Does LASIK eye surgery hurt?

Laser eye surgery sculpts the cornea, the eye’s clear front window, to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is the most usual type of refractive eye surgery, and it entices hundreds of thousands of Americans each year with the promise of freedom from glasses and contact lenses. But the thought of eye surgery can be daunting. Is LASIK painful? Is there a price to pay for clear vision? The answer is: not really.

What makes LASIK surgery seem daunting?

Laser eye surgery is not painful, but this was not always true.

Laser eye surgery has come a long way since the early days when it was more akin to medieval torture than a routine medical procedure. LASIK is a quick, painless, and effective way to improve your vision. Today, LASIK is performed by highly trained professionals, often referred to as LASIK experts.

In the 1960s, corneal refractive surgery was painful. However, techniques have evolved significantly since then, and the FDA did not approve LASIK until 1999.

Before LASIK, procedures were more painful. This is why people still ask if laser eye surgery hurts.

Anesthesia And Sedation During LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK is a boon to vision correction, offering a quick and painless way to improve sight.

LASIK is a laser eye surgery that aligns vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is a popular procedure because it is quick, safe, and effective.

Does LASIK hurt?

Most people experience little to no pain during LASIK surgery. The cornea, the clear front part of the eye, is sensitive, but numbing drops are used to ensure patient comfort. The LASIK procedure is brief, typically lasting less than 20 minutes.

What are the pros and cons of LASIK surgery?


  • Quick and safe procedure
  • Effective correction of vision problems
  • Reduced need for glasses or contact lenses
  • Improved quality of life


  • Dry eye is a temporary side effect that usually resolves within a few months
  • Glare and halos at night, a rare side effect that can be treated with additional procedures

Generally, LASIK is an unharmed and effective procedure that can benefit patients significantly. While the cost of LASIK may vary, the potential rewards, such as reduced dependence on glasses or contacts, are great.

Numbing eye drops ease LASIK discomfort

Unlike other eye surgeries, LASIK is a gentle procedure requiring only numbing eye drops. This is because the procedure is minimally invasive and involves minimal tissue manipulation. The numbing drops are applied topically and provide excellent pain control. It’s like giving your eyes a warm hug to keep them comfortable.

Calming meds for eye surgery

To keep you calm and comfortable during the LASIK procedure, you will be given a sedative by mouth. This means that you will be awake but feel very relaxed and at ease.

The sedative will also help to reduce any anxiety or nervousness that you may be feeling. You may also feel a little drowsy, but you will still be able to communicate and follow instructions from the surgeon.

Think of the sedative as a warm blanket for your mind. It will help to soothe and calm you, and it will make the procedure feel more comfortable and less stressful.

General Anesthesia: Not Needed for LASIK

The success of LASIK, a laser-based eye surgery, hinges on the patient’s ability to maintain a sharp focus on a flashing light throughout the procedure.

This unwavering focus is akin to that of a laser-guided missile, ensuring that the laser treatment is delivered with pinpoint precision to the cornea of the eye. To ensure the best results, it is crucial to choose the best LASIK eye surgeon available. The delicate nature of LASIK demands the patient’s active participation, rendering general anesthesia an unsuitable option.

Even the slightest deviation from the flashing light could result in inaccurate laser treatment, risking the outcome of the surgery.

Therefore, patients undergoing LASIK must be mentally prepared to maintain unwavering focus during the procedure, akin to a skilled archer aiming at a distant target.

LASIK: Not as Uncomfortable as You Think

LASIK is not painful, but you may experience some awareness and sensation during the procedure. The device will gently hold your eyelids open and prevent blinking, which may cause a pressure sensation.

Your eye will be lubricated throughout the process.

This is to prevent dryness and discomfort. You can feel pressure while the flap is being created on the cornea, but it will not cause discomfort due to the numbing drops.

The laser treatment itself is also not painful. Some people find the sound of the laser to be anxiety-provoking, but oral sedation can help to alleviate that.

Your eye will be lubricated throughout the process to stay comfortable, and gently hold your eyelids open like a warm blanket. The laser treatment is like a light breeze, and the oral sedation will help you relax and enjoy the view.

Post-LASIK Discomfort

While most patients experience some discomfort immediately after LASIK surgery, like a mild sunburn on their eyes, it is usually mild and subsides within a few hours.

This discomfort is often caused by postoperative inflammation and can be addressed with oral pain medication and eye drops.

Severe pain is not normal after LASIK, so be sure to contact your doctor if you experience it. Your doctor will prescribe oral pain medication and eye drops to help you manage the discomfort.

LASIK Recovery Care Tips

LASIK recovery is pain-free! Just follow these simple tips.

LASIK Aftercare: What to do

  • Close your eyes and try to sleep for the first few hours after surgery.
  • Rest your eyes plenty to help them heal.
  • Wear dark sunglasses to protect them from light.
  • Avoid dusty and smoky places, or wear goggles if you must be in them.
  • Wear your protective eye cover or shield while sleeping for the first five nights to prevent rubbing your eyes.
  • Use preservative-free artificial tears often to keep your eyes lubricated for up to 2 weeks after surgery.
  • Take your medications completely as your doctor prescribed.
  • Keep your follow-up appointments, even if you’re feeling fine.

LASIK Aftercare: What not to do

  • Don’t rub your eyes.
  • Don’t skip or overuse your medications.
  • Don’t wear makeup or lotion around your eyes until your doctor says it’s okay.
  • Don’t play contact sports until you’re cleared to do so.
  • Don’t swim, soak in a hot tub, or use a sauna until your doctor says it’s safe.
  • Don’t drive, especially at night, until you feel comfortable.
  • Don’t skip your appointments.

What to Expect After LASIK

After LASIK surgery, it is expected to experience some side effects while your eyes heal. These side effects may include:

  • Light sensitivity: Your eyes may be more sensitive to light than usual, especially in bright environments. This is because the LASIK procedure removes some of the natural protection from light that your eyes have.
  • Burning: Your eyes may feel like they are burning, especially in the first few hours after surgery. This is because the LASIK procedure irritates the cornea, the clear front part of the eye.
  • Stinging: Your eyes may feel like they are stinging, especially when you blink. This is another common side effect of the LASIK procedure.
  • Dryness: Your eyes may feel dry, especially in the first few weeks after surgery. This is because the LASIK procedure can reduce tear production.
  • Halos/glare: You may see halos or glare around lights, especially at night. This is because the LASIK procedure can temporarily change the shape of the cornea.

LASIK: A Painless Path to Clearer Vision

Are you tired of squinting at the world around you? Do you find yourself constantly reaching for your glasses or contacts? If so, you’re not alone.

Millions of people suffer from refractive errors such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

But, again, there’s good news: there’s a safe and effective way to correct these vision problems.

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is there! It is a laser vision correction surgery that can reshape the cornea, the eye’s clear front surface.

This quick and painless procedure can dramatically make your vision better and reduce or even eliminate your dependence on glasses or contacts.

Here are some of the benefits of LASIK:

  • Quick and painless procedure
  • Long-lasting results
  • Improved vision
  • Reduced dependence on glasses or contacts
  • Safe and effective

If you’re considering LASIK, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • LASIK is not for everyone. Your eye doctor can help you find out if LASIK is right for you.
  • LASIK is a surgery. There are some risks associated with any surgery. So, talking to your eye doctor about LASIK’s potential risks and benefits is essential.
Sharing is Caring...
Call Now Button

Don't See A Time That Works For You?

Skip to content Saddlebackeye Calendar