Preparing for LASIK Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

The idea of waking up each day and being able to see clearly without glasses or contacts is more than enticing – it’s a dream come true – especially if you’ve worn glasses for many years. The team at Cooper Eye Care wants to make your dreams of seeing clearly become a reality with LASIK surgery. This team of expert optometrists has more than 15 years of experience performing corrective vision surgeries and they can help you, too.

The doctors explain everything you need to know about preparing for LASIK surgery.

Stop wearing contacts before LASIK surgery

Once you’ve had a LASIK consultation with your doctor, and you’ve scheduled surgery, you’ll receive instructions on how to prepare for your upcoming, life-changing procedure. If you wear contact lenses, you’ll need to stop wearing them for a few weeks before your LASIK procedure. The reason for this is that contacts may distort the shape of your cornea.

If your cornea is distorted, the measurements your doctor uses to reshape it during the LASIK procedure may be inaccurate and can affect the outcome of the surgery. Of course, the team at Cooper Eye Care wants you to have the clearest vision possible after LASIK — many adults enjoy 20/20 vision afterward. But, if your contacts have influenced the natural shape of your cornea, you may not have such a successful outcome.

The team provides you with specific instructions, but generally, if you wear soft contacts, you’ll need to stop wearing them 1-3 weeks before your LASIK appointment. And, if you wear hard contacts, you’ll need to stop wearing them 4-8 weeks before the procedure. It’s perfectly fine to wear your glasses leading up to your appointment.

Remove all eye makeup the night before your surgery

Ensuring that there’s no debris in your eyes that may hinder the laser procedure means removing makeup the night before your appointment. Wash your face and eyes, and avoid using eye creams or anything else around your eyes. Get a good night’s sleep, and avoid wearing perfume or cologne, or anything that may irritate your eyes.

On the day of surgery, you can wash your face, but refrain from wearing makeup and moisturizers around your eyes.

Arrange for a ride and a few days of rest

You won’t be able to drive yourself anywhere immediately following LASIK surgery, or for the rest of the day, so be sure you have transportation home after your surgery. Your eye doctor at Cooper Eye Care explains how many days you’ll need to recover after LASIK, so prepare accordingly. While some people return to work the next day, it’s always a good idea to rest your eyes for as long as your doctor recommends.

Resting your eyes also means keeping them closed for several hours at a time as you recover. Be prepared to avoid checking email, your phone, and other mobile devices. You won’t be able to watch TV at first, either, so downloading audiobooks and music in advance is a good idea so you have something to keep you occupied and relaxed as you recover.

Dress comfortably and casually

On the day of your LASIK procedure, wear comfortable clothes so you’re relaxed during the surgery, but also so you don’t have to worry about changing when you first get home. Avoid bulky accessories or jewelry, or anything that may interfere with the proper position of your head under the laser. For women, it’s best not to wear a ponytail or hair clip that prevents you from resting your head comfortably while lying on your back.

Ask ahead of time about medications

In most cases, you may be able to take any prescription medications as usual on the day of surgery, but talk to your doctor ahead of time to make sure. You don’t need to fast, either, so you can eat a light meal before your LASIK procedure. If you’re concerned about anxiety or pain, ask the team about medications to help you relax or to alleviate pain after surgery.

LASIK surgery isn’t painful, but you may feel some discomfort during recovery, as if you have sand in your eyes. If your doctor prescribes medicated eye drops during recovery, use as recommended. You’ll most likely have a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress in the first 24-48 hours after surgery.

The first step in preparing for LASIK surgery, and seeing clearly without glasses or contacts, is to schedule a consultation with the team at Cooper Eye Care. You can call the office or book online.

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