Can You Wear Contact Lens After Laser Surgery?
The decision to undergo laser eye surgery is usually done to correct vision impairments such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. A popular question asked by potential candidates is whether they can wear contact lenses after the surgery. The answer is yes, but with some caveats.
Understanding Laser Surgery
Laser eye surgery reshapes the cornea so that light can properly focus on the retina, which results in better vision. The two most common types of procedures are LASIK and PRK. LASIK involves creating a flap on the eye and reshaping the underlying cornea with a laser, while PRK removes the outer layer (epithelium) of the cornea before reshaping it.
General Recovery Process
Recovery time varies depending on the type of procedure performed, but generally, you can expect a few days of discomfort, sensitivity to light, and dryness. It is recommended to avoid activities that may cause rubbing or pressure on the eyes, such as rubbing the eyes or wearing makeup, for at least a week.
Can I Wear Contact Lenses After Laser Surgery?
The timeline for when you can wear contact lenses after surgery depends on several factors, such as the type of procedure, how quickly your eyes heal, and your eye doctor's recommendations. Generally, you should avoid wearing contact lenses for at least a week after LASIK surgery and up to a month after PRK surgery. It is essential to follow your eye doctor's instructions carefully to avoid any complications or risks.
Subheading 1: Potential Risks
After undergoing laser surgery, the cornea becomes more sensitive and prone to damage from contact lenses, which increases the risk of complications such as infections, corneal ulcers, and inflammation. Wearing contact lenses too soon can also compromise your eyes' recovery and prolong the healing process, which can lead to blurry vision or other complications.
Subheading 2: Gradual Return to Contact Lens Wear
If you are interested in wearing contact lenses after surgery, your eye doctor will help you gradually reintroduce them to ensure that your eyes are continually healing correctly. They often start by prescribing soft, silicone hydrogel lenses that allow oxygen to pass through to the eye, helping to prevent infections.
Subheading 3: Special Considerations For Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
If you typically wear rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, you may need to wait longer before wearing them. It can take up to six months for your eye's shape to stabilize enough for RGPs to be safe and comfortable to wear. During this time, your eye doctor may recommend wearing soft contact lenses instead.
Subheading 4: Extended Wear Contact Lenses Post-Surgery
If you need to wear contact lenses that you can leave in overnight, such as extended wear lenses, after laser surgery, you may need to wait longer. It is essential to discuss your goals and needs with your doctor to determine the best course of action for you.
Subheading 5: How to Minimize Risks
To minimize the risk of complications when wearing contact lenses after laser surgery, you should adhere to good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands before inserting or removing lenses, using disinfecting solutions, and avoiding wearing lenses for longer than recommended.
Overall, it is possible to wear contact lenses after laser surgery, but you must follow your eye doctor's instructions carefully to avoid complications. It is essential to give your eyes enough time to heal before introducing contact lenses and to wear them gradually. When done correctly, wearing contact lenses after laser surgery can help you maintain your vision and your desired lifestyle..