Does Laser Eye Surgery Hurt?

During laser eye surgery, there is usually no pain at all from the use of highly effective numbing drops (anaesthetic). Some might feel a sense of pressure at one point when the flaps are being created during LASIK and this only lasts about 10 seconds.

After the surgery, patients sometimes feel slight grittiness or stinging for a few hours. You are advised to try and sleep for the first four hours to avoid these symptoms which are experienced if the eyes are open. Apart from anything else visual recovery is very rapid when patients keep their eyes closed or have a nap for a few hours after the LASIK procedure.

Some patients report grittiness after surgery and are more likely to have this if they do not frequently use artificial tears as instructed. It is best to follow postoperative instructions to the letter to ensure maximal comfort and an excellent visual outcome.

Overall, while laser eye surgery may cause some discomfort or sensations during and after the procedure, it is generally well-tolerated by most patients.

The most important thing with any eye surgery is to consult an experienced eye surgeon and established eye center with a good long track record.

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Authored by: Sheraz Daya MD FACP FACS FRCS(Ed) FRCOphth Consultant and Medical Director, Centre for Sight