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What Does LASIK Eye Surgery Feel Like?

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.

August 16th, 2018|Comments Off on What Does LASIK Eye Surgery Feel Like?

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