Regardless of how tough you are or high of a pain tolerance you have, when you get something in your eye or scratch the surface, the pain is very intense. Due to the number of nerve endings in and around your eye, the sensitivity and pain receptors are important for protecting your eyes and ultimately your vision.
So because of this, the thought of a laser cutting the tissue in your eye sounds excruciating, which is a shorthanded summary of Lasik surgery. Whether you’ve been living with glasses or use contacts daily, you have probably thought, once or twice, about how nice it would be to have clear vision without the hassle and inconvenience.
Well, Lasik is your answer but if you’re like me, then one of your first questions might be, “what does Lasik feel like?” To set the stage to answer this, we’ll first describe what the procedure entails and then attempt to provide a consensus on what it typically feels like.
As mentioned above, Lasik involves a laser and the reshaping of your cornea to correct for vision imperfections. Blurry vision (near or far) is a direct result of the cornea (outer layer of the eye) not being perfectly smooth or round in shape.
The way this works is that light enters the eye through the cornea and when it is irregularly shaped the light is not focused properly on the retina, which is connected to the optic nerve to transmit the image to the brain. These imperfections in focusing are called refractive errors and refractive surgeries correct these vision impairments.
Lasik surgery takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish making it an extremely tolerable, outpatient procedure. Here is a brief summary of the entire procedure:
- First, your eye surgeon will use numbing drops in your eyes and clean the area around your eyes. A lid speculum will be used to hold open your eyelids during the procedure.
- Prior to the development of moder laser technology, a mechanical microkeratome was used. Nowadays, a femtosecond laser is used to create a thin, circular flap in the outer layer of the cornea.
- The surgeon will then fold back the flap on its hinge to access the stroma (underlying cornea tissue). The surgeon will then use a computer-guided excimer laser to remove microscopic amounts of cornea tissue based on your unique pre-surgery measurements. The excimer laser uses ultraviolet light (not hot) to ablate the tissue to the proper shape that will allow light to focus properly.
- If you are nearsighted, the goal is to flatten out the cornea and if you are farsighted, a steeper cornea should be achieved. Even astigmatisms can be corrected with Lasik.
- Once done, the surgeon will replace the flap.
Simple as that, Lasik is quick and highly efficient at correcting vision imperfections for the right patients. Now that you know what happens exactly, we’ll address the burning question of, “is Lasik painful?”
Since anesthetic drops are used prior to the surgery, it is extremely rare to feel any pain at all. It is, however, extremely common to feel pressure or slight discomfort when the flap is created. When the excimer laser is reshaping your cornea, you will hear the steady clicking of the laser and perhaps even smell the tissue.
However, you will not experience any pain during the procedure. Due to the fact that the surgery causes no discomfort, protective contact bandages are rarely used following the surgery. Eventually, the eye drops numbing effect will wear off and you will most likely experience itching, dryness or some mild discomfort. To combat this, your surgeon will provide you with special post-op eye drops to help the healing process.
Hopefully, this puts your mind at ease and resolves any concerns you may have had regarding pain during Lasik. If you’ve been contemplating undergoing Lasik, there is no better time than now to regain your freedom from glasses or contacts. At Diamond Vision, we strive to provide the very best results for our patients because we believe that everyone deserves clear vision. Don’t wait any longer and schedule your free consultation today.