Is Laser Eye Surgery Painful?

eye surgery

Laser eye surgery is transforming the way that we see the world. In the past, those of us with refractive eye conditions such as near, far-sightedness, or astigmatism had no choice but to rely on wearing prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. While these treatments are effective, they are also expensive, fragile, and require the wearer to make a number of compromises. Laser eye surgery offers patients suffering from refractive eye errors a way of correcting their vision, so they can see more clearly without visual aids. Better still, the inconvenience and costs associated with their prescription eyewear can be virtually eliminated.


How does laser eye surgery work?

There are two types of laser eye surgery available. These are known as PRK and LASIK. PRK is the older form of the two, but both require reshaping the corneal tissue so that light is refracted in such a way that the patient can see things more clearly.


Reshaping the cornea requires the use of cutting-edge laser technology, which ensures that the corrections made are extremely accurate and sterile, minimizing your risk of infection. The exact techniques may vary, but both are highly successful procedures and our surgeon will be able to tell you which is most suitable for your individual circumstances.


Is laser eye surgery painful?

One of the biggest concerns that many patients have when considering laser eye surgery is the prospect of pain. Unless you have an extremely high pain threshold, the thought of experiencing any sort of discomfort is off-putting. This is especially the case when it comes to an area as delicate at the eyes. Their fragility means that we naturally expect pain to be more severe in this area than any other.

Fortunately, both LASIK and PRK laser eye surgery are routinely performed in conjunction with topical anesthetic. This is usually administered in the form of eye drops which are placed into your eye/s shortly before your surgery. These work by blocking the nerve endings in your eye, stopping you from experiencing any pain for the duration of your appointment.


Patients report that these anesthetic eye drops are extremely successful and that no discomfort is felt during the laser eye surgery itself. However, it is important to be aware that some mild discomfort including soreness and a scratchy feeling is to be expected after your LASIK or PRK laser eye surgery. This is a standard side effect and usually eases within a day or two. Most patients find that the discomfort is not so severe that pain relief is required, but you will be able to take over the counter pain medications if necessary. Our laser eye surgeon will give you more specific information on this when you attend your consultation appointment.


If you are concerned about discomfort during laser eye surgery, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your candidacy for the procedure, call Sonny Goel, MD today at 410-656-6400.