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Why Contacts and LASIK Don’t Mix



If you are approved for LASIK eye surgery, your surgeon will instruct you to stop wearing your contact lenses for a set period of time. While most people comply, some think they can get away with continuing to wear the lenses. After all, it cannot do that much damage, can it?

It turns out that it can. Wearing contact lenses right before LASIK reduces your chances of having a positive outcome. If you are on the fence about following the eye surgeon’s orders, take a minute to learn more about contacts and LASIK. Educating yourself is an important step in the process.

The Problem with Contacts and LASIK

Long term contact use can actually change the shape of your corneas. However, if you stop wearing contacts for a period of time, your corneas will go back to their normal shape, allowing your eye surgeon to get an accurate measurement before the procedure. When your eye surgeon uses a laser to reshape your corneas during the procedure, you are much more likely to have a positive outcome.

Contacts Affect the Hydration of the Cornea

Corneal hydration is also important during LASIK eye surgery. It impacts the success of the procedure, which is another reason why surgeons ask patients to remove their contact lenses for a period of time. In actuality, using contact lenses affects corneal hydration.

How Long Will You Have to Go Without?

The length of time that you will have to go without your lenses depends on a couple of factors. First, your surgeon will want to know what type of lenses you use. People who wear soft contact lenses do not have to go without them for as long as those who wear gas permeable contact lenses.

In addition, the surgeon will examine your eyes to determine how long you will need to go without your lenses. Some people only have to stop wearing them for a week, while others have to stop wearing them for a month, and sometimes longer.

Importance of Honesty

It is important that you are 100 percent honest with your eye surgeon regarding your contact use. If you fail to discontinue wearing contacts prior to surgery, let your surgeon know. That way, the procedure will be rescheduled for the safety of your eyes. You want to have the best results possible, which is why it is so important that you are completely honest.

Wearing Lenses After LASIK

While many people end up with 20/20 vision after LASIK surgery, some still need to wear corrective lenses. If you want to continue wearing contacts, you can do so but only after your eyes have fully healed.  However, you might have some issues in the beginning since dry eyes are a side effect of LASIK. Keep drops handy to moisten your contacts as needed. That will ensure that you are comfortable when wearing contacts.

If you want to know how long you will have to go without your contacts, reach out to an eye surgeon in Los Angeles, California. Your surgeon will examine your corneas and let you know what you can expect regarding your contacts and LASIK surgery. Contact UCLA today!

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