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Does Laser Eye Surgery Hurt?

Worried whether laser eye surgery hurts? It’s an understandable concern. The good news is, you probably won’t feel any pain, either during or after the procedure. Fast-acting anaesthetic eye drops block out all feelings of pain for the duration of the operation.

Do you have questions or concerns regarding the procedure? Fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you.

What happens during surgery? What type of anaesthetic is used?


One of our OCL eye surgeons talks about his own laser eye surgery and about whether it hurts or not.

Whichever type of laser eye surgery you opt for – whether that’s LASIK, LASEK or PRK – the procedure to numb your eyes is the same. Eye drops containing an anaesthetic solution are applied to the surface of the eye, with just one drop sufficient to block out all feelings of pain for the time it takes to operate. They get to work within seconds, so you’ll already be numb before surgery begins.

While laser eye surgery does not hurt, you may feel a sensation of pressure as the surgeon works on your eyes, but while this may be slightly uncomfortable, there won’t be any pain.

 

What about recovery? Is the healing process painful?

For most people, recovering from laser eye surgery does not hurt and is straightforward. Some patients do experience slight discomfort in the days immediately following laser eye surgery, and if this affects you, eye drops can provide pain relief while your eyes recover.

You may possibly experience dry eyes, which can be treated with artificial tears.

woman using eye drops

Patient viewpoints

It’s all very well for health professionals to talk about how simple a procedure is, or that you won’t feel any pain, but it’s often more convincing (and reassuring) to hear the experiences of other patients.

  • “The laser eye surgery was really quick, completely pain free and before I knew it, I was lying on the couch in a quiet room already able to see better than I ever remember,” remembers Roseanne, who recently underwent LASIK surgery at Ophthalmic Consultants of London.
  • “[It] felt like a cup was being pushed down onto the eye ball and, whilst this was the most uncomfortable part of the procedure, it didn’t hurt but felt a little odd,” reflects another patient, speaking about the stage in the LASIK operation where the eyeballs are prepared for laser treatment.
  • “There is no pain whatsoever and there’s music in the background aimed to make me relax… The moment the flap is lifted and your eyes lose focus I think is the worse part. But within seconds everything is normal again,” says Jenny.

If you’re nervous about laser eye surgery, you’re not the only one!

A pain-free future

To discuss any fears or anxieties about going ahead with laser eye surgery, or just to get the ball rolling, why not book a consultation with Ophthalmic Consultants of London? Call us on 0203 369 2020 or fill in our booking form.