Managing Pain and Discomfort After Laser Eye Surgery
The prospect of Laser Eye Surgery can elicit a number of thoughts and feelings, from excitement, trepidation and, of course, fear. It’s only natural to be a little nervous and perhaps even scared before heading into surgery. After all, refractive surgery concerns one of our most valuable assets – our vision. But what we find many of our patients are most concerned about is the prospect of experiencing pain or discomfort after Laser Eye Surgery.
Prior to booking in for your treatment, it is likely you will seek answers regarding how the procedure actually feels. You may be nervous about being awake during the surgery or what it will actually feel like (spoiler alert: it doesn’t hurt!). But once you’ve made the decision to correct your vision for good – whether you’re tired of living with myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness), astigmatism, or presbyopia – your focus may begin to move to the post-operative period.
So, will you experience pain and discomfort after Laser Eye Surgery? And if so, how can you manage this?
Will I Feel Pain During or After Laser Eye Surgery?
It’s unsurprising that people aren’t overjoyed by the idea of having Laser Eye Surgery. However, the notion that there’s pain involved at any point in the process is largely misguided.
As we briefly mentioned earlier – and as all patients are relieved to learn – the procedure itself is not painful. This is thanks to the use of anaesthetic eye drops that are applied to numb the surface of the eye. These drops provide more than enough anaesthetic to prevent any painful sensations during the procedure – which is over in a matter of minutes!
What many patients describe feeling is a slight pressure in the eye, which is only present during the 20-second bursts when the laser is actually on the eye (most of the treatment time is spent adjusting and making sure the patient is comfortable). It is even possible that you won’t notice any discomfort whatsoever – this is more likely when you are in the hands of an expert Laser Eye Surgeon.
The Recovery Process
The exact healing time and symptoms experienced after Laser Eye Surgery can vary significantly from patient to patient and depending on the type of procedure you have. For example, surface procedures such as PRK and LASEK require an extended healing time as a larger portion of the surface of the eye is interrupted during treatment. In comparison, healing times for LASIK and – to an even higher extent – ReLEx SMILE, are significantly shorter.
However, as Mr Glenn Carp explains in the video above, in the first hours after treatment, all patients will likely experience a little discomfort. This is usually in the form of a stinging or gritty sensation – rather like having an eyelash in your eye or the common feeling we experience when chopping onions.
Your eyes may also be more watery than usual; however, these symptoms are usually very mild and should resolve themselves within a matter of days. Furthermore, all our patients are provided with Voltarol drops which can help to take the edge off any discomfort.
Overall, patients don’t need to worry about experiencing pain after Laser Eye Surgery. In the unlikely case that you do experience more than mild discomfort, this can usually be managed with the help of your eye drops and with painkillers which are provided by the clinic.
Other Potential Side Effects of Laser Eye Surgery
Nonetheless, it is important to be aware of any potential side effects that can occur as a result of Laser Eye Surgery. These can include night glare and light sensitivity, the appearance of halos and starbursts around light sources, and dry eyes.
However, these side effects are, in the vast majority of cases, temporary and a completely normal normal part of the eye’s healing process. In the right hands and with the proper aftercare regime, these effects are easily managed and pose little more than a tiny speed bump on your road to clear and comfortable vision.
If you have any concerns about your Laser Eye Surgery treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators. Alternatively, Book a Consultation to start your journey to clear, glasses-free vision today.