Can You Wear Contacts After LASIK? By Gordon Wong, OD on May 16, 2023

Close-up image of an eyeLASIK is one of the most popular treatments for vision impairment. The doctors at GW Eye Associates perform LASIK surgery to reshape the cornea and minimize or eliminate the imperfections responsible for refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. LASIK has a proven record of safety and success.

Individuals considering LASIK treatment at our practice, serving La Jolla, CA, Carmel Valley, CA, and San Diego, CA, may wonder, can you wear contacts after LASIK? Patients are unlikely to require prescription lenses after LASIK. However, if vision problems persist, there are treatment options to consider. Our doctors are happy to help patients determine the most appropriate solution for vision impairment after LASIK.

Why Would I Need Contacts After LASIK?

Most patients do not need contacts or prescription lenses after LASIK surgery. The majority of LASIK patients recover from treatment with 20/20 vision or better. LASIK results are long-lasting and often lifelong.

While LASIK is a highly effective treatment for vision impairment, all surgical procedures involve a degree of risk. Complications are unlikely, but LASIK surgery can cause irregular shaping of the cornea’s surface, which may result in astigmatism or blurry vision. Additionally, LASIK results may be compromised by pre-existing vision conditions, such as presbyopia - an age-related loss of close-up focusing. Presbyopia can also develop after LASIK, leading to poor vision.

Should I Wear Contacts if Vision Impairment Persists After LASIK?

If vision impairment remains after LASIK surgery, patients may consider contacts to enhance their vision. In rare cases, contact lenses may be suitable. However, traditional contacts tend to be a poor choice for LASIK patients. LASIK changes the cornea’s shape, which makes it difficult to fit contacts over the eyes. LASIK patients who opt for contact lenses usually require gas-permeable contact lenses rather than soft contacts. Alternatively, patients may also consider LASIK enhancement.

LASIK enhancement is a surgical procedure nearly identical to the initial LASIK treatment. During a LASIK enhancement, doctors correct residual astigmatism by refining the shape of corneal tissues. LASIK enhancement may be performed within a few months of LASIK treatment or years later. While it is highly unlikely for patients to experience astigmatism after LASIK, LASIK enhancement is usually the most effective treatment for lingering vision problems.

Treating Presbyopia After LASIK

Presbyopia is a common vision problem for individuals aged 40 and older. Presbyopia refers to a loss of the eye’s focusing capabilities. Presbyopia may be present before or after LASIK treatment. LASIK patients who experience presbyopia may wonder about contact lens use. Multifocal contact lenses may be an option for patients suffering from presbyopia. Patients can also consider the following presbyopia treatments:

  • Reading glasses
  • Refractive lens exchange (removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an intraocular multifocal lens)
  • Monovision LASIK (a LASIK procedure that treats one eye for distance vision and one for near vision)

Book an Appointment

If you are a LASIK patient experiencing vision impairment, the doctors at GW Eye Associates can help you consider treatment options. To discuss your situation with our knowledgeable optometrists, book an appointment online at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you.

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GW Eye Associates

Our team at GW Eye Associates in La Jolla and Del Mar can provide a wide range of high-quality eye care services. Dr. Gordon G. Wong and Dr. Wildon C. Wong have over 45 years of combined experience and belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Optometric Association
  • NVISION

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call us at (858) 454-4699 today.

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