March 1, 2021

Does Laser Eye Surgery Hurt?

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Read the full NZ Herald article here

It’s not uncommon for people to assume that laser eye surgery must be at least a little uncomfortable. After all, we’ve all been poked in the eye once or twice on accident, so surely a getting a laser beam fired into it is going to hurt too, right? If you’re considering getting laser vision correction, you’ll be pleased to know that LASIK is typically totally painless. While everyone has a different threshold for pain, we’ve found that patients tend to say they didn’t feel any pain regardless of their overall tolerance.


To find out more about what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure, read on to learn more!

What you may feel throughout the procedure


In order to make the procedure as comfortable as possible, we use numbing eye drops to keep your eyes from feeling a bit of discomfort, and to keep them from drying out, so you don’t need to blink. In order to hold the eyes open, we use a speculum to hold them open, but thanks to the eye drops, this isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. It will feel a bit strange, but it’s easy to get used to.


The eye drops also make the surface of the eye numb, so that you don’t feel the flap being created, or the excimer laser correcting your sight. In fact, this step of the process is probably even easier than the one before, and it’s over before you know. The actual operation itself takes between 30 seconds to a minute, depending on the type of correction you need. From beginning to end, you can expect the entire process to take around half an hour, or even less!


Will there be a burning smell?

Yes. However, this smoke-like smell isn’t caused by the laser “burning” your eye. Instead, it’s the smell of the laser reacting with certain atoms in the air. In fact, many people report that rather than feeling hot, the laser feels cold. Part of the reason that the excimer laser is so good for eye operations is that it doesn’t generate any heat!

After your eye operation


The only time you can expect any real discomfort is after the surgery, as your eyes being to heal, and even this is very minor. It’s very common for people to feel that their eyes are itchy or uncomfortable for the first few hours after the operation is complete. If you are accustomed to wearing contact lenses, you can expect it to feel somewhat the same as if you had forgotten to take a pair of contacts out for a little too long.


It’s also normal for vision to be a little hazy after LASIK, so you shouldn’t worry that it hasn’t worked. That’s why we ask our patients to rest their eyes in the first day, keeping them closed as much as possible helps with the healing process. You’ll find that as time goes on, your vision gets noticeably better and sharper, usually within a day or two.


Come in for a laser appointment today!


More and more people are opting for laser eye surgery as the technology gets safer and more precise, and we’ve seen thousands of people choose to lose the glasses and contacts over the years. Why not join them? 


As laser treatment for eyes becomes more and more commonplace, the fears surrounding it are slowly going away, and we’re happy to see that it’s becoming more accepted as a treatment which is actually very quick and painless. 


If you think you might need laser vision correction, or you have a stable prescription and want to stop replacing glasses and contacts constantly, give us a call on 0800 55 2020 to book your free assessment today!


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