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Does Laser Eye Surgery Hurt? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Posted by EyeSight Hawaii

does laser eye surgery hurt

Thinking about improving your vision with LASIK but worried about the pain? You’re not alone! Many potential candidates for laser eye surgery share the same concern. After all, your eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of your body, so you’ll want to know everything you can before diving in.

We’re here to explain the process and set your mind at ease. This article will walk you through what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure so that we can answer the question, ‘does laser eye surgery hurt?’.

Understanding Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery, commonly known as LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis), is a popular procedure to correct vision problems like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. It works by reshaping the cornea so that light is properly focused onto the retina, which gives you clearer vision.

Are You a Good Candidate?

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery. Eligibility typically depends on several factors:

  • Age: Most candidates are between 18 and 55 years old.
  • Eye Health: Generally, candidates should have no history of eye diseases like glaucoma or severe dry eyes.
  • Prescription Stability: Your prescription should be stable for at least a year before surgery.
  • Overall Health: Certain medical conditions, such as autoimmune disorders, may disqualify you from being a candidate.

What Happens During Laser Eye Surgery?

If you’re wondering ‘does eye surgery hurt?’, then understanding the procedure can help alleviate some of that anxiety. 

Pre-operative Preparations

Before the surgery, you’ll have a thorough eye examination and consultation with your ophthalmologist. This will include measuring your eye’s shape, mapping your cornea, and discussing your medical history. You’ll also receive specific pre-operative instructions, such as avoiding contact lenses for a few weeks before surgery.

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Anesthesia: Local anesthesia in the form of numbing eye drops is administered to ensure you feel no pain during the procedure.
  2. Corneal Flap Creation: A small flap is created in the cornea using a femtosecond laser.
  3. Laser Application: The excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea. This part of the procedure only takes a few minutes.
  4. Flap Repositioning: The corneal flap is carefully repositioned, serving as a natural bandage.
  5. Completion: The entire procedure typically takes about 15-30 minutes for both eyes.

Does Laser Eye Surgery Hurt?

So, does laser eye surgery hurt? Let’s break it down. 


The use of local anesthesia makes sure that you won’t feel pain during the surgery. The numbing eye drops are highly effective, and most patients report feeling only mild pressure or a sensation of something happening to their eye.

Sensations During Surgery

While you won’t feel pain, you might experience some sensations that can seem unusual. For instance, you may feel slight pressure when the corneal flap is being created. Some patients notice a mild smell from the laser, which is perfectly normal and harmless.

Post-operative Pain

After the surgery, it’s common to experience some discomfort or mild pain as the anesthesia wears off. Symptoms may include:

  • Dryness: Your eyes may feel dry or gritty.
  • Itchiness: It’s crucial to avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Light Sensitivity: Wearing sunglasses can help manage this.
  • Tearing: Your eyes may water more than usual.

These symptoms typically subside within a few days, and your ophthalmologist will provide eye drops and other medications to help manage any discomfort.

Experience Clear Vision with Minimal Discomfort: Trust Eyesight Hawaii’s 25+ Years of LASIK Expertise

Laser eye surgery can be life-changing, giving you clear vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. While concerns about pain are natural, advanced technology and effective anesthesia make the procedure virtually painless for most patients. Any post-operative discomfort is easily managed with prescribed eye drops and medications.

At Eyesight Hawaii, our doctors have over 25 years of experience delivering successful LASIK surgeries with minimal discomfort. If you’re ready to take the next step toward clear vision, schedule a consultation with our expert team. Visit Eyesight Hawaii to book your appointment today.