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Preparing for laser eye surgery: Important tips

Lana Bandoim's picture

Laser eye surgery has allowed people around the world to get rid of their contact lenses and glasses. If you are considering the freedom of not having to depend on a pair of glasses every day, surgery may be an option, but it is important to understand the preparation process. Education is not the only important tip that you will have to follow to avoid complications.


The preparation process for laser eye surgery begins in the doctor’s office, and it is important to get clear guidelines and ask questions. Your doctor may have brochures or a website that outlines the steps you will have to follow before and after surgery, but it is imperative to remember that each patient is different and may need special accommodations. LASIK laser eye surgery is one of the most common types, and you should also learn about PRK, RLE, EpiLasik and other options.

Once the education process is complete and the doctor determines you are a good candidate for surgery after the examinations, you are ready to schedule and prepare for the procedure. Each office will provide its own guidelines, but there are general rules that apply. It is important to follow these steps because they can have an impact on the surgery and recovery.

The Mayo Clinic notes that patients are usually asked to stop wearing their contact lenses for several weeks or longer because they affect the corneas. In addition, you may be asked to adjust your medications and stop using antihistamines since they can cause dry eyes. Doctors also strongly advise against using makeup or perfumes several days before surgery. This recommendation is based on the risk of infection that can be caused by the buildup of products such as eye shadow.

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Experts recommend wearing comfortable clothes to the surgery and paying attention to all instructions. Some doctors will recommend cleaning the eyelashes and eyes at home right before surgery with special products, but you should also be prepared for these types of procedures to happen at the office. You may also want to avoid alcohol since it can affect concentration.

One of the essential preparation tips is to find someone who will be able to drive you home after the surgery. Patients often have blurry vision, so doctors do not allow them to go home alone. You may also need to arrange a way to visit the doctor’s office after the surgery since follow-up care is important for avoiding infections or other problems, but you may not be able to drive. It may take several months for your vision to reach normal levels, and you will have to figure out transportation ahead of time.

The role of correct preparation for laser eye surgery cannot be underestimated in achieving positive results from the procedure. While advances continue to be made in this area, patients are already benefiting from the available options. Many people have been able to stop reaching for their glasses or contact lenses every morning just to see the world around them.

Image: Helgi Halldórsson/Wikimedia Commons