What Does LASIK Feel Like?

If you've been thinking about LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis), you're not alone. Every year, around 700,000 Americans have LASIK to correct their vision. Since the FDA approved LASIK in 1999, approximately 1 million Americans have had the procedure. 

Despite the procedure's history and popularity, something has kept you from having LASIK. Some people are hesitant because the patient is awake during the surgery, or the idea of eye surgery makes them feel squeamish. 

These are perfectly normal concerns, but let's explore what happens during LASIK and what you can expect. We'll do our best to alleviate your worries so you can invest in clear vision.

At Paragon Eye Associates here in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, our expert optometrists and ophthalmologists provide various eye surgeries, including LASIK. We have years of experience and want to share our knowledge to help you make an informed decision about corrective eye surgery. 

What happens during LASIK

Your LASIK appointment takes about two hours from the time you check in until the time you leave. We begin the operation by putting numbing eye drops into your eyes and placing speculums on your eyelids to keep your eyes open. 

When your eyes are numb, we start the laser treatments. The first step is to create a tiny flap in your cornea with a laser. Then, we use the laser to reshape your cornea and correct your vision.

Then, we close the corneal flap, and your eye begins to heal immediately. You rest in our recovery suite, and your ophthalmologist checks your vision and gives you aftercare instructions before a friend or family member drives you home. 

We get it — all this talk of lasers, speculums, flaps, and reshaping can sound a little bit intimidating. So let's talk about what you actually feel during the procedure.

What you feel during LASIK

The first thing we do is put numbing drops in your eyes. This reduces any potential discomfort. 

During the first step — when we make the flap in your cornea — you feel some pressure, and your vision goes black for about 10 seconds. While this can be uncomfortable, it is also brief. 

Describing the sensation created during the reshaping process is a little bit more tricky. Some patients say it feels like water running over their eyes, almost like a cleansing sensation. Others say there is some pressure. The consensus is that the surgery is a little bit uncomfortable but not painful.

What you feel after your surgery

To be blunt, your eyes are going to feel gritty and itchy for a day or two after LASIK. You need to avoid rubbing or scratching your eyes, though. We can provide eye guards to wear while you sleep, and an over-the-counter pain reliever should reduce any discomfort. 

Ultimately, our patients say the minor discomfort is worth it to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses. 

If you're ready to give up your glasses for good, call our offices in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, or send a message to our team online today to schedule a consultation and discover whether LASIK is right for you.

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