Can You Wear Soft Contacts After Lasik?

LASIK surgery has revolutionized vision correction, granting countless individuals the gift of improved sight without the need for glasses or contact lenses. But even with its high success rate, some patients find themselves pondering the possibility of donning contact lenses post-surgery. If you’re one of those who wonder, “Can you wear soft contacts after LASIK?” this blog is tailored for you.

For post-LASIK patients who wish to tweak their vision further or contact lens wearers exploring the implications of LASIK, understanding the compatibility of contact lenses with post-LASIK eyes is crucial. 

This article delivers expert insights and research-backed information to address your concerns and add value to your post-surgical eye care knowledge.


The Post-LASIK Landscape

LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) surgery alters the shape of your cornea using a laser, which can affect the fit and comfort of contact lenses afterwards. It’s usually performed to correct refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. After the procedure, patients often experience vastly improved vision, and the majority won’t need corrective lenses anymore.

However, life isn’t always so predictable. There might be instances where someone might want to consider contacts post-LASIK:

  • Minor residual refractive error desiring correction
  • An under-correction or over-correction during surgery 
  • At times, the cornea may undergo slight reshaping over time, causing a regression
  • Presbyopia development, which happens naturally with age and affects reading vision
  • Preferences for contacts during physical activities for practical or aesthetic reasons


Can You Wear Contacts Post-LASIK?

Yes, you can wear soft contact lenses after LASIK, but only under certain conditions. The decision and timeline should be made in consultation with an ophthalmologist. 

Here’s why:

  • Healing Period: Your eyes need time to heal after LASIK. Disrupting the corneal surface with contact lenses too soon after surgery could harm the healing process and potentially lead to complications.
  • Corneal Shape Changes: Because LASIK changes the shape of your cornea. Soft contacts, designed for a smooth cornea, might not fit perfectly on a post-LASIK cornea. It might take a while for your eyes to stabilize. Until then, fitting contact lenses properly can be challenging.
  • Dry Eyes: Post-LASIK patients often experience temporary dry eye syndrome, which can make contact lens wear uncomfortable and possibly risky.


When Can You Start Wearing Contacts After LASIK?

Typically, your ophthalmologist will advise waiting anywhere from a month to several months before trying to wear contact lenses. This timing varies based on individual healing rates and the specifics of your LASIK procedure.

Once your eyes have sufficiently healed and stabilized, your doctor may conduct a thorough eye exam, including corneal topography mapping. They will determine if your corneas have healed sufficiently to sustain contact lenses and will identify the most suitable fit. The health and thickness of the cornea, along with any dry eye conditions, will be major determining factors. 


If Contacts are an Option – What Next?

If your doctor gives the green light to wear contact lenses post-LASIK, ensure you follow these steps:

  • Consult Your Doctor: Always seek professional advice before trying lenses post-LASIK.
  • Go for a Re-Fitting: Due to changes in your cornea’s shape, an exact fit is crucial. An inaccurate contact lens fit could potentially disturb the cornea.
  • Start with Soft Lenses: Soft lenses are generally more comfortable and forgiving for post-LASIK eyes.
  • Opt for High-Quality Lenses: Consider lenses that offer high oxygen permeability to promote corneal health.
  • Monitor for Discomfort: Be vigilant about any discomfort, dryness, delayed healing, or vision changes when wearing contacts.
  • Maintain Proper Hygiene: Infection risks don’t disappear post-LASIK, so ensure proper lens care and hygiene.


Special Contact Lenses May Be Required

Due to the changes in the shape and thickness of the cornea post-LASIK, regular soft contact lenses may not fit or function as intended on your new eye surface. You may need specially designed soft lenses for post-LASIK patients, which are created to accommodate the altered corneal structure.



For individuals who may not be ideal candidates for contact lenses post-LASIK, there are alternatives:

  • Enhancement Surgery: Additional LASIK revisions, only recommended if vision changes are significant.
  • Tailored Contact Lenses: Specifically crafted rigid gas permeable (RGP) or hybrid lenses (a blend of RGP and soft lens materials) could be a viable option. These lenses provide enhanced stability and centration on the cornea in comparison to soft contact lenses.
  • Prescription Glasses: For occasional use, especially when dealing with computer screens or reading for prolonged periods.


Final Thoughts

It’s a testament to LASIK’s success that the need to wear contacts after the surgery is now more of an exception than a rule. However, life is replete with variability, and sometimes corrective lenses might still be desired. Remember, while it is possible to wear soft contact lenses post-LASIK, it’s a decision best made with careful deliberation and the guidance of an eye care professional.

Whether you’re wearing contacts for occasional usage or as a necessary addition to your daily life post-LASIK, the primary concern is always the health and safety of your eyes. Continuing to engage your curiosity about your eye health and the potential aftercare choices following LASIK surgery reflects a proactive approach to ensuring your vision remains sharp and your eyes, healthy.

If you have any specific concerns or eye health inquiries, including LASIK and contact lens use, reach out to a trusted ophthalmologist. Your vision is priceless—treat it with the care it deserves.


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