Can Contacts Be Worn After Lasik Surgery?

If you’re considering LASIK surgery, or have recently had the procedure, you might be wondering whether you can wear contact lenses afterwards. This is a common question among post-LASIK patients, eyewear enthusiasts, and even ophthalmology researchers. 

In this post, we will explore the implications of wearing contact lenses after LASIK surgery, providing you with detailed, well-researched information to help you understand what to expect and how to care for your eyes post-surgery.


Understanding LASIK Surgery

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) surgery is a popular refractive eye procedure designed to correct vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. 

The surgery involves reshaping the cornea using a laser, allowing light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina for clear vision. 

The procedure is known for its quick recovery time and minimal discomfort, making it a favoured choice among those seeking an alternative to glasses and contact lenses.


Why Consider Contacts After LASIK?

While LASIK offers permanent vision correction, there are scenarios where you might consider wearing contact lenses even after the procedure:

  • Cosmetic Purposes

Some people enjoy changing their eye colour with cosmetic lenses.

  • Residual Refractive Errors

While LASIK aims to eliminate the need for glasses and contacts, some patients may experience residual refractive errors or changes in vision over time. In such instances, wearing contact lenses can be a practical solution for achieving optimal vision. However, it’s important to consult with your eye doctor to ensure that wearing contacts won’t harm your surgically altered corneas.

  • Presbyopia and Aging Eyes

LASIK surgery doesn’t prevent the natural ageing process of the eyes. Presbyopia, a condition that affects near vision as you age, can still occur even if you’ve had LASIK. In such cases, some individuals might consider wearing contact lenses to correct presbyopia. Multifocal contact lenses or monovision contacts, where one lens corrects distance vision and the other corrects near vision, are potential options.

  • Dry Eyes

Post-LASIK dry eye syndrome can make wearing glasses more comfortable than contact lenses, but some still prefer contacts for convenience or aesthetic reasons.

  • Special Needs

Certain activities or professions might require the use of specific types of contact lenses.


Initial Post-Surgery Period

The First Few Days

Immediately after LASIK surgery, your eyes will be in a delicate healing phase. Surgeons typically advise against wearing contact lenses during this initial recovery period, which can last from a few days to a couple of weeks. Your eyes need time to heal and stabilize, and introducing contact lenses too soon can interfere with this process.

Following the Doctor’s Advice

Your ophthalmologist will provide specific guidelines tailored to your individual recovery. Adhering to these guidelines is crucial for successful healing. If your doctor advises against wearing contacts during this period, it’s essential to follow their instructions to avoid complications.


Types of Contact Lenses Suitable After LASIK

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses are generally more comfortable and less likely to cause irritation for post-LASIK patients. These lenses are crafted from flexible materials that permit oxygen to reach the cornea, thereby enhancing eye health.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses

RGP lenses, while less comfortable initially, can offer sharper vision and are suitable for individuals with significant residual refractive errors. These lenses are more durable and provide better oxygen transmission compared to traditional soft lenses.

Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses are larger in diameter and vault over the cornea, resting on the sclera (the white part of the eye). They are particularly beneficial for individuals with irregular corneas, which can result from LASIK surgery. Scleral lenses provide comfort and stability while delivering clear vision.

Hybrid Lenses

Hybrid lenses combine the comfort of soft lenses with the clear vision of GP lenses. They have a rigid center surrounded by a soft outer ring, making them suitable for post-LASIK patients needing precise vision correction.


Consult Your Ophthalmologist

Before deciding to wear contact lenses after LASIK, it’s crucial to consult your ophthalmologist. They will assess your eyes’ health, measure the corneal surface, assess any residual refractive errors, and determine the most suitable type of contact lens for you. Here are a few factors they might consider:

  • Corneal Health: The shape and health of your cornea post-LASIK are critical factors in determining the suitability of contact lenses.
  • Tear Production: Adequate tear production is essential for contact lens comfort and eye health. Your ophthalmologist will evaluate your tear film to ensure it’s sufficient.
  • Type of Vision Correction Needed: Depending on whether you need correction for distance vision, near vision, or both, your eye doctor will recommend the appropriate type of contact lens.


Tips for Wearing Contacts Post-LASIK

If you’ve received the green light from your ophthalmologist, here are some tips to ensure a comfortable and safe experience wearing contact lenses after LASIK:

  • Follow Proper Hygiene: Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses and follow the recommended cleaning and storage procedures.
  • Limit Wear Time: Especially initially, limit the amount of time you wear contact lenses to allow your eyes to adjust.
  • Stay Hydrated: Keep your eyes hydrated using lubricating eye drops as recommended by your eye doctor.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Schedule regular follow-up appointments with your ophthalmologist to monitor your eye health and make any necessary adjustments to your prescription.


Potential Complications

While many post-LASIK patients successfully wear contact lenses, it’s essential to be aware of potential complications, including:

  • Dry Eyes: LASIK can cause dryness, which might be exacerbated by contact lens use. Using lubricating eye drops can help.
  • Corneal Changes: The reshaped cornea may affect the fit and comfort of contact lenses.
  • Infections: Proper hygiene and regular check-ups can minimize the risk of infections.


Final Thoughts

In summary, it is possible to wear contact lenses after LASIK surgery, but it requires careful consideration and professional guidance. Following your doctor’s advice during the initial recovery period, exploring suitable contact lens options, and attending regular eye check-ups are key steps to ensuring the long-term success of your LASIK surgery and maintaining optimal vision.

If you have any further questions or concerns about wearing contacts after LASIK surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to your eye care professional. They are your most valuable resource for tailored advice and care.

By understanding the nuances of post-LASIK eye care and the potential role of contact lenses, you can make informed decisions that support your vision and overall eye health.



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