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How to prepare for laser eye surgery


prepare for laser eye surgery

Any type of surgery can be nerve-wracking regardless of how minor or major it is, but it doesn’t need to cause you unnecessary stress. By ensuring you have done your research and are prepared ahead of time, you can put your mind at ease in the days leading up to your laser eye surgery.

Ensure you are a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery

Have a full evaluation by your eye surgeon to determine whether you’re suitable for laser eye surgery. This will most likely include a number of tests such as corneal thickness and mapping, vision and prescription testing, eye pressure and pupil dilation. These tests may sound intimidating, but they are easy and painless. You need to ensure you get the best possible treatment and the more you know about your eyes and the procedure, the more relaxed you will feel in the lead up to your operation.

Make sure your doctor is aware of your medical history

When it comes to discussing your health with your doctor, there is no such thing as too much information. Make sure he or she is aware of eye-related health issues, as well as more general health concerns or problems, both past and present. Ensure your doctor knows exactly what medications you take on a regular basis, as well as any medications you may be allergic to.

Stop wearing eye makeup

For one to two days before your laser eye surgery, you should keep your eye area clean and makeup-free. Any debris left along the eyelashes can increase risk of infection. Gently but thoroughly wash your eyes in the days leading up to laser eye surgery to ensure there is no makeup left lingering.

Switch from contact lenses to glasses

If you wear soft contact lenses, it is essential that you take them out at least one week prior to having laser eye surgery. Hard (rigid gas permeable) lenses should be removed three to four weeks prior to surgery. This is essential as wearing contact lenses alters the shape of your corneas. Wearing contact lenses too close to your laser eye surgery may result in inaccurate measurements, causing your results to be less effective. During this time period, wear your glasses instead.

No creams, perfumes or lotions

In the days leading up to your laser eye surgery procedure, ensure you keep your facial skin completely free of any moisturisers, perfumes or foundations. If these come into contact with the eye, your risk of infection may increase.

Organise a carer

Ensure you plan the day of your operation well in advance. Organise to have someone take you to and from your appointment. As you will likely have a pre-surgery sedative and shields to protect your eyes secured after your procedure, you are not permitted to drive on the day of your surgery. Your eyes must heal before your surgeon will advise you are safe to drive, normally the morning following your laser eye surgery procedure.

Wear something comfortable on the day

Because it’s best to keep the laser technology at a lower temperature, it can get cold in laser suites so wear something warm, preferably something that you don’t need to pull on and off over your head. Anything that’s fluffy is best to be avoided.

Download podcasts or reading books

It is important on the evening of your surgery that you rest your eyes and keep them closed. This means you will not be using your mobile, computers, reading or watching television. You will most likely sleep but it is best to be prepared and have something to entertain you during your recovery, particularly if you are having the ASLA procedure. Having music or other audio entertainment prepared is recommended.

Once you are prepared, if you still have any questions or concerns don’t be afraid to contact your doctor for a discussion. Look after your eyes so you can look forward to a future of great vision.

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The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your ophthalmologist for specific medical advice.

Date last reviewed: 2022-02-09 | Date for next review: 2024-02-09

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