Does LASIK Surgery Hurt?

LASIK eye surgery is a very popular procedure in part because it is patient-friendly in a number of key areas. The procedure itself only takes about 15 minutes for both eyes, and the healing process begins quickly with little or no discomfort. It also doesn’t take long at all to start seeing positive results, and getting back to most of your favorite activities. The results of LASIK surgery are very consistent, as well, but that still leaves a few key questions.

One of the big questions is, does LASIK hurt? The short answer is no, for most people, it doesn’t. We’ll provide the long answer ahead, including a look at why LASIK eye surgery is able to deliver results with very minimal pain or discomfort.

Does LASIK Eye Surgery Hurt? No, and Here’s Why

In order to understand why LASIK causes little or no pain, it helps to understand a bit about how laser eye surgery works. The goal of LASIK is to gently reshape the cornea, treating only very, very small portions of tissue, by using a precise laser. Throughout the process, your LASIK surgeon will also take every step to ensure that you are comfortable.

  • Local Anesthetic – Before your LASIK eye surgery begins, your LASIK specialist will use eye drops to numb the surface of your eyes. These eye drops feel just like the type that you’d normally use to lubricate dry eyes, but contain a numbing agent so that you shouldn’t feel anything, except some pressure, during your LASIK procedure.
  • No Sedation – With LASIK, you don’t have to worry about heavy sedatives, receiving injections of anesthetics, or “going to sleep” during the procedure. Those eye drops really do all of the numbing that you need, and the lack of heavy general anesthesia means you don’t have to worry about that foggy, groggy feeling after your LASIK surgery is complete.
  • During LASIK Surgery – During surgery, the first step is creating the flap. You may feel a pressure sensation, but it is more of an odd or uncomfortable feeling than a painful one. Your eyelids will be held open with a special tool during the procedure, and while this may feel a little strange it is unlikely to cause any pain.
  • Excimer Laser – The cool beam of the excimer laser used to perform LASIK eye surgery is incredibly precise, and guided by a computer which maps the structure of your eyes down to a microscopic level. During the portion of LASIK when your cornea is being reshaped, you actually shouldn’t feel any discomfort at all.

After your LASIK eye surgery is complete, you may notice some minor pain, itching, or discomfort as your eyes heal and your vision stabilizes. These symptoms are common, and typically clear up quickly as your eyes go through the healing process. So while no surgery can truly claim to be completely pain-free, LASIK surgery is about as close as it gets – both during and after your procedure.

 Understanding the LASIK Procedure

To better understand why LASIK is not painful, it is important to grasp how the surgery works. LASIK involves reshaping the cornea using a precise laser, targeting very small portions of tissue. Throughout the process, the LASIK surgeon takes every step to ensure patient comfort.

  • Local Anesthetic and No Sedation
    • One key aspect of LASIK’s minimal pain is the use of local anesthetic eye drops, which numb the surface of the eyes. These drops eliminate pain during the procedure, and the absence of sedation means patients won’t experience grogginess or a foggy feeling afterward.
  • Sensations During LASIK Surgery
    • During the surgery, patients may feel some pressure and discomfort, but not pain. The eyelids are held open with a special tool, which might feel strange but is not painful. The excimer laser used in LASIK is cool, precise, and guided by a computer, ensuring no discomfort during the cornea reshaping process.
  • Post-Surgery Symptoms and Recovery
    • After LASIK surgery, it is common to experience minor pain, itching, or discomfort as the eyes heal and vision stabilizes. These symptoms typically clear up quickly, making LASIK one of the least painful surgical procedures available.

How does LASIK feel?

During the LASIK procedure, patients may feel some pressure and discomfort, but not pain. Before the surgery, the LASIK surgeon will use eye drops to numb the surface of the eyes. These eye drops contain a numbing agent that eliminates pain during the procedure, and the absence of sedation means patients won’t experience grogginess or a foggy feeling afterward.

During the surgery, the first step is creating the flap. You may feel a pressure sensation, but it is more of an odd or uncomfortable feeling than a painful one. Your eyelids will be held open with a special tool during the procedure, and while this may feel a little strange it is unlikely to cause any pain. The excimer laser used in LASIK is cool, precise, and guided by a computer, ensuring no discomfort during the cornea reshaping process.

Does LASIK hurt after the procedure?

After LASIK surgery, it is common to experience minor pain, itching, or discomfort as the eyes heal and vision stabilizes. However, these symptoms are typically short-lived and clear up quickly as the eyes go through the healing process. Some patients may experience dry eyes or blurred vision for a few days or weeks after the procedure, but these symptoms can usually be managed with eye drops and will gradually improve over time.

It is important to note that while LASIK is generally a safe and effective procedure, like any surgery, it does carry some risks. Complications such as infection, inflammation, or problems with the flap can occur, but these are rare and can usually be treated with medication or additional surgery if needed.

In conclusion, LASIK eye surgery is a highly desirable option for vision correction due to its minimally invasive nature, use of local anesthetic, and quick recovery time. While no surgery can be entirely pain-free, LASIK comes close. Patients may feel some pressure and discomfort during the procedure, but not pain. After the surgery, it is common to experience minor pain, itching, or discomfort as the eyes heal and vision stabilizes. However, these symptoms are usually short-lived and can be managed with eye drops. If you are considering LASIK, it is important to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your LASIK surgeon.

When it comes to the healing process after LASIK, there are some important steps you can take to ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery. Your LASIK surgeon will provide detailed instructions on post-operative care, but here are some general tips to keep in mind:

  1. Rest and Relaxation: After the procedure, it is important to rest your eyes as much as possible. You may need to take a few days off work to allow your eyes to recover fully.
  2. Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes: Rubbing your eyes after LASIK can increase the risk of infection and may cause discomfort. It is important to avoid rubbing your eyes for several weeks after the procedure.
  3. Use Eye Drops: Your LASIK surgeon will likely prescribe eye drops to use after the procedure. These drops help to reduce inflammation, prevent infection, and keep your eyes moisturized. It is important to use the drops as directed to ensure proper healing.
  4. Wear Protective Eyewear: After LASIK, it is important to wear sunglasses or other protective eyewear when outside to protect your eyes from UV radiation and other irritants.
  5. Attend Follow-up Appointments: Your LASIK surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress and ensure that you are recovering properly. It is important to attend these appointments to catch any potential complications early on.

In addition to these tips, it is also important to follow a healthy lifestyle to promote healing after LASIK. This includes eating a balanced diet, getting enough rest, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

To address some of the common questions about LASIK and pain, let’s take a look at some of the frequently asked questions on the topic.

  • Q: Is LASIK painful during the procedure? A: While LASIK is not entirely pain-free, most patients do not experience any pain during the procedure. Eye drops are used to numb the surface of the eyes, and the lack of heavy sedation means patients won’t experience grogginess or a foggy feeling afterward. During the procedure, patients may feel some pressure and discomfort, but not pain.
  • Q: How long does it take to recover from LASIK surgery? A: The initial healing process after LASIK typically takes about 24 to 48 hours. However, it may take several weeks for your vision to stabilize fully. During this time, you may experience some minor pain, itching, or discomfort as your eyes heal.
  • Q: Is LASIK safe? A: LASIK is a safe and effective procedure for most patients. However, like any surgery, it does carry some risks. Potential complications include infection, inflammation, or problems with the flap. These risks are rare and can usually be treated with medication or additional surgery if needed.
  • Q: Can LASIK be done on both eyes at the same time? A: Yes, LASIK can be performed on both eyes at the same time. This is typically the preferred method, as it allows for a more symmetrical correction of vision.
  • Q: Is LASIK covered by insurance? A: LASIK is generally considered an elective procedure and is not typically covered by insurance. However, some insurance plans may offer partial coverage or discounts for LASIK surgery.

In summary, LASIK eye surgery is a safe and effective option for vision correction that causes minimal pain and discomfort. While the healing process can take a few weeks, most patients experience a quick recovery and can return to their normal activities soon after the procedure. If you are considering LASIK, it is important to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your LASIK surgeon to ensure that you are well-informed and prepared for the procedure.

About the Author:

Having performed more than 138,000 refractive surgery procedures, Dr. Bruce January is considered one of the most prolific and experienced refractive surgeons in the world. Dr. January is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which honored him with the Lifelong Education Award.

  Dr.  January earned a medical degree from the University of Tennessee and completed an ophthalmology residency at the internationally recognized, top-ranked Emory University Eye Center in Atlanta.Dedicated to inspiring children to achieve their dreams, Dr. January speaks at schools serving the underprivileged. In his free-time, Dr. January enjoys spending time with his family, scuba diving, gardening, and “anything to do with health, diet, and physical fitness”.

Have you ever experienced an involuntary twitching or spasm in your eyelid muscles? This is a common condition called eye twitching or myokymia, which can be bothersome and uncomfortable. While usually not serious, eye twitching can be a sign of an underlying medical condition that requires attention. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatments of eye twitching can help individuals better manage the condition and alleviate any associated discomfort.

Eye Twitching: What Is It?

Eye twitching, also known as eyelid twitching or blepharospasm, is an involuntary spasm or twitching of the muscles around the eyelids. The twitching can range from mild to severe and can affect one or both eyes. Most of the time, eye twitching is not a serious medical condition, and it goes away on its own without any treatment.

Types of Eye Twitches

There are three types of eye twitches that people usually experience:

  1. Minor Eye Twitch: This is the most common type of eye twitching and usually goes away on its own. It is usually triggered by factors like stress, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, and eye strain.
  2. Benign Essential Blepharospasm: This is a more severe type of eye twitching that can be caused by dry eyes, Tourette’s syndrome, and other medical conditions.
  3. Hemifacial Spasm: This is a rare type of eye twitching that can be more severe, affecting one side of the face, and may even affect things like talking and eating. Hemifacial spasms are usually caused by inflamed facial nerves and may require medical treatment.

Common Causes of Eye Twitching

Eye twitching can be caused by several factors, including:

  1. Allergies: People with hay fever or those who are allergic to dust might also experience eye twitching occasionally.
  2. Caffeine: Drinking too much caffeine can overstimulate your nervous system and exacerbate twitching. Try to scale back on the caffeine, so your body can relax naturally.
  3. Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome: Spending a lot of time focusing on a computer or smartphone screen can put tons of extra stress on your eyes. If you need to be at a computer for extended periods of time, get into a routine of taking frequent breaks to relax your eyes.
  4. Fatigue or Tiredness: Lack of sleep and tiredness can also trigger eye twitching.
  5. Nutritional Deficiency: Some reports suggest that a lack of certain nutrients, such as magnesium, can trigger eyelid spasms.
  6. Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can cause eye twitching and exacerbate symptoms of dry eye.

Eye Twitching Symptoms

The most common symptom of eye twitching is an involuntary twitching of the eyelid, which can range from mild to severe. Other symptoms of eye twitching can include sensitivity to light, dry or irritated eyes, and a feeling of fullness in the eyelid.

Eye Twitching Diagnosis

If your eye twitching doesn’t go away in a few days or feels like it’s getting worse, you should make an appointment to see your eye doctor. Diagnosing eye twitching involves a thorough evaluation of the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle factors. The doctor will ask the patient about their symptoms, including when they began and how often they occur. They may also perform a physical exam, including an eye exam, to check for any underlying conditions that could be causing the twitching.

How To Stop or Prevent Eye Twitching

Here are some tips on how to stop or prevent eye twitching:

  1. Get enough restful sleep each night.
  2. Reduce your caffeine intake.
  3. Minimize your stress levels.
  4. Take frequent breaks from staring at screens or digital devices to give your eyes a rest.
  1. Adjust your screen’s brightness and contrast levels to make it more comfortable for your eyes.
  2. Stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid dehydration, which can contribute to eye twitching.
  3. If you wear contact lenses, make sure to keep them clean and moisturized.
  4. Incorporate more magnesium-rich foods into your diet, such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

In Conclusion Eye twitching is a common condition that can be bothersome and uncomfortable, but usually not serious. If you experience frequent or chronic eye twitching, it is important to see an eye doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Understanding the causes and symptoms of eye twitching can help you better manage the condition and alleviate any associated discomfort. Follow the tips mentioned above to prevent or stop eye twitching and maintain healthy eyes.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common vision problem – so common that as many as one-third of all people might suffer from it to varying degrees. In fact, some people with small amounts of astigmatism might not experience a noticeable effect on the clarity of their vision.

Astigmatism is a vision problem caused when the clear front cover of the eye (the cornea) is shaped irregularly. Because of this, a person isn’t able to focus light clearly as it enters the eye. The cornea is supposed to be round in shape, like the top of a globe; people with astigmatism have corneas that are egg shaped – imagine half a football instead of a baseball. When they look at something, light entering the eye bends unequally, resulting in blurriness or vision distortion.

LASIK eye surgery for astigmatism correction can be an option for someone who suffers from mild or moderate astigmatism. Astigmatism correction offers a number of benefits – not only is vision impacted, but people with astigmatism frequently suffer from eyestrain and headaches as well. These, too, can often be relieved once the astigmatism has been treated.

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LASIK and Astigmatism

Laser eye surgery for astigmatism alters the curvature of the cornea. By re-shaping the cornea into a more spherical shape with LASIK surgery, astigmatism’s refractive error is resolved when the front surface of the eye becomes more symmetrical. This astigmatism correction then allows light to properly come through the cornea to the back of the eye and focus on images more clearly.

Astigmatism may occur in one or both eyes; only the affected eye needs to be treated with LASIK surgery. Due to the irregular eye shape in people with astigmatism, light hits the eye at multiple points (it should be just a single point). This sends mixed signals to the brain, resulting in blurry vision. Astigmatism correction is achieved when laser eye surgery reshapes the inner layer of the cornea, which then allows light entering the eye to come to a single focus on the inner layer of the eye (retina).

Symptoms of Astigmatism

  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night or in low light conditions
  • Eye strain or fatigue
  • Headaches

Astigmatism can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the severity of the condition. Here are some of the most common symptoms: Blurry or distorted vision: This is the hallmark symptom of astigmatism. Objects may appear stretched out or skewed, and lines may appear wavy or crooked. Difficulty seeing at night or in low light conditions: Astigmatism can make it harder to see in dimly lit environments. Eye strain or fatigue: Because astigmatism can make it harder for the eyes to focus properly, it can lead to eye strain and fatigue, especially after prolonged periods of reading, writing, or computer use. Headaches: Some people with astigmatism may experience headaches, especially if their vision is not corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Causes of Astigmatism

  • Genetics: Astigmatism can run in families and may be inherited.
  • Eye injury or trauma: A serious injury to the eye can cause astigmatism.
  • Eye surgery: Certain types of eye surgery can cause astigmatism.
  • Corneal disease: Certain conditions that affect the cornea, such as keratoconus, can cause astigmatism

Genetics: As with many other eye conditions, astigmatism can be inherited from your parents. If you have a family history of astigmatism, you may be more likely to develop it yourself. Eye injury or trauma: A serious injury to the eye, such as a blunt force trauma or a penetrating injury, can cause changes to the shape of the cornea and lead to astigmatism. Eye surgery: Certain types of eye surgery, such as cataract surgery or corneal transplant surgery, can cause astigmatism as a side effect. Corneal disease: Certain conditions that affect the cornea, such as keratoconus (a progressive thinning of the cornea), can cause astigmatism.

Benefits of LASIK for Astigmatism

  • Improved vision: LASIK can correct astigmatism and improve visual acuity.
  • Reduced dependence on glasses or contact lenses: Many patients find that they no longer need glasses or contacts after LASIK surgery.
  • Faster recovery time: Most patients are able to return to normal activities within a few days after LASIK surgery.
  • Reduced symptoms: LASIK can help reduce symptoms associated with astigmatism, such as eye strain and headaches.

Cost of LASIK for Astigmatism

The cost of LASIK for astigmatism can vary depending on several factors, such as the surgeon’s experience and reputation, the location of the practice, and the specific technology used during the procedure. On average, the cost of LASIK for astigmatism ranges from $1,999 to $4,000 per eye.


LASIK surgery for astigmatism correction can be a safe and effective option for those who want to reduce their dependence on glasses or contacts. If you are interested in LASIK for astigmatism correction, schedule a consultation with our experienced ophthalmologist to determine if the procedure is right for you.

LASIK fear is among the most common reasons that people shy away from the procedure.  And among the most common LASIK fears, three show up more than any others among those considering the procedure.

LASIK Fear #1 – Fear of being awake during surgery

Perhaps the most common LASIK fear is the fear of being awake during surgery. But LASIK surgery begins with numbing eye drops, and sometimes a mild sedative, to help you relax. Still, some patients notice mild discomfort, such as pressure, vibration or dimmed vision, during the procedure. You don’t have to worry about blinking, though, because a specially designed instrument holds your eye open. And a computer in the laser tracks your eye movement more than 4,000 times per second, ensuring precision. In 15 minutes or less, both eyes can be done with little discomfort. If you can stare straight ahead for 45 seconds—about as long as it takes to watch a traffic light—you can do this.

LASIK Fear #2 – Fear of LASIK cost

A second common LASIK fear is the cost of LASIK. A LASIK price typically covers the initial consultation with eye exam, laser technology, highly trained eye surgeons, personalized aftercare and a lifetime commitment. The cost of LASIK can seem costly at first, but a lot is rolled into that final price. Ask your LASIK specialist to explain the variety of payment options and discounts that are available. Some patients estimate that their cost of LASIK pays for itself within a few years because of their saved costs in eye glasses, contact lenses and contact lens solution. With proper planning, LASIK can fit into even a tight budget.

LASIK Fear #3 – Fear of complications

A third popular LASIK fear is fear of complications. Like with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications. Choosing the most advanced laser technology and a highly experienced, reputable surgeon can reduce the risk of complications.

In addition, individual qualities, such as cornea thickness and ocular health, can reduce risks even further. At your LASIK consultation, your eye doctor will discuss any risks and complications with you. Elect for the procedure only if you feel comfortable with the risks of LASIK.

Among patients who overcome their LASIK fears, many wish they hadn’t been so afraid.

Having laser eye surgery shouldn’t haunt you. With a professional behind the laser and an understanding of the procedure, it’s easy to overcome common LASIK fears and opt for a surgery that can change the way you see the world.

Get educated, do your research, and learn what to expect. Make a consultation appointment to speak with a LASIK specialist to help overcome your fear.

What is Myopia?

Medically, myopia (my-OH-pee-uh) is an inability to see far away. A synonym is “nearsightedness.” Someone who is myopic can see near, but not far away. LASIK eye surgery can correct this common condition.

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common vision problem that affects a large portion of the world’s population. It is a refractive error that causes distant objects to appear blurry, while objects that are nearby remain clear. This is because the eye is unable to focus light correctly onto the retina, resulting in a blurred image being formed on the retina.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia is caused by a focusing errors that can be corrected by changing the shape of the cornea. The cornea transmits light through various eye parts internally toward your retina, which interprets an image. When your cornea is too steep, the image gets distorted, and you have a myopic prescription. (When the cornea is too flat, the image also gets distorted, but this is considered a hyperopic, or farsighted, prescription.)

The causes of myopia are multifactorial, with both genetic and environmental factors playing a role. Studies have shown that if both parents have myopia, their child is more likely to develop the condition. Additionally, factors such as prolonged near work, lack of outdoor activity, and low levels of light exposure have been linked to an increased risk of developing myopia.

Myopia typically develops during childhood or adolescence and can progress over time, with the degree of nearsightedness varying from person to person. Mild myopia may not require vision correction, but moderate to high myopia can cause significant visual impairment and impact daily activities such as driving, sports, and school work.

Myopia and Vision Correction

Luckily, myopia is a common vision problem that can be diagnosed at an eye exam. The most common method of correcting myopia is through the use of glasses or contact lenses. These devices work by refracting light in a way that compensates for the eye’s focusing error, allowing for clear vision. However, many individuals may find glasses or contact lenses inconvenient or uncomfortable to wear, and may seek alternative options for vision correction.

Myopia and LASIK

Refractive surgery, such as LASIK surgery, is a popular and effective method of correcting myopia. LASIK, which stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, works by reshaping the cornea to correct the focusing error that causes myopia. During the procedure, a laser is used to remove a small amount of tissue from the cornea, which changes its shape and improves the eye’s ability to focus light.

LASIK is a safe and effective procedure, with a high success rate and minimal downtime. However, not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. Individuals with certain medical conditions or eye problems may not be eligible for the procedure. Additionally, LASIK is not always covered by insurance and can be expensive.

Other refractive surgery options for myopia include photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), implantable collamer lenses (ICLs), and refractive lens exchange (RLE). These procedures also work by reshaping the cornea or replacing the eye’s natural lens, allowing for improved vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. Each of these procedures has its own benefits and risks, and a comprehensive consultation with an eye surgeon is necessary to determine which option is best for each individual.

In conclusion, myopia is a common vision problem that can be effectively corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. LASIK is a popular and safe option for myopia correction, but other options are available as well. Regular eye exams are important for early detection and management of myopia, and individuals who are interested in vision correction should consult with an experienced eye surgeon to determine the best course of action. By doing so, they can achieve clear vision and improve their quality of life.

If you’re interested in learning about LASIK, schedule a free consultation.

The thought of having a laser pointed at your eye can make LASIK seem like a scary procedure for many people. The reality is, laser eye surgery is an easy and safe FDA-approved procedure. There are many misconceptions about LASIK, including what to expect on surgery day, LASIK cost, recovery time and much more.  Below are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about laser vision correction.

1. LASIK recovery time is lengthy and extensive

In reality, for most people, the recovery time for LASIK is very minimal. In fact, most patients are able to resume most normal daily activities within a day or two following their procedure, and while everyone heals at their pace, most patients can head back to work within two days.

2. Laser vision correction is incredibly  painful

Laser eye surgery actually is virtually painless. While some patients describe feeling mild discomfort from a slight pressure or vibrating sensation, most report feeling no pain during their procedure. Actually, most patients say that the feeling of anxiety and fear of the unknown is worse than the actual LASIK procedure.

Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eyes just before surgery begins, and you may be given a mild sedative as well. After your procedure, your eyes may have a foreign body sensation or irritation for a few hours, but for most patients, these side effects will go away in a few hours after taking a short nap.

3. LASIK is a “cure all” for glasses and contacts

LASIK surgery was designed to help reduce your dependency on glasses and contact lenses, but it does not guarantee that you will never need them again. LASIK patients are still susceptible to presbyopia, which occurs naturally with age and may require patients to need a pair of low prescription readers. While the majority of patients are able to go day-to-day without the use of glasses or contact lenses, it is best to consider LASIK as a procedure to reduce your dependency on them rather than get rid of your lenses forever.

4. LASIK is a lengthy procedure

In actuality, LASIK takes minimal time and can have life changing results. The average procedure, including prep time, ranges from 60 to 90 minutes, but the laser correction itself only takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Lasers used during LASIK can cut through your eye

This is very false. Do your research on the safety of LASIK. The lasers used during LASIK emit a cool beam of light, which is not capable of penetrating your body via your LASIK procedure. Rather than burning or cutting the biological matter of your body, excimer lasers used during LASIK have a useful property where they can remove exceptionally thin layers off of the surface of your eye with almost no heating or change to the remainder of your eye, making them ideal for these delicate surgeries.

If you’re considering LASIK, schedule a free consultation to understand if you’re a candidate for laser eye surgery.

Age marks plenty of milestones: driving, voting, working and retiring. But there’s no set age for LASIK. Most providers won’t perform LASIK on those under 18 because eyes tend to keep changing into early adulthood. But laser eye surgery has been performed on children (with severe vision problems) and octogenarians alike.

These are outliers to most cases. The most common age for LASIK, in fact, falls between the ages of 20 and 40.

What Age Do You Need To Be for LASIK?

LASIK is FDA-approved for those 18 and older. Most providers encourage young adults to wait until their mid-20s because, until this time, a person’s prescription may be still changing. Having a stable prescription for at least two years is often required as proof before anyone, young or old, is deemed a good LASIK candidate.

From the point of stable prescription on, most adults concurrently grow their savings, begin traveling for work and pleasure, and perhaps develop an irritation or exhaustion with contacts and eye glasses. This creates the popular period during which most people have LASIK.

Around the age of 40, a person’s eyes start to change again. Soon thereafter, many people start to need reading glasses due to a condition known as presbyopia. LASIK does not correct presbyopia, but some people with the condition decide to have monovision. Monovision is a laser eye surgery that leaves one eye corrected for near vision and the other eye corrected for distance vision.

At age 60, the eyes start to change once more. This is when risk of cataracts increases. Some adults get to age 70 or 80 with no cataracts and have otherwise healthy eyes. Despite being outside the common LASIK age spectrum, these people can be good candidates for laser eye surgery. It’s possible that a 70-year-old without cataracts or other eye illnesses is actually a better candidate than a 30-year-old with very dry eyes and diabetes.

Age certainly influences one’s LASIK candidacy, but it by no means draws an absolute boundary. If you are in good health, have a stable prescription and are considering LASIK, schedule a free consultation to assess your candidacy.

LASIK eye surgery is a common procedure used to correct eye problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. All three are conditions that affect the eye’s ability to focus on objects near and far away. Part of the LASIK procedure requires an eye surgeon to create a hinged flap of tissue, which can be done with either a blade or a laser. The importance of this step in the LASIK procedure cannot be overstated.

So what’s the difference between Bladeless LASIK and traditional?

The first and most obvious difference is that traditional LASIK eye surgery uses a thin blade called a microkeratome to make an incision in the cornea, which creates the hinged flap. This thin protective flap of tissue allows the cornea to heal quickly and naturally once the procedure is finished, with little to no discomfort.

The Bladeless LASIK option utilizes a precise, high-energy femtosecond laser instead of a microkeratome blade to create the flap of corneal tissue. Since being invented in the 1990s, the femtosecond laser has been incredibly successful. This laser continues to provide LASIK patients and their eye doctors with a bladeless alternative to traditional laser eye surgery.

Is Bladeless LASIK safe?

Both Bladed LASIK and Bladeless LASIK are proven safe and effective, but the bladeless femtosecond procedure has a number of important advantages. Bladeless LASIK, for example, has a lower risk of corneal flap complications.

Some LASIK patients need a second procedure, which laser eye surgeons call a “touch up” or an “enhancement.” Bladeless LASIK allows for a safer enhancement should it be needed. A study found that creating flaps of corneal tissue with a bladeless femtosecond laser resulted in faster visual recovery and better uncorrected visual acuity than did creating the corneal flap with a blade.

Is Bladeless LASIK better for me?

Laser eye surgeons, optometrists and their patients have come to find that both Bladed LASIK and Bladeless LASIK procedures are among the safest medical procedures in modern medicine.

Every patient is different. Although Bladeless LASIK has many advantages for many patients, it isn’t always the best option. Schedule a free consultation to find out which method is right for you.

Some of the most common questions we receive about LASIK surgery focus on the cost of the procedure, and the payment options available to cover laser eye surgery. What is the cost of LASIK, and does insurance cover it?

Most insurance companies consider LASIK an elective or cosmetic procedure, which means that it won’t be covered by most policies. There may be some exceptions where insurance companies will cover the cost of LASIK, and there are diverse payment or financing options available if your insurance policy doesn’t cover laser eye surgery.

What Is the Cost of Laser Eye Surgery with Insurance?

While most insurance providers don’t typically cover the cost of LASIK, some major providers do offer discounts for laser eye surgery procedures. These insurance companies work with LASIK providers to offer a “courtesy discount” for members, which can help cover some of the laser eye surgery cost. You won’t know until you ask, so it’s always a good idea to speak with your insurance company about any LASIK discounts that may be available.

Speaking with your insurance provider may also help you find out whether you fit the narrow requirements for LASIK to be considered something other than an elective or cosmetic procedure. Basically, insurance companies may pay for LASIK, but there are very specific requirements.

When Does Insurance Cover Laser Eye Surgery?

While it’s rare, there are some cases where your insurance company may actually cover the cost of LASIK, because circumstances make it a necessary procedure rather than an elective procedure. If you serve in the military and meet pre-determined vision requirements, you may qualify for LASIK to be covered by insurance. Typically, surgery in this case would take place in a military facility. First responders and law enforcement professionals may also qualify to have LASIK covered by insurance, depending on the case.

If you’re not in one of those careers, you may still be able to get LASIK covered by insurance, though it can be an uphill battle. If you act, entertain, or play sports for a living, you may be able to convince your insurance company that LASIK is necessary. If you have certain medical conditions like severe dry eye, allergies, or contact lens intolerance that make wearing vision correction devices difficult, then you may qualify to have LASIK covered by insurance.

What Are My Options if Insurance Doesn’t Cover My LASIK Cost?

If your insurance company won’t cover the cost of LASIK, don’t worry. You’re not alone, and there are a ton of financing options available to help you pay for the procedure in the way that best fits your budget. Tax-friendly tools like Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allow you to save for medical needs on a pre-tax basis. LASIK centers also offer financing options, so that you can pay for your procedure over time. If you have questions about how to fit LASIK into your budget, speaking with your financial adviser and LASIK provider are key steps in developing a plan.

Looking to learn more about the cost of LASIK eye surgery, and the financing options available? Start by scheduling your free LASIK consultation at your local laser eye surgery center. You can schedule your consultation by calling your LASIK center directly, or by filling out the quick contact form on this page. Your free consultation is an opportunity to speak with LASIK professionals, learn more about financing, and get answers to all of your laser eye surgery questions.


Oftentimes when LASIK isn’t a good option for someone, PRK is a suitable alternative. Developed in the mid-1980s, PRK carries many of the benefits as other laser eye surgeries.

Photorefractive kerectomy (PRK) remains a common eye surgery today, especially for people who have thin or irregular corneas or who have additional conditions that reduce their candidacy for other types of LASIK vision correction.

How does PRK work?

PRK is what eye surgeons (ophthalmologists) call an “ablative” procedure. This means the surgeons ablate, or remove, tissue from the eye. (LASIK is also an ablative procedure; however, LASIK is both an ablative and incisional procedure, meaning it involves tissue removal and also tissue cutting. PRK does not involve cutting.)

PRK has two basic steps:

Step 1: Removal of outer corneal layer (called the “epithelial layers”). This will grow back.

Step 2: Laser reshaping of cornea’s middle layer (called the “stroma”). This corrects vision.

Step 1: Removal of epithelial layers

Removal of the cornea’s outer layers can happen three ways for PRK. Which way your surgeon uses will depend on his preference. The goal of any of these three ways is to expose the stroma, a middle layer of your cornea, which the laser needs to reach to correct vision.

  • The surgeon can soak the outer layers with a weak alcohol solution to softens tissue, thus enabling the surgeon to remove it.
  • The surgeon can remove the outer layers mechanically with a variety of surgical instruments, such as a sponge or a brush.
  • Finally, the surgeon can remove the outer layers by a laser, the same one that corrects vision.

Step 2: Laser vision correction

Once the epithelial layers are removed, the surgeon can then use a laser, called an “excimer” laser, to reshape your cornea. This laser has traditionally been able to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. However recent technology advancements have enabled surgeons to further customize the vision correction through WaveFront mapping, a technology found in the Hubble telescope! Custom WaveFront PRK can cost more than traditional PRK surgery, but most doctors favor customization for the added safety and the chance it will improve vision beyond what even glasses and contacts could.

How is PRK different from LASIK?

How does PRK compare with LASIK? Recall that in PRK the outer layers get removed and grow back later. In LASIK, your surgeon won’t remove the outer layers. However, instead he will create a flap in the cornea stroma. Lifting this flap provides the same service as the first step of PRK: The surgeon can now reach the stroma to perform laser vision correction.

What are the benefits of PRK?

PRK offers some benefits other eye surgeries, including LASIK, do not. A big benefit is the elimination of flap complications, since there’s no flap created. No flap equals no flap complications, in other words. PRK also leaves the eye in a stronger and more stable condition.

Finally, this is an attractive laser eye surgery for some people who aren’t good LASIK candidates. This might include people with thin or irregular corneas or who prefer not to have a flap created.

What are drawbacks of PRK?

PRK can have a slower visual recovery than LASIK. PRK might require weeks for full recovery to functional vision, for instance, whereas LASIK takes days to functional vision. During the first several days of PRK recovery, patients tend to feel varying levels of discomfort (e.g., burning and watery eyes), and they can have fluctuating vision as epithelial tissue regrows.

What results can I expect from PRK?

LASIK and PRK are surgical procedures and therefore have risks.  Results from laser eye surgery vary, but most people who get laser vision correction do achieve 20/20 vision. Some do not. PRK and LASIK have been shown in clinical studies to get similar results. (Most of these studies are based on at least one year after patients’ surgery dates, because by that time, both groups of patients have achieved their full visual acuity based on their procedures.)

For more information on whether or not you’re a candidate for laser eye surgery and to learn more about risks, schedule a laser vision correction consultation.