Can I Continue Wearing Contacts Before My LASIK Surgery?

Posted by  On 10-01-2023

LASIK, short for laser in-situ keratomileusis, is an extremely popular surgical procedure performed to correct vision in individuals who suffer from either nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

Naturally, a majority of people interested in LASIK eye surgery are wearers of contact lenses. However, it’s absolutely critical for such patients with a scheduled LASIK procedure to stop wearing their contact lenses for a minimum length of time prior to their surgery, depending on the type of contact lenses worn.

This article will discuss why this preoperative step is necessary for contact lens-wearing LASIK patients, and additional details that patients should be aware of if they are preparing for LASIK eye surgery.

Why do I need to stop wearing contact lenses before LASIK surgery?

The reason you must stop wearing contact lenses prior to LASIK eye surgery comes down to the condition of your eye’s corneal surfaces. Wearing contact lenses can play a part in essentially “molding” or causing swelling to the corneal surface, as the amount of oxygen that reaches the cornea is reduced with contact lens wearing.

This inconveniently results in an alteration to the corneal curvature, and, ultimately, a change in your refraction (prescription). Furthermore, contact lens wearing can affect the tear film, contributing to dry eyes while potentially impacting corneal healing following LASIK eye surgery, which patients will also want to avoid.

With that being said, in order to accurately calculate the precise treatment required to successfully correct your refractive error, your LASIK eye surgeon or doctor must be confident that your cornea has returned to its natural or original shape and size in time for surgery. In order to achieve this, you must completely discontinue wearing contact lenses at some point prior to your scheduled LASIK eye appointment.

How long will I need to stop wearing my contacts prior to LASIK?

As mentioned earlier, before your LASIK surgery, you will need to stop wearing your contact lenses for some time. For patients that wear hard contact lenses, it is advised to stop wearing them for up to one month for every decade. 

However, if you’re still uncertain, you can consult your doctor or eye surgeon. During your preoperative eye exam appointment and/or LASIK consultation, they will conduct a thorough examination and give detailed instructions on when you should stop wearing them.

How else should I prepare for LASIK eye surgery?

During your preoperative appointment, your doctor will provide you with thorough instructions on how to prepare for your LASIK eye surgery, including listing any medications or activities that should be avoided before the procedure. It is important to arrange for transportation to and from your LASIK appointment, as you will not be able to drive immediately after your surgery.

Furthermore, on the morning of your LASIK procedure, it is strongly advised to shower and wash your hair, as you will be unable to get any water directly in your eyes after treatment (washing the hair greatly increases the risk of exposing the eyes to water). 

In addition, you should eat something filling so you can avoid hunger after your treatment. Additionally, plan to wear something comfortable and ideally loose-fitting to your procedure so that you can get straight into bed for rest upon returning home.

Finally, in the days leading up to your LASIK eye surgery, prepare your meals for convenient access during your recovery, as you will be unable to do any safe food prep or cooking with blurry eyesight. Also, be sure to get lots of rest, and try to eat a healthy diet to help ensure that your body is in the best possible condition for the procedure.

Work With Your Doctor to Ensure the Best Outcome

By diligently following all of the preoperative instructions provided by your LASIK doctor, including adhering to the ceasing of contact lens wearing for a specific time frame prior to your scheduled procedure, you will be helping to ensure the likelihood of a successful LASIK procedure. This will result in the long-term vision correction that you desire and deserve.

Contact Clearview Vision Institute Today

Are you considering LASIK eye surgery in Toronto? We applaud this decision and are here to answer any questions you may have about it during your consultation.

To book an appointment, call Clearview Vision Institute at 647-493-6371 or contact us here.

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