What If I Am Currently Wearing Contact Lenses?

Mr Glenn Carp – “Patients are asked to abstain from contact lens use for a period of three days before their consultation if it is a soft contact lens, for toric contact lens a period of a week to two weeks and for hard contact lenses for a month for every 10 years they have used those hard lenses.  This is due to warpage effects of the contact lenses on the corneas and of course we want to obtain data from their eyes in the most natural state possible.”

Contact Lenses And Initial Screening Explained Further…

When you schedule an initial screening, just remove your contact lenses on the morning of the Initial Screening. Also, bring in your glasses if available.

Prior to surgery, it is important to note the following: if you are wearing hard or gas permeable contacts, they must be out of your eyes at least six weeks prior to your surgery. Soft lenses must be out at least 1 week.

Contact lenses can “mold” the corneal surface, which changes the corneal curvature and may lead to a change in your refraction (prescription). To properly calculate the treatment to correct your refractive error, you will have to stop wearing contact lenses at some stage before your appointment. This is also the case for novelty lenses. In time, the cornea will return to its natural shape and size. We are dedicated to providing you with the most accurate treatment, and this we can only achieve this if the corneal surface is stable and back to its natural shape.

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For the vast majority of patients, the recommended minimum length of time for contact removal should suffice. However, the individual rate of corneal adjusting may vary. If your cornea is still adjusting at either the pre-operative or the surgery appointment, you will be required to reschedule your appointment for a later date. This will allow the cornea to return to its natural shape and refraction to stabilise, thus providing you with an opportunity to attain the best possible outcome. London Vision Clinic cannot reimburse for time off work, hotel, airline tickets or any other expenses incurred due to rescheduling.

The difference in the length of times to remove contact lenses listed below is to ensure that rescheduling of appointments if corneal “molding” is apparent does not inconvenience the majority of out-of-town patients.

Medical evidence suggests that we can reduce the likelihood of an enhancement with a lengthening of the time a patient has their contact lenses out.

Removal Of Contact Lenses Prior To Surgeon Consultation Appointment With Surgeon:

Contact lens typeLength of time lenses need to be out before the Surgeon Consultation appointment with the surgeon
All soft contact lensesAt least 1 week before
Extended wear soft lensesAt least 1 week before
Toric soft lensesAt least 2 weeks before
Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses
worn for 0 – 10 years
worn for 10 -20 years
worn for 20 – 30 years
At least 4 weeks before
At least 8 weeks before
At least 12 weeks before
True hard lenses (Polymethyl methacrylate)At least 12 weeks before


Mr Glenn Carp explains what to do if you are currently wearing contact lenses and wish to have Laser Eye Surgery.

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I researched Laser Eye Surgery thoroughly prior to deciding to have it done, and after speaking to Prof. Reinstein (on Twitter!) had no doubt that this is the only place in the country that should be trusted with my eyes. I felt I should either pay for the… or stick to glasses/contact lenses. One month on I am delighted with the results. Perfect vision and absolutely no side effects beyond the first fortnight.– Tom Murphy


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What If I Am Currently Wearing Contact Lenses? [Video]

2 Comments
  1. Pingback: Does every patient get wavefront at London Vision Clinic?

  2. Stephanie Smith 15/06/2015 at 13:43

    I had no idea about the warping effects of contact lenses! That sounds insane, but the more I read on it, the more it makes sense. I don’t have contacts yet, but I might need them in the near future so I’m looking up as much info as I can. This was a great article to help me prepare, thank you.

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