5 Common FAQs about LASIK Addressed by an Ophthalmologist

6 Sep 2023FAQs

LASIK or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis has been hailed as one of the most promising surgeries for people who want to free off their glasses and contact lenses. Most people who get it are quick to praise it too, which has only added to interest in it.

That said, many still seem to have queries about what this procedure truly entails. At Shinagawa Eye Centre, for instance, we regularly get questions about it, ranging from “How soon can I exercise after LASIK” to “Can you wear contact lenses after LASIK”.

Today, we’ll address the most common queries people have about LASIK. This should help you make up your mind on whether or not the procedure appeals to you as you pursue better vision.

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Q: Are you asleep during LASIK?

This is among the most popular questions when it comes to LASIK. The answer is no, you are not asleep during LASIK.

Typically, the entire LASIK procedure is performed with the patient awake. It may seem odd to think of getting a surgical procedure without being under, as it were, but there’s a reason for this.

LASIK is actually classed among low-risk, low-discomfort surgical procedures. It does not require a patient to be put to sleep for it to be effective, which is why surgeons only use numbing eye drops as local anaesthesia. 

This makes sense given that the surgery is both very fast, usually taking mere minutes, and painless. A doctor will not want to increase the risk of adverse outcomes by using general anaesthesia (which is actually riskier for overall health than LASIK!) to put you to sleep for this.

The local anaesthesia for LASIK numbs your eyes and takes away the urge to blink temporarily. It can also help you deal with the sensation of the lid speculum, a device used to prevent you from blinking during the procedure.

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Q: When can I travel and fly after LASIK?

Believe it or not, flying after LASIK can be done as early as 24 hours post-procedure. Of course, this assumes you have no choice but to fly. Generally, it’s still advised to wait around 5-7 days if you can.

The lower pressure in the aeroplane cabin does not affect your eyes after LASIK. 

After LASIK, the eyes are usually more sensitive to dryness – which can irritate them during flights, as airplane cabins tend to have low humidity. Remember to use more lubricant eye drops while on the flight.

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Q: How many days after LASIK can I rub my eyes?

As much as possible, you should not rub your eyes whether or not you do LASIK. 

Generally, the advice is not to rub your eyes at all for one week after LASIK. Eye rubbing during this time can cause several complications.

You can infect the still-healing eye if your hands are dirty, for instance. Or you could risk scratching the eye with your finger or fingernails.

There’s also the possibility of getting flap complications. The corneal flap created by LASIK can move out of place if you rub it before it’s healed – this may lead to problems that your surgeon will have to assess and address.

Frequent habitual eye rubbing makes the astigmatism increase. Therefore, remember not to rub your eyes whether or not you do LASIK. Eye rubbing also causes dark circles to form around the eyes, at the eyelid skin. 

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Q: Why can’t I exercise after LASIK?

The answer to the last query should have explained why exercising post-LASIK is a bad idea. It increases the potential of you hurting your eyes.

The flap created during LASIK needs to stay in place for proper healing. Many forms of exercise or sports have a high chance of dislodging it, especially if they are contact sports.

Then there’s the sweat: you typically want to avoid moisture getting into your eye while it’s still healing, so a sweaty head can get in the way of that.

You can return to jogging, yoga and racket games one week after LASIK. You can re-start swimming in the pool 2 weeks after LASIK. And you can get back to contact sports one month after LASIK.

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Q: Will I still be able to wear contact lenses after LASIK?

Some people are keen to wear coloured contact lenses after LASIK from time to time. Yes, you may still be able to wear contact lenses after LASIK. 

Generally, it is pretty safe to start using contact lenses again 1 month after LASIK. But do remember that contact lenses can cause dry eyes. Please use more lubricant eye drops when you have the contact lenses on. 

It is a good idea to check with you eye doctor before you start wearing contact lenses after LASIK. You do not want to use contact lenses until the cornea has healed, so as to avoid complications.

Consult an eye care professional about LASIK today

Clearly, there are many things about LASIK that people may want to know before leaping into the procedure. Fortunately, an ophthalmologist can clarify the answers to queries like the ones we discussed above and figure out if you are a good candidate for LASIK.

Consult with an eye doctor today to see if LASIK is for you. Simple enquire or book an appointment with us at Shinagawa Eye Centre for a pre-LASIK assessment today.