which is crucial because the surgeon will require you to focus your eyes on a target during the process.

But in general, the procedure itself is relatively comfortable.

Does Lasik Hurt After the Operation?

A couple of days after the operation, you might experience an itching sensation and temporary discomfort in your eyes. What’s more, you can expect your vision to be blurred or hazy immediately after the operation.

Your surgeon may prescribe meds to correct this discomfort and mild pain. In the rare occurrence that your eyes hurt post-operation, it’s crucial that you immediately contact your doctor to get advice on moving forward.

One of the most common fears of Lasik is a blade or laser touching your eyes. Most people know the eyes are very sensitive, and sharp or hot items can cause damage.

Following the procedure, some people also complain of dry eyes, which is temporary but can hurt.

Fortunately, this is a non-issue because it is treatable with prescribed eye drops or OTC (over-the-counter) lubricating eye drops.

Why Do People Assume That Lasik Hurts?

You may have come across some stories about laser eye surgery which makes people assume that Lasik hurts. Well, it’s a myth, but how did it come to be?

Well, corneal refractive surgery was painful at some point in time. However, the situation has changed because the techniques used in eye surgery have evolved.

Lasik surgery was approved by the FDA in 1999, which marked the beginning of its widespread use for correcting vision, following years of development and refinement of the technique.

Prior procedures did, in fact, have some level of discomfort, so it comes as no surprise that people wonder if Lasik also hurts.

Post Operation Eye Care Tips

What to Do?

  1. Keep your eyes shut and try to sleep the first few hours after your operation
  2. Ensure you get plenty of rest to allow your eyes to heal
  3. Wear dark sunglasses to shield your eyes against light sensitivity when going outdoors
  4. Avoid dusty or smoky surroundings, or wear goggles if you find yourself there
  5. For the first five nights’ wear your eye shield while sleeping to prevent any irritation
  6. Follow the instructions on your meds to the latter
  7. Keep your eyes lubricated with preservative-free artificial tears
  8. Don’t miss any follow-up appointments even if your eyes seem okay

What Not to Do?

  1. Don’t rub your eyes
  2. Don’t skip meds or use them more than the prescription
  3. Don’t apply makeup or oils around your eyes until your doctor gives the go-ahead
  4. Don’t engage in contact sports until your doctor clears you
  5. Don’t get into a hot tub, pool, or sauna until the doctor says it’s safe
  6. Don’t skip your follow-up appointments
  7. Don’t drive, especially at night, until your eyes are fully healed

Final Thought

Hopefully, you now understand that Lasik doesn’t hurt, and it’s a relatively brief outpatient procedure that takes less than half an hour for both eyes.

Post-operation discomfort, including dry eyes, can occur as a side effect of Lasik surgery, and while dry eyes are common, other causes of discomfort should not be overlooked and discussed with a doctor.

See Also

Does Medicaid Cover LASIK

Government Grants for LASIK

After Cataract Surgery Care

Laser Eye Surery Clinical Trials

Laser Eye Surgery Cost

Does Medicare Cover Cataract Surgery

Current Version
May 12, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 23, 2024
Updated By
Franco Cuevas, MD

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