What Does LASIK Eye Surgery Feel Like?

August 12th, 2019
close up of woman's eye

If you’re interested in LASIK surgery but worried that it will be painful, rest assured that there’s nothing to fear.

Though LASIK corrective eye surgery is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, many patients are understandably nervous about undergoing any kind of surgery. If that describes you, you likely already know that a lifetime of clear vision awaits you on the other side of your LASIK procedure.

Fortunately, LASIK surgery is largely painless. Of course, getting over that initial mental hurdle and convincing yourself to take the leap is easier said than done. Understanding what you can expect from your procedure is the first step in alleviating any lingering anxieties you may have about receiving LASIK. If you’re considering LASIK, here’s what you need to know about the common surgery and its recovery process.

The LASIK Surgery Process


When you go in for your LASIK surgery, your doctor will begin by applying numbing eye drops. These anesthetic drops will keep your eyes numb throughout the entire procedure and prevent you from feeling any pain.

To begin the surgery, your doctor will create a small flap in your cornea with a laser called a microkeratome. Many patients expect this portion of the procedure to be painful, but in reality, you shouldn’t feel anything more than a slight pressure on your eye. This step of the procedure shouldn’t hurt or last longer than a minute.

After your surgeon creates a flap, they will use a laser to reshape your cornea. As this is happening, a special tool will be used to hold the corneal flap open. While this part of the surgery may feel odd, it’s typically neither uncomfortable nor painful.

The overwhelming majority of patients say that their LASIK surgery was far faster and more comfortable than they expected. By consulting with your doctor ahead of time and following their instructions, you can prepare appropriately and do everything in your power to ensure an easy surgery and a smooth recovery.

Recovering from LASIK


When you return home after your LASIK surgery, your anesthetic eye drops will likely wear off within a few hours. When this occurs, you can expect to experience some sensitivity to light, watery eyes, and mild to moderate discomfort.

Typically, patients find that over-the-counter pain medication or even a simple nap is enough to ease the discomfort they may feel after surgery. If your eye pain is significant or persistent, you should contact your LASIK surgeon immediately.

If you have more questions about LASIK surgery and the subsequent recovery process, ICON Eyecare is here to answer them. As a leading LASIK provider in the Denver area, we are experienced LASIK surgeons who can help you decide whether the common vision correction procedure is right for you. Contact us today to schedule your VIP consultation and take the first step toward achieving better vision.


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