Will LASIK Hurt?

Young woman smiling after LASIK

A lot of people consider getting LASIK. For those who have to rely on glasses or contacts to see, LASIK sounds like a dream come true.

But sometimes being nervous about surgery holds people back from going through with LASIK. While nerves are understandable for any surgery, a lot of the fear about LASIK is unfounded.

The biggest fear many will have is that the surgery will be painful. In reality, LASIK surgery is completely painless. Keep reading to learn why LASIK isn’t painful at all!


You may have heard that patients have to be awake for LASIK surgery. This is true, and it’s because the surgeon needs the patient to be able to hold their eye still.

But instead of general anesthesia to put the patient asleep, numbing eye drops are used. Once the patient blinks, the numbing solution spreads out over the surface of the eye. This renders the eye numb for the entirety of the operation.

Making a Corneal Flap

The first step in LASIK surgery– after numbing the eyes– is making a corneal flap. This is a small section of cornea taken from the top of the eye. It’s folded back so the surgery can be performed under the flap.

Making the flap involves a bit of suction to pull the flap back. The pressure on the eye from this suction can be felt even though the eye is numb.

This is not painful! Patients only report a small amount of discomfort from the pressure. This part of the procedure also only lasts a few seconds at most.

Excimer Laser

The bulk of LASIK surgery is performed with an excimer laser. This is the laser that shapes the eye by carefully slicing off small amounts of corneal tissue.

The patient usually doesn’t feel anything at all during this part of the surgery. The excimer laser uses a cool beam, meaning it doesn’t burn the tissue around its target.

The precise movements of the laser ensure accurate and painless operation.


A few hours after surgery, the numbing eye drops will begin to wear off. Once they wear off, patients usually experience some mild irritation.

Their eyes may feel itchy, watery, and like they have grit in them. These post-LASIK side effects usually don’t last very long at all.

The most severe symptoms wear off in a few hours. Many patients who take a nap after they get home from LASIK find their eyes feel much better when they wake up.

If your eyes feel irritated more than a day or so after surgery, this is often a sign that something may be wrong. This is rare, but if you do experience severe pain for more than a few days after surgery, you need to call your doctor.

Any complications or issues can be treated effectively if they’re caught early.

Thinking about getting LASIK? Schedule a LASIK consultation at New England Eye Center in Boston, MA today! Isn’t it time to find out if you could be a candidate for this life-changing procedure?

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