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Does Laser Eye Surgery Hurt?

Worried whether laser eye surgery hurts or is painful during the recovery process? It’s an understandable concern. The good news is it’s unlikely you’ll 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.

If you have further questions or would like to speak to one of the team on options that are available for you, please call us on 0203 369 2020, or request a call back.

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100
years
of combined eye
surgery experience
45k
plus
eye surgeries
completed
550
plus
lectures nationally
and internationally

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


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

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

Reduce your chance of complications following laser eye surgery

There are some key things you should and shouldn’t do following laser eye surgery, which will reduce your chance of complications and possible pain. These include:

  • Avoiding rubbing or touching your eyes. You will be given eye shields to protect your eyes and wear for the first three nights after surgery
  • Ensuring you apply your eye drops according to the schedule given by your surgeon
  • Avoiding getting water or soap in your eyes for the first week after surgery
  • Resting as much as possible in the 48 hours after your procedure
  • Attending your follow up appointments to check that everything is in order

Find out more about the recovery period here. If you are experiencing severe pain following laser eye surgery, you should contact your surgeon immediately as this is not normal.

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 OCL Vision.
  • “[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.
  • “The procedure was incredibly smooth. There was no pain, just a little bit of discomfort but as it is over so quickly you don’t get time to even think about it!” says Katie.

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 OCL Vision? Call us on 0203 369 2020 or fill in our booking form.

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