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When Should I Stop Wearing Contact Lenses Before LASIK?

LASIK surgery is widely performed as a permanent vision correction procedure. However, there are certain things you can do that can impact the success of your surgery. If you have been wearing contact lenses for a long time, you’ve most likely become accustomed to them. In the months leading to the LASIK surgery, the eye specialist will advise you to stop using contacts and use glasses instead. Here are some common questions about this important step.

Why Should I Discontinue Wearing Contact Lenses Before LASIK Surgery?

Contact lenses, when worn over time, will change certain aspects of your eye structure. These changes can affect the doctor’s assessment when deciding whether you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery. Your eye specialists will explain that your eyes need to be in their natural shape and state before an eye evaluation. If your eyes are not in their natural state, then they can easily change after the surgery, and this will affect the success of the laser procedure.

How do Contact Lenses Impact Your Eyes?

Contact lenses have a physical interaction with the eyes. As a result, they influence and alter the eyes over time. Here’s how:

Shape

Suctioning is used to hold the contacts in place on the eyes. Consequently, this alters the shape of the cornea due to the pressure applied. The degree of this change depends on the lenses and the duration of wearing them.

Hydration

The physical attributes of the eye are largely influenced by the levels of water on the surface and the tissue that forms the cornea. Contacts are placed on the tissue and therefore change the moisture level in the cornea. This change has an impact on how well the laser cuts and eventually shapes the tissue.

Inflammation

While contacts help to correct your vision, your body treats them as foreign objects. To counter this, the body releases an immune response often characterized by swelling or mild irritation. This is mainly experienced days or weeks after they are placed. Naturally, upon removal, the eye reverts to its natural state. This is why it important for you to stop wearing them before laser surgery.

When Should I Stop Wearing Contact Lenses Before LASIK?

This answer depends on several factors. The contact lense material is one of them. Hard plastics such as glass tend to change the structure of the eye to a greater degree than compared to soft materials. This means that it will take more time for the eyes to revert to their natural shape. Another determining factor is how long you have had the contact lenses on. Regardless of these factors, it is advisable to discontinue use from two weeks to four months before surgery. The precise period is determined after a doctor’s examination.

Do I Need Contact Lenses after the LASIK Surgery?

In most cases, LASIK surgery yields a 20/20 vision. However, there are times when the surgery is not entirely effective. In such cases, you may need to use your contact lenses. These instances are rare though. If the doctor advises you to continue with the contacts, you need to give ample time for the eye to heal before reverting to contacts. In this case, you’ll be given an exact timeframe to follow.

It’s important to note that your contacts will need refitting after the eye heals. This is because the eye takes a new shape after the surgery. Additionally, your doctor may recommend eye drops to deal with dry eyes, which are a common symptom after eye surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

LASIK can be a life-changing surgery if you want to be free of glasses and contact lenses. To begin discussing your options with LASIK, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.

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